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Mitsubishi I-MiEV ...

March 14, 2015 08:30

Electric vehicles are snatching the attention of major automakers across the globe. They have zero emission level, and are more green and economical than the conventional vehicles. While many carmakes are, still, working on this technology, the Japanese automaker – Mistsubishi – launched its first electric vehicle in 2006. Mistsubishi I, also known as i-MiEV, was first unveiled at 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show and was launched in 2006 in the Asian, European and Oceania markets. The car won 13 awards for its technology, efficiency and design. It has unique ‘rear midship’ layout that aids to its cabin space and safety without increasing its overall size.

The i-MiEV features halogen headlamps, color keyed side air dams, front and rear bumpers and door handles, alloy wheels, rear fog lamp, high mounted stop lamp and various other styling elements. It is available four exterior paint options – Amethyst Black, Frost White, Raspberry Red and Cool Silver. It’s well-packaged and very practical from inside. Features like leather wrapped gearshift knob, leather steering, needle punch floor carpet and silver chromed door handles enhance its interior appearance.  Plastic quality, fit and finish are top-notch.

Unlike other green cars, Mitsubishi’s electric car comes loaded with a plenty of safety features such as six airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), active stability control, traction control, brake assist, acoustic vehicle alerting system, 3-point x 2 seatbelt on both front and second row etc. The agile suspension setup (the front MacPherson strut, coil springs with stabilizer bar, pillow ball and rear three-link de Dion) absorbs bumps so well and offers comfortable a ride. With compact dimensions and small turning radius (9.0 m), it’s very easy to drive in city traffic.

Powering the Mitsubishi I is a lithium ion battery pack and AC synchronous permanent magnet motor that delivers a maximum power of 49kW (66bhp) with a peak torque of 180Nm. The motor delivers power instantly from 0rpm to 2000rpm that makes it an easy going car. It runs smoothly beyond 2000rpm, too. A single-speed gearbox with a conventional differential offers optimal performance. The car has an electronic speed limit of 130kmph.

The traction battery pack produces a maximum power of 330V or 16 kWh. It powers the electric motor, cabin heater and AC. For safety purpose, these batteries are coated with a strong protective casing and equipped with an electrical leakage detector and a cell monitoring device. The batteries can be charged up to 80% within 30 minutes. There are three driving modes – D (for city driving), B (increasing regenerative braking, while driving downhill) and C (reducing regenerative braking for smooth driving). The i-MiEV is one of the most fuel-efficient and easiest to drive Mitsubishi cars, but its way out expensive that turns off cost-conscious buyers.

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