If you could, would you drive a car which emits no carbon dioxide and, consequently, has a vastly reduced effect on our environment, yet demands absolutely no compromise in terms of comfort, convenience or fun? Of course you would; and now you can.
After decades of experimentation, innovation and trials you can now buy the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, a pure-EV which not only provides all the sophistication you’d expect from a modern car, but actually surpasses its old-technology rivals around the environment for which it is built - twenty-first century urban streets. Furthermore, the UK government will reward you with all manner of incentives to drive it: no road tax to pay, no Benefit in Kind company car tax to pay, no London congestion charge to pay, no parking fees to pay in many areas, one hundred percent write-down allowance against Corporation Tax in the first year and a very generous £5,000 Plug-in Car Grant towards its purchase price.
Thanks to the advances in large lithium-ion battery technology, the new generation pure-EVs like i-MiEV give a range of around 90 miles on a full charge. Now compared to a full tank of fuel this may not seem very far, but the fact is that 70 percent of UK drivers travel less than 50 miles a day and, unlike a fossil fuel car, you don’t have to make a special journey to recharge; indeed, with the i-MiEV all you need do is plug it into a 13A socket when you get home, or to the office, or to the car park. The car park? Yes, the government has allocated £30 million to providing plug in places in public places like shopping centres and car parks in major conurbations throughout England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are web sites to keep you up to date with their locations, as well as downloads for your satellite navigation and ’phone. The future of personal transport has arrived - its face is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV
To drive the i-MiEV is like nothing you have ever driven before. It is both relaxing and exciting in equal measures; it is also very, very easy. There is no noise, just the whisper of rubber on asphalt; there is no vibration as there is with a fossil fuel engine; there are no fumes, at least not from your car; and progression is silky smooth since you never change gear. Yet here is a car with the power to leave others standing. Far, far more responsive than you’d experience in any small fossil fuel car it exhibits a huge amount of torque right from the off. There is no lag, no slow progression of power; instead acceleration is instant, resulting in flying starts from traffic lights, junctions and roundabouts. This is all due to a highly efficient, permanent magnet synchronous motor, which generates high torque at low speeds, combined with the i-MiEV’s lightweight steel monocoque body. What’s more, the driving dynamics are superb - the long wheelbase, wheel-at-each-corner stance and low centre of gravity together promoting exceptional stability, whilst there’s an excellent stability and traction control system to step in if things ever do slip slightly out of control.
Using the on-board charger, the vehicle can be charged with a standard UK 240V domestic power source. All you need is a three pin plug socket and the car will charge itself from completely flat to 100 in 7 hours. In addition, when rapid chargers (currently being developed by power companies) are available, it will be possible to charge the vehicle from flat to 80 full in 30 minutes.
The i-MiEV is a zero-emissions vehicle. Even when taking into account CO2 emissions at the power plants which generate the power needed for charging the car, it emits approximately 30% of the CO2 of a petrol city car.
SAVING YOU MONEY
The cost per mile to drive the i-MiEV is less than 6% than that of a comparable petrol vehicle - and this is before you’ve taken into account zero road tax (VED) and free parking.
Strong acceleration is achieved through a compact and highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motor, which generates high torque at low speeds. In the real world this makes pulling away from junctions in and around town and overtaking other traffic a pleasure, not a chore.
PEACE AND QUIET
Because the vehicle uses an electric motor, free from the vertical vibration associated with petrol and diesel engines, it runs extremely quietly and smoothly. There is almost no noise, vibration or harshness, which emphasises the refined quality of the car's all-round performance.
One of the i-MiEV’s many clever features is regenerative braking. During driving, as soon as the accelerator pedal is released the motor functions as a power generator, converting the i-MiEV’s kinetic energy into electricity to recharge the traction battery. This feels similar to engine braking in a petrol or diesel-powered car and the effect can be varied, depending on driving conditions, by selecting one of three gearshift positions - D is the standard drive mode for urban driving; compared to the D position, B mode increases the regenerative braking effect during downhill driving, whilst C mode reduces it for smoother progress during longer runs where moments of acceleration and deceleration are limited.
- Fuel Consumption / Emissions
- Suspension / Steering / Transmission
- Weights / Volumes
- Security and Safety
|Motor type||AC, permanent magnet synchronous|
|Rated output kW (bhp)||35 (47)|
|Max. output kw (bhp) / rpm||49 (66)/2500-8000|
|Max. torque Nm (lb.ft) / rpm||180 (133)/0-2000|
|Maximum speed mph (kph)||81 (130)|
|Acceleration 0-62 mph secs||15.9|
|Traction Battery type||Lithium-ion|
|Charging time Domestic supply Full charge||Approx. 7 hours (at 220-240V, 13A)|
|Charging time Rapid charger 80% charge||Approx. 30 minutes (at 3-phase 200V-50kW)|
|Maximum range (NEDC) miles (km)||93 (150)|
|Electric energy Consumption (NEDC)*5 Wh/km||135|
|High voltage cut-off system||✔|
|Suspension - Front||MacPherson strut, coil springs with stabilizer bar|
|Suspension - Rear||Rear 3-link De Dion|
|Brakes||Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (ABS +EBD) and Brake Assist|
|Brakes - Front||10.1" Ventilated discs|
|Brakes - Rear||8" Drums|
|Steering||Rack and pinion with electronic power assistance|
|Min. turning circle m(ft)||9.0 (29.5)|
|Tyres Front||145/65R15 72S|
|Tyres Rear||175/55R15 77V|
|Wheels Front||15" x 4.0J alloy|
|Wheels Rear||15" x 5.0J alloy|
|Driveline / Transmission Type||Rear-mounted motor/rear wheel drive|
|Transmission||Manual 1 speed fixed gear|
|Final Gear Ratio||6.066|
|Exterior l x w x h in mm||3475 x 1475 x 1610|
|Exterior width over extended door mirrors mm||1855|
|Interior l x w x h in mm||1790 x 1270 x 1250|
|Ground clearance (unladen) mm||150|
|Track Front/Rear mm||1310/1270|
|Gross vehicle weight - kg (lbs)||1450 (3197)|
|Kerb weight - kg (lbs)||1110 (2447)|
|Motor immobiliser and alarm||✔|
|Central door locking with keyless entry||✔|
|ABS with EBD and Brake Assist||✔|
|Airbags SRS – dual front, front side and front/rear curtain||✔|
|Airbag, front passenger deactivation switch||✔|
|Child proof rear door locks||✔|
|ISO-FIX child seat anchor x 2||✔|
|Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control (M-ASTC)||✔|
|Seatbelts, 3-point ELR with pretensioners and force limiters, front||✔|
|Tyre inflation kit||✔|