AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
When it comes to technology, having the latest gadgets makes you look both smart and cool, but does that strategy work with cars? Automakers say that electric vehicles are the future of the industry, but even with many EVs on the market, they may not be the perfect choice for you.
With electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles getting their prices slashed this year, it’s no surprise that residual values are also being cut.
10. Volvo C30 - 2,827 Units Sold
After checking out the top 10 best selling vehicles of last year, it’s now time to take a look at the worst performers on dealerships lots.
It isn’t a huge surprise to see the Volvo C30 on the list at 10th place, considering the Swedish automaker decided to give the vehicle the axe at the end of 2012. The Volvo C30 was on the market for six years in North America and sold only 26,000 units.
Ford recently announced the EPA fuel efficiency rating for its electric Focus model. Since it doesn’t burn any gasoline, the number isn’t in miles per gallon (MPG), but was given as miles per gallon gasoline equivalent, or MPGe. A new term to the automotive lexicon, it’s worth exploring exactly what MPGe means and how an MPGe rating is determined, especially as the number of electric cars and plug-in electric hybrids on the roads continues to increase.
Contrary to public belief, Mitsubishi still sells cars in America. And the company is hard at work on hybrid technology: they are planning to sell three electric versions of their vehicles: the i-MiEV, the Outlander, and the Outlander Sport.
The kidney-shaped i-MiEV is already available in America, and is fully electric-powered. But the other two vehicles will likely be plug-in hybrids: the compact Outlander Sport will be introduced first, while the larger Outlander will be available globally in 2013.
Like PBS, Mitsubishi is looking to be known as The Electric Company: by 2015 they aim to have eight vehicles that are either fully-electric or plug-in hybrids. To start things off, the i-MiEV will be available early next year across the country.
[Source: NZ Herald]
Mitsubishi is becoming much more aggressive regarding future EV sales in its home market of Japan. Currently Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV sells for 3.98 million yen which equals $49,200. Government subsidies bring the price down a million yen equalling $36,900. The i-MiEV’s chief rival, the Nissan Leaf costs 3.76 million yen which equals $46,500 before subsidies and is the more popular choice compared to the Mitsubishi.
However, Mitsubishi will slash a million yen off the i-MiEV’s retail price to improve sales, bringing down the price to around 2 million yen or $24,700. The big savings are coming from a smaller battery. The existing model was good for 160 km (100 miles) per battery charge whereas the new model can only travel 120 km (75 miles). The Leaf can achieve only 100 miles per charge.
Prices in the United States are much cheaper, with the 2012 i-MiEV selling for $27,990 before the Federal $7,500 EV tax credit and state incentives. California and Hawaii go a step further with rebates, and in EV can be picked up for as low as $15,500 in these locales.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
The i-MiEV electric mini car has only just gone on sale in North America but already Mitsubishi is looking to expand its offering of EVs.
Speaking at a shareholder meeting in Tokyo Mitsubishi Motors president Osamu Masuko commented that the automaker is currently studying whether to produce electric versions of cars other than mini-cars like the iMiEV. Possible candidates could include the new Global Small Car Concept as well as the Colt sub-compact.
The automaker’s immediate plans in the electric vehicle segment include two new minicars based on the i-MiEV, including a more budget-oriented version of the original, as well as the Minicab-MiEV designed for light commercial duty.
Mitsubishi‘s diminutive i electric vehicle is undergoing some fairly substantial changes when it makes its debut on our shores, the most significant being a slight increase in length and a 5 inch bump in width, with the extra size added to help the car feel better during high speed highway driving.
While Japanese drivers experience mostly stop-and-go driving, Mitsubishi felt that the revamp was necessary to better adapt the vehicle to North American freeway travel. The car is set to launch in 8 months time, customers will be able to place orders for the $30,000 vehicle starting in the spring.
One sticking point for North Americans will be the extremely long charging times required with a 110 volt power source – as long as 22 hours. Mitsubishi representatives did not specify how long times will be with a 240 volt charger, only stating that it would be virtually necessary to install one.
[Source: Automotive News]
Hot on the heels of Mitsubishi’s joint venture announcement with Nissan comes word that the Japanese conglomerate is developing all of their future products with the ability to use hybrid or electric drive technology.
Mitsubishi’s German spokesman, Helmut Bauer, would only give a cryptic statement to a German magazine, claiming that “Every new car we develop will also be able to be driven by electricity”. Nothing more was said about the planned electrification of Mitsubishi’s lineup, but with the company fading fast into irrelevance, a drastic measure like this might be a shrewd move in light of their much touted i-MiEV electric car.
Like a lot of people, you may not be willing to take the plunge and buy an electric car. But now, you can rent one from Hertz.
