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What the Hell Were They Thinking: Mitsubishi i-MiEV

They're ditching the Evo while keeping this in production.

On the one hand you’ve got to give Mitsubishi credit here. The struggling (in the US at least) Japanese automaker was daring enough to invest the money, produce and sell a small EV that, how do we put this nicely…looks like a futuristic golf cart. In Japan it’s categorized as a Kei car but everywhere else it’s a five-door hatchback. The i-MiEV, an acronym for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle, first went on sale in Japan back in 2009 but didn’t arrive in North America until 2011.

In fact, the US-only version is somewhat larger than its Japanese counterpart and is also better equipped. Before the Honda Fit EV (now discontinued) arrived, the i-MiEV was the most fuel efficient vehicle in the US. Only a few people actually cared enough to notice that fact. Still, those looking for a fairly inexpensive, off-the-lot, brand-new EV have a good option here. For the rest of us, well, we’re still angry that Mitsubishi is dropping the Evo while keeping the i-MiEV around. Mitsubishi once stated that it wants to be the EV industry leader. Well, that’d be Tesla now. Where does the i-MiEV fit in? We’re still not so sure.

What we hope Mitsubishi will do is find a way to combine its battery technologies into something more performance based. In the meantime, the i-MiEV continues. And Tesla and Nissan Leaf owners don't give a crap.

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