Are the Mitsubishi MiEV Series of EVs Losing Ground Everywhere?

JUL 6 2013 BY MARK KANE 26

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

June Mitsubishi electric vehicle sales are again raising questions about future of i-MiEV-series.

In the US, the i-MiEV was overtaken by every electric model except the just-launched Spark EV.  Even the Smart Electric drive outsold the i-MiEV.

Over in Europe, production of i-MiEV based Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero seems to be discontinued and the i-MiEV is not selling well.

In its biggest market of Japan, the situation doesn’t seem much better.  Sales there in June work out like this: 70 i-MiEV , 79 Minicab-MiEV and 9 Minicab-MiEV Truck.  That’s only 158 combined sales in Japan for the MiEV series of EVs, compared to 544 sold in June 2012.  June 2013 results are about 71% worse despite the addition of a third version – truck.

YTD sales confirm the decline, too. Total MiEV-series kei-cars sold in the first 6 months of 2013 in Japan amounted to 2,488.  Last year, sales were 2,974 after the first six months. This represents a decrease of over 16%.

Of course, we’d rather see sales grow, but maybe the MiEV series of electrics aren’t up to snuff or have run their course.

Categories: Mitsubishi

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26 Comments on "Are the Mitsubishi MiEV Series of EVs Losing Ground Everywhere?"

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Rick Danger

“… maybe the MiEV series of electrics aren’t up to snuff or have run their course.”

Ya think?
Let’s see… they’re plain, ugly, slow, have one of the worst ranges, they’re still selling 2012 models (I don’t care if they made no changes from the 2012 MY, nobody wants to buy a “new” 2012 model when the 2014 models will soon be out), and they haven’t lowered the prices on their website, despite the fact that both the Fiat 500e and Chevy Spark are more competetive. Even the Smart ED is outselling them.

They are pretty much at the top of the “penalty box” heap, and they seem content to stay there.

I wonder if a month or two of zero sales will give them pause?

David Murray

The car is inferior in nearly every way to the competition, plus they are almost universally considered to be ugly. I almost think mitsubishi did it on purpose to be able to say nobody wants electric cars. They just didn’t expect the competiton they have now!


“they are almost universally considered to be ugly”

Never heard of that before. Care to site your source ?

ps : Long time back someone commented that she didn’t know how Nixon won since she knew no one who voted for Nixon.

David Murray

Just anecdotal experience. I have seen comments on EV related websites for years now and there is the odd one person here or there who thinks it is attractive, almost everyone else thinks it is ugly. I drive a Leaf, and yes, there are people who think it is ugly. But there seem to be an equal number of people who think it is attractive.


Every female I’ve shown my car to gushes about how cute it is. Every one. So statistically if all females think it’s cute and all males think it’s ugly, a majority of people (50.9% according to the latest census) think the car is cute. 🙂

Suprise Cat

The eK Wagon is the successor Kai car of the gasoline i from Mitsubishi and the add campaign is specially targeting female drivers. It’s selling very well in Japan and I hope they will make an EV version of it too.

Gary H

What do you know, the BMW i3 looks like it!


hope this comment is ironic?!

Can you tell a single car that you consider to be uglier than this one?

Dan Frederiksen

The Leaf, the Prius, a Mustang, a Challenger, any pickup truck.

The iMiev isn’t ugly but it’s childlike and a lot of crude guys are afraid of that. Particularly in mentally ill USA.

The real problem with the car is that it’s slow and very overpriced.


… and it’s ugly.

Gary H

The Leaf.


This car is based on an ICE kei car. Mitsubishi has not improve it for years. It was good back then. But ppl demand more. More competition now. If they want to stay in the EV game they should have second gen by now. I think they just focus on their phev SUV now. They have huge success there. That is where the $ right now. I would do the same. U can’t win every game. Just focus on what u do best.

