Mitsubishi has drastically dropped the price of its 2014 i-MiEV, and added several features as standard equipment. The new MSRP is $22,995 – a $6,130 price reduction from the previous 2012 model year vehicle (was there really no 2013 model?). After tax breaks, California residents could be driving electric for $12,995 – no more than the price for a bottom-of-the-line gas burner.
And this is no stripped-down model – standard equipment includes CHAdeMO DC quick charging, a battery warming system, heated front seats, heated side view mirrors, aluminum wheels, fog lights and even a leather-covered steering wheel.
Unfortunately, even if Mitsu offers a dozen of the little eggs for that price, no one is going to buy if the company doesn’t actively market the car in the US, and we’ve long been puzzled as to why it hasn’t done so. The i-MiEV has sold over 30,000 units worldwide, almost all in Europe and Japan. In the US, a laughable 1,018 have been sold so far this year, although they have been available nationwide since mid-2012.
Perhaps Mitsubishi doesn’t see any potential for EV sales in the US? At February’s Geneva Auto Salon, the company’s entire booth was devoted to electric models. At November’s LA Auto Show, gas-guzzling SUVs hogged the stage, and a single i-MiEV was hidden away in a corner.
But, if that’s the case, why did the company roll it out to all its US dealers? And why bother with a price cut? The little kei car remains an enigma.