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2010 Mitsubishi iMiEV at the Vancouver Auto Show

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"Run with Zero CO2," is Mitsubishi's tag line for its hi-tech purely electric vehicle known curiously as the i MiEV. This is a true plug-in vehicle, which Mitsubishi is fleet testing on the roads of Japan.


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