The odd nomenclature is really an acronym for Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle. This futuristic people mover will comfortably seat four adults while carrying a reasonable load of luggage. It's capable of 130-kph and boasts a range of 160km.
The i MiEV can be recharged from household current or from high intensity speed-charging stations. Depending on source, the charge times range from 30 minutes to 14 hours. A bank of high capacity lithium-ion batteries is installed under the floor. The positioning of the batteries improves handling by lowering the vehicle's centre of gravity.
A single highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motor sends power, estimated to be 63 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque, to the rear wheels. The absence of an internal combustion engine ensures a near-silent ride.
An Eco-mode (economy) reduces power consumption and output in order to extend the i MiEV's driving range. A Brake-mode enables regenerative braking to help recharge the battery when descending long hills.
The i MiEV will soon be available to the Japanese motoring public. Is this the future of motoring worldwide? We'll know soon enough. Keep those extension cords handy.
photo:Mitsubishi, Philippe Champoux