Mitsubishi Motors to Introduce electric car i-MiEV to U.S. Consumers in 2011

Green-thinking Boston drivers can now look forward to another electric car entering the mix in 2011. Mitsubishi Motors has announced that they will counter the 2011 arrival of the Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus Electric and Chevy Volt with their own electric-powered model, the i-MiEV (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle). Next year, they plan to release the zero-emissions model to dealer showrooms across the United States. Quirk Mitsubishi, a leading Greater Boston Mitsubishi dealer, anticipates this to be a highly coveted vehicle.

"A major shift is happening in the auto industry in response to limited oil resources, CO2 emissions and the goal to be more environmentally responsible. Mitsubishi is leading the way with advanced vehicles like the electric powered i-MiEV," said Quirk Mitsubishi General Manager Phil Ternullo. "People here in Massachusetts care strongly about the environment and lowering our impact. As a local Mitsubishi dealer, we are excited and proud that Mitsubishi is adding this vehicle to its lineup and contributing to a cleaner landscape on our roadways."

In 2009, Mitsubishi Motors released the i MiEV to the Japanese market as part of its Drive@Earth green initiative. The technology and performance of the compact vehicle saw it win awards in Japan, including the "Most Advanced Technology" award at the 41st Tokyo International Motor Show. The car also recently won the "Environmental Special Grand Prize" at the 25th International Automobile festival in Paris.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the i-MiEV’s electric motor generates high torque at low speeds for quick acceleration. The car reaches a top speed of around 82 mph and, under ideal driving conditions, a driver can travel 100 miles on a full charge. It’s chargeable from a home power source, and there is a plan in place for "Quick Chargers" to be installed at select gas stations in the near future. The battery also collects energy from regenerative braking while driving.

Mitsubishi expects the i-MiEV to be an ideal urban commuter. At just 133.7 inches long and 63.4 inches tall, the compact vehicle is designed to make the most of its electric power while easily negotiating congested streets like those of the Boston area. The EV (electric vehicle) also seats up to four passengers and has a reasonable amount of rear cargo room for its size.

"Boston has tight streets that are some of the most crowded and traffic prone in the country," said Ternullo. "The i-MiEV is well-suited for Hub drivers that need a vehicle to get around the city. Its design is in line with the current trend of urban-friendly smart cars, but it is completely gas-free."

Running on electric power only, the car itself emits zero carbon emissions. Even if the carbon output produced by the power plants that fuel the car is factored in, it would still amount to only 30% of the CO2 emissions of a gas-powered small car. The i-MiEV is only the beginning; Mitsubishi plans to make 20% of its lineup either electric or plug-in hybrid models by 2020.

Quirk Mitsubishi, located minutes from downtown Boston on the McGrath Highway in Quincy, has been serving the Boston area for more than 30 years. With dedicated, knowledgeable sales and service professionals, Quirk works to build lifelong relationships with its customers and save them money on their Mitsubishi purchases.