Is There Demand for Three Mitsubishi Electric Vehicles?

By · December 12, 2011

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi execs confirm a 2013 launch of all-electric Mirage compact.

Mitsubishi is reported to be bumping up the nationwide roll-out of its all-electric i minicar based on high demand—but Autodata informed that the total number of i sales reported by the company in November was only four units. The Mitsubishi i officially launched in the US in November, with sales currently limited to West Coast states and Hawaii. December will be the first full month of retails sales for the i.

The company conducted its very first fleet delivery of the 2012 Mitsubishi i to the Bay Area's City CarShare in a special ceremony in front of San Francisco City Hall Plaza on Dec. 8.

Mitsubishi is also reportedly planning to release an electric version of its compact Mirage in mid-2013—and is close to production on its PX-MiEV crossover plug-in hybrid. It's uncertain how the company will market two small electric cars, assuming that they will be offered at similar prices with similar driving range and capability. The Mirage is the more conventional looking vehicle—with a presumed wider appeal to American drivers.

If Mitsubishi delivers on it plans, it will have three plug-in vehicles available about 18 months from now. The third is the PX-MiEV plug-in hybrid, which will be introduced in the United States as Outlander Sport in 2013. The PX-MiEV II—the concept version shown at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show—is described as a twin-motor, mid-size, all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid that offers a "long cruising range" and acceleration comparable to a 3.0-liter V6-equipped SUV. The PX-MiEV II concept features a lithium-ion battery pack of undisclosed capacity and a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine. The twin electric motors pump out 60 kW (80.5 horsepower) each, with one motor spinning the front wheels and the other powering the crossover's rear wheels.

We will be paying close attention to December sales numbers for the i electric car, to see if the demand for Mitsubishi's first electric car is strong—setting a path for success for its future plug-in releases.

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