David Murray wrote: “The car is inferior in nearly every way to the competition” What competition? There is no EV competition in the U.S. for a very short and light 4-passenger car with so much cargo capacity with the rear seats folded down and at such a low price. The most efficient car is the lightest car in the smallest package. I rejected the Leaf because I don’t need 5-passenger capacity and don’t want a car that’s 700 pounds heavier and almost 3 feet longer. I wanted a 4-passenger car, so the Smart ED isn’t for me. The various compliance cars aren’t available in Hawaii. Beauty is subjective, has no functional value, and is of no concern to me. For most in the U.S., bigger and flashier are better, so the i-MiEV isn’t for them. But for me, there is no competition for the i-MiEV. The main reason i-MiEV sales in the U.S. are declining is because there is almost no inventory remaining. Zero monthly sales won’t give Mitsubishi any pause because it will mean that all have been sold. I see lots of evidence that Mitsubishi is ramping down production of the i-MiEV, so I don’t expect the i-MiEV… Read more »

You forgot to mention the i-MiEV’s size is a huge benefit in tiny Hawaiian parking spaces. When I was there driving a rental Nissan Versa, I felt like I was trying to park a Suburban.

David Murray

How about the Spark EV, the Fiat 500e, and the Honda Fit EV? All are similar size and cost about the same or less.

But the Leaf is still competition for the iMiev whether you like it or not. Just like the Volt and Leaf compete to some degree despite being different style of car.


None of the compliance cars was being sold when I bought my i-MiEV in December, 2012. They still aren’t and may never be available in Hawaii. They would not be competition for the i-MiEV in most of the U.S. even today.

The Leaf and i-MiEV are different types of cars in different size classes. So the Leaf wasn’t i-MiEV competition for me when I was deciding which EV to buy. The 2012 Leaf was also ~$6,000 more expensive. The 2013 Leaf S is price-competitive with the i-MiEV but remains a car that some like me would not prefer compared with the i-MiEV.

Different strokes for different folks…


After four years, 25.000 I-Miev’s sold and a much increased competition, it’s time for Mitsu to up their game and prepare the successor, in Geneva it showed the CA-Miev and it was promising, with good looks, doubled range and the possibility for a range extender. Whatever the name of the I-Miev successor, Mitsu can’t rely only on the Outlander PHEV for plug-in sales, it also needs smaller, more urban BEV to try to recapture the best selling plug-in manufacturer title it had in 2009 and 2010.

This decrease in sales also has to do with the now famous battery problems, if it weren’t for them, Mitsu would be fighting now for the best selling manufacturer title, in February the japanese carmaker sold 3.667 units, enough to be the best-selling manufacturer that month.

For more info on the CA-Miev, go here:

Rick Danger

The CA-Miev is certainly a vast improvement, but, as usual, they say they have no plans to mass produce it.
I think Mitsu Motors has a death wish




+1 – I’m an i-MiEV owner and I really like the car. It was a really good deal at the time of purchase. I turned down the LEAF because of the ‘hump’ and being required to own a smartphone for the preconditioning features. I also felt like the LEAF would not fit in my tiny garage. It’s been a great car but I feel Mitsubishi is trying commit suicide. They’ve eliminated three of their top cars without replacements and are providing no marketing on the i-MiEV at all. Now they have stopped delivering any new i-MiEVs. They may as well give up and shut down US operations at this point.


For the 2013 edition PSA improved the drivetrains and regens efficiency of the iOn and C-Zero, but insted of adding some more battery (24kwh would have been great) to advertise a 100 mile ev, they REDUCED the battery from 16 to 14,5kwh and advertised it for the same range and they didn’t even reduced it’s regular price! What where they thinking…


I did not know that. Astonishing!


Why is there no explanation of why the car is driving through water?

Eric Loveday

I’d assume the i-MiEV is undergoing some sort of shallow submersion testing.

Suprise Cat

Yes, it’s a test drive. There is also a video of it somewhere on yt, but couldn’t find it yet.

Here is an other example with a Leaf


Alright, makes sense. Just odd to include that picture without an explanation, as the water test is unrelated to the story.