According to a Mitsubishi spokesman, Australia will have its first plug-in electric car by the end of next year.
The Mitsubishi i MiEV should be in showrooms by the final months of 2009 with a starting price in the $30,000 range.
The company plans to skip the petrol hybrid phase of future car development and go straight to an electric vehicle. “Mitsubishi don’t make hybrid cars. They make electric cars. And we will have one here as soon as we possibly can,” says the Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors Australia, Rob McEniry.
The i-MiEV has three motors – one turns each of the front wheels, with the third powering the back axle. Although the i-MiEV is slightly shorter than a Toyota Yaris or Mazda 2, the small engines and placement of the lithium-ion battery pack in the rear of the car, create maximum cabin space. It has a claimed top speed of 180km/h and a range of 200km.