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EPA rates Mitsubishi "i" electric at 62 miles of range and 112 mpg equivalent

Consumer Reports News: July 08, 2011 10:38 AM

Mitsubishi has announced that the range for its upcoming all-electric car “i”, formerly known as the MieV, will be EPA-rated at 62 miles in average driving, or 98 miles in the city. The company had originally announced the “i” would have a range of 80 miles. This gives the small car a shorter range than the 75 miles we’ve been getting on average in the all-electric Nissan Leaf.

In addition to the range rating, Mitsubishi announced the new car’s energy efficiency or MPG-equivalent ratings of 126 MPGe in the city, 99 MPGe on the highway, and 112 MPGe combined. That promises to give it the highest EPA rating of any car sold in America when it goes on sale early next year, with the west coast first.

The Mitsubishi i is significantly smaller than the Leaf. Think of it as more like a four-door Smart ForTwo. Consequently, the electric Mitsu has a smaller battery pack to carry around, which accounts for much of the higher MPGe rating and the shorter range.

Mitsubishi says the i will retail for $27,990, or $20,490 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.

In a parallel announcement the Japanese conglomerate, which also makes electronic products, said it will install a solar-powered four-car electric-car charging station at its U.S. headquarters in Southern California. The station will offer all three standard levels of charging: 110-volt Level 1, 240-volt Level 2, and DC “fast” charger, which can recharge an i or a Leaf up to 80 percent in under 30 minutes. Such solar charging stations could be a quick way to provide a public charging infrastructure for electric cars that doesn’t tax the existing electrical grid at peak times during the day. Mitsubishi Electric claims to be one of the largest manufacturers of solar photovoltaic cells in the world.

When the Mitsubishi i debuts, it will be the fourth primarily or exclusively electric car to roll onto America’s highways from a major brand, following the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, and the Ford Focus electric (due out this fall).

Eric Evarts

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