If reducing emissions is the mission, then zero emissions would be the goal. Mitsubishi believes their i-MiEV car is the future of green technology, which produces zero CO2. Mitsubishi believes that EV (Electric Vehicles) are a priority and are focused on making the i-MiEV the pinnacle of environmental technology. The i-MiEV is an all electric car, that even when considering the CO2 costs with plugging the vehicle into the wall at night, still produces less than 30% of the CO2 that a normal internal combustion engine would.
The i-MiEV is being built with infrastructure in mind and ease of use until charge stations are as frequent as gas stations. Already a feet of i-MiEV’s have been used at power companies throughout Japan to test their practicality and quick charge capabilities. Charging the i-MiEV takes about 14 hours on a normal 120v household plugin and only 7 hours if plugged into a 200v service. The type of stations Mitsubishi hopes will be implemented will bring total charge time down to just 30 mins, utilizing 200v 3 phase electric services.
It’s small on size and capacity, but it’s sacrificed int he name of efficiency and targets the short commute niche. The i-MiEV has a curb weight of just under 2400 lbs and seats 4. Although you might not rush out to drive this thing on the Auto Bahn, it is capable of 80 miles per hour, which is fast enough to commute over freeways and interstates. Also, under normal load, the i-MiEV is capable of a range of 100 miles. The isn’t as limiting as one might think, considering it can be recharged at almost any electrical outlet or during a normal 8 hour work day if 200v service is offered.
Power is achieved through an advanced permanent magnet synchronous motor. The all electric motor in the i-MiEV is capable of producing about 63 horsepower, which is transferred to the rear wheels. The electric battery is a Lithium-ion with a 330v capacity. With a fully charged battery, under normal load, produces around 16kWh.
Development and research began back in 2006 and fleet testing began in 2008. For Mitsubishi the future is the EV and hopefully for those of us looking for an ultra efficient option, we’ll have access to them in the US soon.