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by Tim Beissmann

Mitsubishi will produce a cheaper version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle around the beginning of next year.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. President, Osamu Masuko, said the entry-level i-MiEV would have a shorter driving range and would become the first EV on sale in Japan for less than two million yen ($23,200).

The full-range i-MiEV is currently on sale in Japan for 3.98 million yen ($46,200), although government subsidies bring that down to 2.98 million yen ($34,600). It’s key competitor, the Nissan LEAF, is similarly priced at around three million yen.

Including subsidies, the Nikkei newspaper has predicted the price of the short-range i-MiEV could be as low as 1.7 million yen ($19,750).

The significant savings will be a result of the reduced capacity of the lithium-ion battery. While the standard Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a full range of about 160km, the cheaper i-MiEV is expected to have a range of between 100km and 120km.

Effectively, customers of the new i-MiEV will lose 30 percent of driving range but save 40 percent on the total vehicle price.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia announced last week that the full-range Mitsubishi i-MiEV would go on sale to the public in August with a price of around $50,000.

With the same percentages applied, the short-range i-MiEV would effectively cost $30,000 in Australia.

Would you be more likely to buy an i-MiEV if it cost $30,000? Or is 120km too impractical for Australian driving conditions?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.




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