Mitsubishi has reduced the i-MiEV’s launch pricing to £28,990 for orders placed for delivery from January 1st 2011.
This coincides with the UK Government’s recently confirmed consumer incentive of £5,000 – which means customers will only have to pay £23,990. This is exactly the same price as the Nissan LEAF .
This is a significant reduction from the original price of £38,699, which did seem extremely high.
Over 2,300 i-MiEVs have been operating on Japanese roads since full production started in July 2009 – making Mitsubishi Motors the first manufacturer to mass-produce an electric vehicle in the world.
The i-MiEV has been proving its reliability and usefulness on the UK’s roads since 2007, and has been involved in official government end-user trials since mid-December 2009 with customers in the Coventry and Birmingham area. Some of the key findings of the trial are highly relevant to prospective purchasers of the i-MiEV.
The i-MiEVs have been used like a typical UK driver in a petrol or diesel engine car with the majority of journeys are less than five miles. Interestingly, this is when conventional car engines are just warming up and are at their most polluting, and catalytic converters are at their least effective. The average daily mileage has been just 23 miles, which is well within the i-MiEV’s 90 mile range, and drivers use the entire speed range of the car, showing they are happy to drive at motorway speeds when required.
In addition to this price reduction, the ultra-low running costs of the i-MiEV are a key advantage over other cars, with additional incentives including:
• Only £144 fuel costs for 12,000 miles driving (£0.96 pence for a full charge – 16kW at an average of 6p per kW)
• Low servicing costs and downtime – only approximately 4 working parts compared to over 300 in a typical internal combustion engine
• Exempt from road tax
• First year capital allowances for fleet vehicles
• Zero benefit-in-kind company car tax
• Exempt from London Congestion Charge
• Free parking in some London boroughs and cities such as Milton Keynes
• Expected high residual values due to high demand outstripping supply for several years to come.