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Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Mitsubishi i-MiEV charging
Mitsubishi i-MiEV

LIKE IT or not the age of the electric car is here and we are just going to have to get away from the milk float mentality.

For the traditional motorist, the thought of plugging your car in at night and having to put up with a range of under 100 miles per charge may seem strange and somewhat restrictive, but Mitsubishi is going full steam into these relatively uncharted waters with its i-MiEV electric city car.

Mitsubishi has to be congratulated for its work in the world of electric wheels being the first manufacturer to mass-produce an electric vehicle with full on-line production starting last July.

It is also the first manufacturer to fully test an electric vehicle in real world conditions with real customers and the first manufacturer to announce UK pricing and specifications.

Customer orders for its car are now being taken in the UK for delivery next year and customers are being given the chance of taking advantage of the Government's £5,000 consumer incentive

Mitsubishi has reduced the i-MiEV's launch pricing to £28,990 for orders placed for delivery from January 1 2011.

This coincides with the UK Government's recently confirmed consumer incentive of £5,000 - which means customers will only have to pay £23,990.

The i-MiEVs that have been tested in the UK have been used like a typical UK petrol or diesel engine car when the majority of journeys are less than five miles.

Interestingly, this is when conventional car engines are just warming up and are at their most polluting, and catalytic converters are at their least effective.

The average daily mileage has been just 23 miles, which is well within the i-MiEV's 90 mile range, and drivers use the entire speed range of the car, showing they are happy to drive at motorway speeds when required.

So what will it cost to run? Mitsubishi says that at 96p for a full charge the i-MiEV will cost only £144 for 12,000 miles.You pay no road tax, there are no benefit in kind penalties and it is exempt from congestion charges.

And in some London boroughs and towns such as Milton Keynes parking is free. Another plus point is that the car can achieve 81 mph when required.

Suddenly that seemingly low range of 90 miles is sounding less of a barrier.

 

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