Mitsubishi I EV U.S. Release Moved Up

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

You won’t have to wait until the end of next year to own the Mitsubishi i EV anymore thanks to whopping dealer demand.

Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko decided to move the nation-wide U.S. release up by six months from the original date to June 2012. The company also plans to release another electric vehicle by mid 2013.

“We shifted the timing by six months, so we are preparing ourselves to launch for the entire country by June,” Masuko said to Automotive News. “That must demonstrate our high expectations for this product.”

Depending on where you live, the tiny electric vehicle might already be available. Mitsubishi released it earlier this month to dealerships in California, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Illinois, where they have their only North American assembly plant.

Masuko isn’t exaggerating about high expectations, they hope to sell 10,000 units per year. That number would represent an almost 18 percent boost of their total sales for 2010. Ambitions aside, they may have a shot at meeting that goal considering sales for cars and trucks grew in the first 10 months of this year by almost 26 percent. The i also got some good press when the Environmental Protection Agency rated it best for fuel consumption.

Mitsubishi also plans to release an electric version of their Mirage in mid 2013, though there hasn’t been a decision about bringing the gasoline version to the U.S. market.

Gallery: Mitsubishi i EV

[Source: Automotive News]

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