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back to article Mitsubishi finalises mass-market e-car production plans

Today is World Environment Day, so what better time for Mitsubishi to announce final production plans for its i-MiEV mass-market e-car. Mitsubishi_imiev_final_01 Mitsubishi's i-MiEV: the first true mass-market leccy car? And the announcement’s definitely worth celebrating, because the i-MiEV’s arguably the first mass-market …

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Nice car

Nice looking car and pretty practical too. However, PLEASE don't slip into the whole "pre" bollox. What does "Pre-order" mean? To place an order for something is to book/reserve in advance. To "pre-order" is literally meaningless.

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Only 29k

Let me see: if I trade in my M reg Montego I can get 2k off that price, and then it's only Twenty-seven thousand pounds!

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Fail

Sorry, but £30k for a small hatchback with a 100 mile "suburban" range? That really isn't mass market.

Well done for trying, and they're getting closer - £15k and a 200 mile range and you may just about get me interested, but for now the answer is no.

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Flame

Hmmmmm

So. A journey of 200 miles will take 2 hours 50 minutes at motorway speeds in a petrol car, no fuel stop needed.

In this electric car....I think we can assume that at a constant 70mph, that 100 miles range will drop to about 75. So, we get the following...

75 miles (1 hr 4 min)

Fill up to 80% (30 min)

60 miles (50 min)

Fill up to 80% (30 min)

60 miles (50 min)

Fill up to 80% (30 min)

5 miles (4 min)

Total time, 4 hrs 18 mins.

So....an extra hour and a half, and three fill-ups instead of none.

One fill up every 60 miles instead of what....one every 300?

Who wants to make five times as many fuel stops? Not me.

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Anonymous Coward

gears selector

why is regenerative braking "B" on the gear selector? Is that really mutually exclusive to Drive and / or Eco modes? Do you pull the gearstick backwards to slow it down instead of having it hooked up to the big pedal instead?

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Excellent

About bloomin' time - they've been announcing this for years now

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Uhm....

That's a LOT of money for a "mass market" automobile... It's literally twice almost any other car made by Mitsubishi.

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Syd

Mass Market?

Thirty grand? That's not mass-market even in Berkshire! (Maybe in Surrey though!)

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Paris Hilton

"...appear with Peugeot branding."

They can't do that!

It's not a fugly, wide-mouthed-frog POS and it'll have Jap levels of reliability. It'll look about as much at home with a Peugeot badge on it as Paris would in a boiler suit with rigger boots and welding gloves.

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Close...

...but not worthy of that cigar yet. It certainly won't travel far in North America except in highly urban areas--the range just isn't there. And there's the matter of that price tag. Efficiency is good, yes, but not at exorbitant prices.

So forget a better mousetrap. How about a better battery?

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Pirate

So $47,000???

So not a car for the masses then... Only for the rich eco-freaks who like to smell their own farts.

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Range is still crap

You're going to have to have at least a 300 mile range to interest me. What if I want to go to the festivals I like that always seem to be held in bloody Devon? My Polo will get me there on a full tank and probably be up for getting me part of the way back again. This would hardly even make it to Birmingham.

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Amps?

Can you drive the thing in the rain with the lights and wipers on?

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Maybe appropriate as a second vehicle

@Jim Coleman - Thanks for doing the math for us. Yep, this car definitely doesn't have the range for long trips.

When I read about these cars, my first reaction is that I sort of want one. The vast majority of my car activity consists of short trips around town. It would be cool if the vehicle ran quiet and could be charged at home.

However... I wouldn't want it to be my only car, because the range (and lack of electric charging stations) limit its versatility.

So maybe this justifies the price point. My theory is that if you're buying an electric car, you want it because of the novelty. And if you're buying a car as a toy, that probably means you have a good bit of cash to throw at it.

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CC

A beginning

47 grand including taxes and the Tesla S is 49 grand less taxes, one looks like a car the other a pregnant roller skate..

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I can't believe

No one noticed that it has a petrol gauge.

Look at the upper left.

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Chris Collins

Can you drive *your* car in the rain with your lights and wipers on?

Course you can, because the power from it comes from an alternator run from wheels. It also keeps the battery topped up. No one's said leccy cars don't have one too, or that they'll not have a secondary, small battery to run hi-fi etc when you're parked.

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Tom
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@Tony Smith

So then, you're saying that the 3rd law of thermodynamics has been repealed for electric cars?

Granted, it's been some years now since I had my primary school physics intro, but I hadn't seen any news about that elsewhere. And I'd imagine the U.S. Patent Office would have to revise the one sane rule they have: you know, the one about you can't apply for a patent on a perpetual energy machine.

Or to simplify it a bit for you, petrol cars can generate battery energy because they convert some of the chemical energy of the petrol into the electrical for the ignition and other car electronics. But in the electric car, all of the energy has to come from the battery, including the energy that might be derived by running an alternator from the wheels. You can recover some of the energy that might be lost to breaking by converting it to electrical, but there will be significant losses for friction in your proposed solution.

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@Robert Moore

Took a close look. But the thing at the end of the thing looks more like a PLUG than a pump handle. Pretty sure it's meant to be a battery meter.

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defining "typical"

Note that "typical Japanese suburban driving" means "never exceed 50kph, probably not get over 40kph, and EVERYTHING you need, including the pachinko house, is within 20 to 30km of where you live".

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Stop

Why charge?

I've never understood this need for recharging the batteries. Why not have hot swap batteries that are precharged? You pay a fee at the 'gas' station and your exhausted batteries are removed on a slideout mechanism and replaced with fully charged ones. They can pack and stack em on a fast charge system ready for the next customer. You would never truly own one set of batteries as they would always be in circulation.

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Anonymous Coward

@Tom

Tom, a car is a closed system - you can only get X amount of power from a full tank of petrol or a full charge of a battery. Drive any car with the air con, lights, ICE, seat massagers, wipers, etc etc etc on and you will use more power. And I am struggling to see how the 3rd law applies - 1st yes, but 3rd?

@Robert - I suspect that's P for Power not Petrol! That's why there is a plug coming out of the side of the gas pump/charge post thing-a-me-jig in the graphic.

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Gates Halo

Really £20K extra for the leccy tech?

We have the petrol version of this car and it rocks for around town. Comfortably seats 4 people or two people and bicycle(s), zippy, turning circle like a black cab. However it was only £9K. Hard to imagine that using electric instead of petrol costs £20K extra...

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