The i-MiEV was developed in Japan in late 2006 and launched for fleet customers in Japan in 2009. It is a light ‘cheap’ EV and designed for city driving. The high density lithium ion battery pack sits under the floor while the electric motor, inverter and charger sit beneath the luggage compartment. The powerful light weight 64hp electric motor offers smoother and faster acceleration than the “i” turbo engine petrol minicar on which the i-MiEV is based. The weight distribution means a low centre of gravity resulting in outstanding handling and stability.
The two position gear selector lets you choose D, E or B mode. Drive gives more gutsy performance at a sacrifice in range. Eco is less performance oriented but extends vehicle range and Brake increases the regenerative braking bias with the same power output as D. Regenerative braking results in power being fed back to the drive battery when braking.
The integrated vehicle management system i-MiEV OS, constantly monitors and optimizes vehicle performance and efficiency. The i-MiEV uses LED headlights and tail light for better lighting performance at less energy consumption.
The 2014 model of the i-MiEV has had a huge price reduction in the US and now costs $22,990 before incentives which can be worth $10,000 or more, effectively reducing the price to the $15,000 area. It also has more features which were extras in the earlier model (such as heated front seats and wing mirrors, fog lights, daylight running lights). Not the most attractive looking vehicle the i-MiEV is however the ideal city runabout and at it’s current pricing is the most competitive EV on the market.
Originally at a price of $50,000 plus, 2010 second hand models of the i-MiEV now range from around $17,000 – $36,000.
As with most other countries extensive surveys in Japan indicate that more than 90% of car owners drive less than 40kms on weekdays and that 80% of owners drive less than 60kms on weekends. With a range of around 150kms this satisfies the bulk of car driver range requirements. Click here for the i-MiEV website