Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced Thursday that it will launch the new MINICAB-MiEV minicar-class commercial electric vehicle – the second product in its next-generation EV lineup – on December 8, 2011 at dealerships throughout Japan.
Depending on specifications, the Mitsubishi MINICAB-MiEV will carry a manufacturer’s recommended retail price of between 2.4 million yen and 2.971 million yen (between $31,140 and $38,550 at today’s exchange rate), before government subsidies. Including the government subsidies, the MINICAB-MiEV will start at 1.73 million yen ($22,300).
As with the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the MINICAB-MiEV will be sold on a maintenance lease, credit or cash basis.
Derived from the MINICAB Van minicar-class commercial vehicle, the MINICAB-MiEV has been developed maximizing the technologies and knowhow gained from the development of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV in delivering the superior environmental performance inherent to an EV, together with the high levels of operating economy, payload capacity, drivability and reliability demanded of a commercial vehicle.
The MINICAB-MiEV will come with a choice of two sizes of drive battery to allow the customer to choose the cruising range best suited to his or her needs. The 10.5 kWh battery version provides a cruising range of 100km (62 miles), at JC08 mode, on a single charge, while the 16.0 kWh version takes this up to 150km (93 miles).
Mitsubishi Motors said it aims to sell 4,000 Minicab MiEVs by March 31. In the 12-month period starting next April it targets sales of 50,000 EVs, including the i-MiEV, Minicab-MiEV, and versions of both models built under original equipment manufacturing (OEM) deals.
The Japanese automaker has sold about 17,000 electric vehicles (EVs) globally so far, including those supplied under PSA Peugeot Citroen’s brands, since the launch of the tiny i-MiEV in mid-2009.
Commercial vehicles are usually owned longer and cover longer cumulative mileages than family cars; so the MINICAB-MiEV also offers possible advantages over a comparable gasoline-powered in terms of total operating cost, including the price of the vehicle, because the main running cost is just that of the comparatively inexpensive electricity used to charge its battery. Further, because the MINICAB-MiEV can be charged at the business or at home it eliminates the need to make separate journeys to gasoline stations.
The MINICAB MiEV shares the following components with the i-MiEV: drive battery, motor, inverter, on-board charger, air-conditioner and rear suspension.
The MINICAB MiEV uses the same 10.5 kWh and 16.0 kWh lithium-ion drive batteries as the i-MiEV, and these provide a cruising range ample for normal minicar-class commercial vehicle use.
As on the i-MiEV, the driver can use the drive selector to choose from three modes: “D,” “Eco,” and “B.” This allows him or her to choose between normal operation, lower output/energy-saving operation, and operation in which the regenerative brake bias is increased.
All models are fitted with ABS and TCL (traction control) as standard, and with a vehicle-approaching alert system which, at vehicle speeds of approximately 25 km/h (15.5 mph) or less, emits an audible warning to alert pedestrians to the approach of the vehicle.
For regular charging purposes The MINICAB-MiEV comes standard with a 200V AC (15 amp) cable that fits outdoor sockets used for EV battery charging. A 100V AC (10 amp) cable and a Quick Charging Connector are available as factory-supplied options.
The MINICAB-MiEV comes in a choice of three body colors: White Solid, Cool Silver Metallic and Titanium Grey Metallic. Exclusive decals (for the body sides and tailgate) which accent the advanced nature of EVs are available as factory-supplied options.
The high-capacity drive battery is located under the floor and the motor, inverter and other EV components are located under the cargo compartment. The result is cargo compartment space and payload capacity of 350kg with two occupants.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]