Mitsubishi has cut a staggering £9,709 from the price of the electric i-MiEV – before the first UK example has been delivered to UK customers.
The all-electric i-MiEV will now cost £28,990. Include the recently confirmed Government incentive of £5,000 and this is reduced to £23,990. The new price is identical to what Nissan is asking for its new Leaf electric car.
It means the first electric car duel is underway in the UK new car market, and Mitsubishi is claiming first blood by being, well, the first. The i-MiEV has been operating in Japan for 18 months now, and more than 2,300 have been produced. This, says the firm, is helping prove the technology.
In March 2010, Mitsubishi announced that the i-MiEV would cost a staggering £38,699. With the £5,000 Government incentive, this reduced to a still-eyewatering £33,699. It grabbed the headlines, but for the wrong reasons.
Now the firm has seen sense and reduced the list price. Luckily, it has done so before any cars reached UK customers: we at Which? wonder if a scarcity of orders (Mitsubishi will only reveal that ‘several orders’ have already been placed) meant few were likely to sell at the £33k price tag anyway.
It is now expected a reasonable upturn in orders will follow, from all customer types – private buyers, small businesses and large fleets. Orders must be placed at the special Mitsubishi Electric Vehicle Centre in central London. The capital is where most are expected to be sold.
What’s the appeal of an electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV, then? The firm points out lots of advantages: £144 ‘fuel’ costs for 12,000 miles of motoring, for example. No car tax or company car tax, plus free parking in many cities are also benefits. With just four working parts in the motor (compared to a regular engine’s 300-plus parts) it should mean cheaper servicing as well.
The i-MiEV has a 90-mile range, an 81mph top speed, can seat four and offers flat-to-90% recharges in half an hour (a full recharge, however, takes 9 hours). There is a five-year battery warranty for peace of mind, while £300 buys three years’ servicing under the Mitsubishi Service Plan.
Interested? Well, it looks like you’re safe to order with confidence now. We can’t imagine another price cut of this scale any time soon…