By on June 15, 2011

Mitsubishi wants to attack one of the biggest problems of EVs: Their lofty price. Mitsu’s i-MiEV EV retails for 3.98 million yen ($49,200). Government subsidies will slash a million (yen) off that price. Converted to dollars, that $36,900, still steep.  The Nissan Leaf costs 3.76 million yen ($46,500) before subsidies and sells much better than the Mitsumobile. Now, Mitsubishi wants to lop a million yen off the i-MiEV’s sticker price.

“The planned vehicle is expected to be the least expensive electric passenger car in Japan,” writes The Nikkei [sub]. After subsidies, the EV will costs the Japanese buyer less than 2 million yen ($24,700).

Where do the big savings come from? From a punier battery. The existing model is good for 160km (100 miles) per battery charge. The new model will go only 120km (75 miles). The Nissan Leaf claims a range of 100 miles.

If you are in the market for an i-MiEV, save your ticket to Tokyo. U.S. prices are much lower. The 2012 i-MiEV will carry a base MSRP price of $27,990, before the Federal $7,500 EV tax credit and state incentives. In states like California and Hawaii that dole out extra government money, the effective  i-MiEV price could be as low as $15,500.

Nissan will most likely pick up that gauntlet and throw it right back. And what we’ll get is the first round of the EV up-sell wars: “Now, Sir, may I write you down for the bigger battery? We don’t want your wife to run out of juice in a bad neighborhood, right?”

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14 Comments on “Mitsubishi Declares EV Price War, Reduces Range...”

  • avatar

    Competition in in this segment can only be good for the customer, and while I don’t think that lowering the range is wise, having the choice can’t hurt.

  • avatar

    A government that’s broke and managing crisis, giving away tax payer money, to manipulate a free market economy and goose automotive sales???

    The horrors I tell you, HORRORS!!!

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. It would make MUCH more sense to increase the gas tax (very) substantially, and let the EVs sink or swim on their own merits…in a “free market” environment where the considerable economic, political and environmental externalities of gasoline consumption are actually paid for by the gasoline consumer.

      But I’m guessing you might not favor that option either….

      • 0 avatar
        Vance Torino

        Agreed. That’s basic economics and common sense…
        …in other words, kryptonite to the American body politic.

      • 0 avatar

        The only problem I have this is a gasoline tax is a regressive tax. To commute from Point A to Point B it is typically those on the lower income scale that have to live further from their jobs, in seeking out affordable housing, and it is the lower income people that cannot afford fuel efficient cars as easily putting them at a double disadvantage.

        A higher gasoline tax wouldn’t phase me, I’m not giving up my LSX powered car; the Australians got so much right, I have a short commute and I can afford it. But take someone who has to commute 30 miles to work every day in a Ford Explorer because that is what they can afford, and you’re going to kill them.

        There are no easy answers.

        As someone who had to pay AMT last tax year I’ve found my opinions on the government taking my hard earned and giving it to someone else has become a bit — stronger.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not giving away any tax payer’s money, it’s letting people keep more of their own money. I thought paying less taxes was desirable no matter what color party you voted for.

  • avatar

    In 1911 electric cars were expensive because of the battery. In 2011 electric cars are expensive because of…

  • avatar
    SVX pearlie

    “The existing model is good for 160km (100 miles) per battery charge. The new model will go only 120km (75 miles). The Nissan Leaf claims a range of 100 miles.”

    Can someone at The TRUTH About Cars do a little fact-checking about the Nissan Leaf battery range, and stop blithely pushing the Nissan world-is-roses “100 mile” marketing lie?

    Nissan oversold the Leaf at 100 miles, and that number is only good under best-case conditions. It is only achievable via hypermiling over low-speed courses. It is NOT achievable in normal real-world driving.

    If you are going to give any range for the Nissan Leaf, please use the actual range as rated by the EPA. That means, the Nissan Leaf should be noted as providing an estimated 73 miles per full charge.

    Otherwise, I’ll expect you to consistently tout the Chevy Volt as a 231-mpg car, without any caveats or other crap.

    After all, we can’t be having any anti-GM bias by TTAC here…

    • 0 avatar

      …Nissan oversold the Leaf at 100 miles, and that number is only good under best-case conditions. It is only achievable via hypermiling over low-speed courses. It is NOT achievable in normal real-world driving…

      On flat pavement on a 70 degree day with minimal traffic lights.

      But its OK. In Japan if you run out of electricity Nissan is starting to roll out a fleet of resuce vehicles. Gasoline powered truck running a diesel powered electrical generator to quick charge your dead Leaf on the side of the road. No idea if a polar bear appears from the melting Arctic and mauls the truck operator to death or not.

  • avatar

    Good idea. It makes a lot of sense for people who want to use this car as strictly a city commuter. Look at how much money they were able to save by simply reducing battery range by 25%. I bet they cut a nice bit of weight off of it too.

  • avatar

    In the 70’s fuel crisis, there were lines at the gas station (in PA, we had even/odd license days to reduce the lines), and in one period, you were only allowed 10 gallons/visit. And that was in a car that got 10-15 MPG. Luckily for me, I lived close enough to the mill to walk to work; driving was a luxury.

    For many people other than me, that was true “range anxiety”, and I didn’t know anyone who could refine their own gasoline at home, either.

    Let’s hope that conditions beyond our control don’t cause a repeat of this scenario, as we’re no less dependent on “the juice” than we were 35 years ago.

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