Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mitsubishi Set i-Miev EV Low Price for fighting Nissan LEAF

Japan’s first mass-marketed electric car, has gone on sale. Its debut has also set off a price war, with Mitsubishi slashing its cost on the first day by around a fifth.

The four-seater bubble-shaped i-MiEV from Japan’s fifth-biggest automaker, costs about 30,000 US dollars.

That price follows government incentives bringing the price down from about 40,000 US dollars.

The company says it has received about two thousand advance orders in Japan for the i-MiEV, which stands for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle.

Proud buyer Chitoshi Okunuki, placed an order in August. He runs a convenience store and has been developing his own electric car. He says the i-MiEV is very quiet.

Chitoshi Okunuki said, “I have been developing an electric car myself using a conventional car. But, this is a mass marketed one and it feels safer and more reliable to drive than my own invention.”

The i-MiEV, with a cruising range of 160 kilometers on a single charge, can be recharged from a regular socket at home but that takes 14 hours.

It takes just 30 minutes using a more powerful charging station. But there are only 60 across Japan.

Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday it will begin selling its Leaf electric vehicle in December priced at 3.76 million yen.

The automaker, which will begin taking orders for the car Thursday, also said the car can be purchased for 2.99 million yen including the expected state subsidy for eco cars of 770,000 yen.

Nissan aims at taking the lead in the intensifying electric vehicle market by selling a relatively low-priced model, observers said.