Mitsubishi to launch electric vehicles in Hawaii

The Japanese automaker announced it has chosen Hawaii and three other states for a North American launch of its 2012 Mitsubishi "i" electric cars in November. The i will carry a retail price of about $27,990. Federal and state tax credits could take the cost down to nearly $16,000.

Mitsubishi is the third major automaker to offer a mass-produced electric car in Hawaii. Company officials say the i will be available for test drives in Aiea in the fall. The electric vehicles will also be available in California, Oregon and Washington. The company has already set up a website for Hawaii residents to reserve the car with a refundable deposit.

Mitsubishi’s electric car is priced below the Leaf at about $33,000 and the Volt at $40,000, both before tax credits. But at 145 inches long with a curb weight of 2,595 pounds, the Mitsubishi i is significantly smaller. The Leaf is 175 inches long and weighs 3,354 pounds, while the Volt measures 177 inches and tips the scales at 3,781 pounds.

Mitsubishi said the i will be available for test drives at Cutter Mitsubishi in Aiea "later this fall." It expects the first vehicles will be available for purchase in November in Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington.

"We thank Mitsubishi Motors for choosing Hawaii as one of the first states to receive the new i electric car," said Estrella Seese, acting energy program administrator for the state energy office.

Hawaii residents can go to a Mitsubishi website,, and put down a refundable deposit of $299 to reserve a car. Mitsubishi said it will waive the $99.99 home electrical inspection fee for the first 2,000 people who place a reservation and purchase one of the electric cars.

The North American version of the i-MiEV, in comparison to the Japanese- and European-spec i-MiEVs, features an enhanced, enlarged body structure to secure plenty of space for four adults and better meet the expectations of U.S. consumers. In addition, the North American-spec i-MiEV’s front and rear bumpers are all-new. Airbags that detect passengers’ seating position and control deployment force, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Active Stability Control (ASC) are all standard equipment.

Also, with the Outlander Sport’s mating of a 2L MIVEC*1 engine to an INVECS*2 III-CVT Sportronic (six-speed sport-mode CVT) transmission (five-speed manual transmission also available on some trim levels), the Outlander Sport provides superior motive performance, fuel efficiency and low emissions in a compact CUV package that can seat five.
*1:Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system
*2:Intelligent and Innovative Vehicle Electronic Control System