It was announced recently that Hertz Corp. and Smart USA are joining forces to bring the all-electric version of the Fortwo mini to Connect by Hertz car sharing and Hertz Rent A Car locations in New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.
Starting December 15, you’ll be able to rent the Smart Fortwo in New York City through Hertz’s car sharing program, followed shortly by San Francisco and Washington DC. More cities will be added later next year. The Hertz Global EV program will offer a variety of electric and plug-in hybrids, including the Chevy Volt and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, to car sharing and rental customers.
Hertz has plans to employ a fleet of 2011 Fortwo electric drive vehicles across the United States, hoping to target early adopters of electric drive technology before series production begins in 2012 and as the car goes on sale through Smart USA’s dealer network.
Mitsubishi recently reached a milestone with the completion of their 5000th i-MiEV electric car, which rolled off the line at its Mizushima plant this week.
After starting production in June of 2009, the i-MiEV has been a hit in Japan, and will make its debut in America in late 2011 after being unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. The i-MiEV will also hit Europe next year, in advance of the car’s North American launch.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Citing the company’s long history of affordable compact cars that are environmentally sustainable, Mitsubishi today launched the U.S.-spec version of the electric i-MiEV at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.
With some 4,000 i-MiEV models already on the road in different parts of the world, the car is now somewhat familiar, but the U.S. version has a few changes on the outside and underneath. The front fascia, in particular, has been reworked for U.S. standards, and Mitsubishi tells us this four-passenger car is intended to be the first salvo in the company’s push towards better overall emissions and consumption by 2020.
Power comes from a lithium-ion battery and electric motor that can be recharged in 16 hours from a conventional household outlet or 8 hours using a 220V outlet. A special 220V quick charger will, however, be able to charge up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes.
The other announcement today was that Mitsubishi has teamed up with Eaton to supply home recharging stations, and Best Buy to sell and install them. One last mention was the pricing, which will start at under $30,000 before any government incentives – or the optional graphics packages that will be available when the car hits showrooms next Fall.
Cars will hit dealers in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii in November of next year with larger scale sales at the end of 2012.
GALLERY: U.S.-Spec Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Mitsubishi‘s mid-size offerings, already long in the tooth and outdated, may have to soldier on to 2013, after which point they will be unceremoniously executed as Mitsubishi shifts its focus from heavy, lumbering mid-size cars to small vehicles and electric powertrains.
Mitsubishi is currently lacking in capital, and is investing all of its cash in the development of a new global small car, that is slated to be production-ready by late 2012. Until then, the U.S. Mitsubishi range will undergo no changes, save for the introduction of the Outlander Sport and iMIEV.
With no mainstream product in sight for another years, it will be a tough road for Mitsubishi to keep selling cars in the United States as the competition gets better and better.
When you bought that new electric car of yours, we bet you thought you’d be saving all kinds of mad money. We hate to break it to you, but it turns out it is probably going to cost you more than an gas car in the long run.
Many people buy electric cars because of the lower refueling and maintenance costs, but when you try to sell it down the road, you’re going to lose out. A report from the BBC says that in U.K., an electric vehicle is about 13 percent more expensive to operate than a similar gas-powered car during the first three years of ownership.
If you live in the U.K and are planning to purchase the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car, you’ll have to pay about 10,600 pounds (that’s around $16,391) that’s driven a combined 36,000 miles over the first three years. Compare that to the 9,339 pounds ($11,834) you’d expect to shell out for a gas-powered Fiat 500 Lounge. The EV cost also counts the in the 5,000 pound ($6,335) tax credit they’d receive from the British government.
Taking into consideration that the higher cost is related to the depreciation of the i-MiEV, which has a sticker price of 28,990 pounds ($36,731), making it three times more expensive than the Fiat. Both of these cars will lose about half their respective values over the first three years, and the i-MiEV’s depreciation costs more than offset the 2,848 pounds ($3,609) in refueling costs the Mitsubishi owners will save over the three years.
And when you think about it, Mitsubishi gets more points once London’s congestion charge is added in. This can total up to 5,100 pounds ($6,461) of expenses to drivers of gas-powered vehicles that wouldn’t apply to EV owners.
Mitsubishi is looking to get into the electric car game with their ultra-compact iMiEV. Unfortunately, the iMiEV is down on power, interior space and range – between 50 and 60 miles – three qualities which likely won’t sit well with most Americans.
To make the iMiEV more attractive, Mitsubishi is hoping to sell the car for under $30,000 before a $7,500 tax credit. With the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt pursuing equally aggressive pricing strategies and offering far more practicality, it looks like the iMiEV will be a tough sell to all but the quirkiest of electric vehicle fans.