At a press conference here in New York in a few minutes, Mitsubishi representatives will officially announce that the i-MiEV electric vehicle – already a hit in test drives and displays the world over – will be coming to the U.S. This move has been hinted at for a long while, but now we know for certain that the electric jellybean, based on the “i” minicar, is coming. Official details are scarce, but company representatives told us ahead of schedule that the car would be available here sometime “before 2012.” The problem isn’t the technology (a left-hand drive model should go on sale in Europe in 2011 after the right-hand model hits Japan this summer and the UK, maybe in 2010), but guaranteeing a supply of lithium. If GS Yuasa can’t produce the batteries, then Mitsubishi can’t make the cars. Mitsubishi recently upped production plans in order to make 20,000 units a year. But don’t get too attached to the i-MiEV name (which stands for “Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle”); when this car comes to the U.S., it’ll get a fresh moniker.
Speaking of the iMiEV; it looks like AutoblogGreen readers know a good thing when they see one. The iMiEV dominated our recent poll of which car should win the World Car of the Year’s ‘World Green Car’ over the Honda FCX Clarity and the Toyota iQ. The judges of the event, though, disagreed and picked the hydrogen fuel cell Clarity as the 2009 winner this morning.
Quick update: Mitsubishi’s press release pasted after the jump.
Gallery: New York 2009: iMiEV
Gallery: i-MiEV in HD
Show photos Copyright (C)2009 Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.
New York 2009: Mitsubishi confirms i-MiEV will come to U.S. originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Thu, 09 Apr 2009 09:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.