Mitsubishi has made a bold move in launching its electric powered i MiEV onto the UK market.
It borrows the clever design of the petrol-powered i car and adds an electric drive system which, according to the specification, looks like it will prove viable for lots of city dwellers.
The performance figures for the i MiEV wouldn’t be unusual if they applied to a rather sluggish supermini but that serves as a ringing endorsement of the car’s groundbreaking powertrain. The electric motor can get the car from naught to 60mph in 13 seconds and has a motorway-friendly 87mph top speed. Less orthodox is the torque of 182Nm which is readily available thanks to the electric motor’s on/off operation. That’s about what you might expect from a 1.6-litre petrol engine and it means that the i MiEV should be more than capable tackling steep inclines and travelling fully loaded.
So we come to the nuts and bolts of whether the i MiEV is a viable proposition in the UK market. For a start, it’s an emissions free vehicle which comes with all kinds of tax advantages. In fact, Mitsubishi estimates that the car costs just £115 to run for 12,000 miles which really puts the prices we’re paying to run our conventional cars into perspective.
Predicting the future is a dangerous game but with electric cars in showrooms and attitudes changing, it’s not too hard to foresee a time when significant numbers of us want to own them.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Mitsubishi I MiEV
PRICE: £28,990 inc VAT (£23,990 inc £5,000 government grant)
INSURANCE GROUP: 27
CO2 EMISSIONS: Zero
PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph 13s / Max Speed 87mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 80-100m range from a six-hour charge.
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: twin airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat mountings
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: length/width/heightmm 3475/1475/1610.