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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Electric Car for the Masses - Mitsubishi Miev

2012 Mitsubishi Miev (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle)

The electric motors are in the wheels.

Everyone is waiting for a small practical inexpensive electric car. Toyota and General Motors are flirting with it with their hybrids. The Nissan Leaf has some neat angles and a market plan. But to me - the one to bank on may be the Mitsubishi Miev.

They have been making this same car in Japan since 2006. It first started out with a small 700cc gasoline engine. But they engineered it to house a very flat lithium ion battery under the floor - giving the car both excellent handling and gobs of space inside for passengers and cargo. I owned an electric motor scooter with the motor inside the wheel hub - but this is the first car I re-call since the moon rover to put the motors directly where the action is - in the wheels.

The Miev is already available in Europe and I intend to drive one in London. We will spend a day in Paris - where you can rent one for $50 euros for a half day.

What is really exciting is they have found a way to offer this car in the USA in Jan 2012 for under $19,500 - that is after the $7500 federal tax credit.

This car holds 4 people - looks decent - goes 70 mph - and has a range of 100 miles. It can be plugged into a regular 110 volt house outlet to charge it in 12 hours or cut that time in half with a 220 volt dryer outlet. They offer a supper fast direct current charger that will put a full charge in the battery in 30 minutes.

Mitsubishi is a big manufacturer in Japan. Unfortunately - the dealer here in Tallahassee went out of business.

Lithium Ion Batteries pack almost three times the power in the same size as Lead Acids - like the ones in my golf cart.

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