Exclusive: Despite No 2013 Edition, The Mitsubishi i-MiEV To Live On In US Future Model Years

JUL 17 2013 BY JAY COLE 11

Do You Like The 2013 i-MiEV In Ocean Blue? (currently available in Canada) You Might Still Have A Chance To Own One

Do You Like The 2013 i-MiEV In Ocean Blue? (currently available in Canada) You Might Still Have A Chance To Own One

Over the past year it has been hard to notice the dwindling supply of new Mitusbishi i-MiEVs available for sale in the US.

Mitsubishi Chief Osamu Masuko And The i-MiEV

Mitsubishi Chief Osamu Masuko And The i-MiEV

It has also been hard to ignore that the remaining i-MiEVs currently on sale are all 2012s, and that Mitsubishi had been heavily discounting them as it becomes harder to move a “year old” product…especially with customers seeing other 2014 models of other vehicles entering the market.

With no 2013 model year at all arriving in US showrooms to date, and heavy discounting that has cleared-out all but around 100 cars, we thought it was likely that America had seen the last of the tiny Japanese car.  That it was just slowly fading out.  Still we had to know for sure.

To that end, we talked to Mitsu executives/representatives from both the US and Canada(where the 2013 model year i-MiEV is actually currently available) – and they surprised us.

The i-MiEV is not going extinct we were emphatically told, it was just taking a little breather of undisclosed length!

The i-MiEV is NOT discontinued in the US. We are indeed still working on a future model for the US market, however the release date of this vehicle has not yet been confirmed.” – Sophia Ko, account executive for Mitsu

Still, that language felt a little obtuse to us, so we ‘double-asked’ the question (yes…that could be a real thing):


Just to clarify are you saying the existing version of the i-MiEV has now been allocated out to the US and the next I-MiEV coming will be the new/next gen model?     Or are you saying that the current model (as we see it now) will be restocked while we wait on the new/next generation model?

Nutshell – will be see any more model years/inventory of the current gen that has already been sold in the US?  Or will the next i-MiEV we see but an updated/redesigned one.

We will continue to sell i-MiEVs in the U.S. and are in midst of determining the timing to introduce a new MY vehicle. We will most likely receive the upgraded features that became available in Canada for 13MY such as the two mode cable for 120V charging which will reduce the charge time from 22hrs (8AMP) to 14hrs (12AMP).

A new “two mode charging cable” (think 120V) is now available that has 2 amperage settings (8A and 12A), which lets you plug into a 120V/15A dedicated outlet.   What does that mean in the real world?  Gone are the 22.5 hour L1 charges, hello 14 hours

A new “two mode charging cable” (think 120V) is now available that has 2 amperage settings (8A and 12A), which lets you plug into a 120V/15A dedicated outlet. What does that mean in the real world? Gone are the 22.5 hour L1 charges, hello 14 hours

 

So there you have it.

It looks like a 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV (or a super-duper late 2013) will be a real thing for the US market at some point.  And to check out all those “likely” changes to the future (and still coming) US model, check out what the 2013 Canadian model has to offer here.

As for Canada and the i-MiEV themselves, John Arnone, who is the Manager of Public Relations for Mitsubishi Canada told us quite bluntly:

“The i-MiEV is here to stay in Canada.”  – enough said

So far in 2013, Mitsubishi Canada has sold 96 i-MiEVs, while in the US, 882 2012 models have been sold.

Concept CA-MiEV Debuted In Geneva In March

Concept CA-MiEV Debuted In Geneva In March

While we were speaking to Mitsubishi about the current generation of their electric kei car, we figured why not take the opportunity to ask about the next one (if there was one) – specifically the larger and longer range CA-MiEV that debuted this year in Geneva.

Unfortunately, it will stay as a concept for now.

The CA-MiEV shown at Geneva was a concept model is only a study model. Mitsubishi Motors is committed on continuing to develop the EV based technology to make it applicable for both EVs and PHEVs.

Our thanks to Mitsubishi for putting this mini-mystery on the i-MiEV to rest.

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11 Comments on "Exclusive: Despite No 2013 Edition, The Mitsubishi i-MiEV To Live On In US Future Model Years"

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Nice to hear this bit of news for my favourite EV! I see it as the commone sense EV that is a blast to drive, very efficient and has lots of cargo space for such a tiny car. The simple instrumentation and no smartphone required as added bonuses. Yet, this car is fully equipped with such goodies as Active Stability Control, Automatic Climate Control, Quick Charger and reclining rear seats!

I’m sorry, but what EV *requires* a smart phone?

My Leaf is nice enough to *allow* me to control via smartphone, but it’s far from required. I can perform the same functions through their website. OR (crazy idea here) I could just not use the features at all. This option is the only option for the i-MiEV.

Oh, you’re quite wrong. The i-MiEV includes a RF remote control fob that allows the owner to control charging and cabin pre-conditioning. I use it all the time, and appreciate not needing fire up my PC (no smartphone here – sorry) just to pre-heat my cabin. No, I can’t remotely tell my car to pre-condition, etc. while in my office or at the mall, but since we have approximately zero public chargers in my neck of the woods (or in my office parking lot), that limitation has no meaning.

The suggestion that one just live without remotely controlled cabin pre-conditioning strikes me as a bit silly, especially from a Leaf owner. Skipping cabin pre-heating in the winter would be crazy, as you must well know.

I suppose MLucas just means you can do some remote functions without a smartphone. Functions like pre-heating, cooling, and charge time delays. This is done through a, albeit a little cumbersome, key-fob provided by Mitsubishi.

Maybe you should have asked them if they’re going to start *advertising* this car. Many people — even those who own/know about EVs — don’t know about the i-MiEV. Although it has its faults and quirks, it’s a great little car. I wish more EVs were rear-wheel drive like the i-MiEV.

Hey Aaron,

I will make a note of asking them when they announce the new model year car’s arrival.

Although, that is kinda one of those “unanswerable” questions though for an exec…at least to any satisfaction, (=

On the one hand, this is great news for i-MiEV owners, who have been understandably concerned about winding up with an orphaned car and limited parts/service. On that score, the news that the returning i-MiEV will be a modest update of the same car (e.g., along the lines of the 2013 Canadian model) is doubly welcome (the more copies out there the better!). On the other hand, this news just deepens the mystery of what on earth Mitsubishi is doing with the i-MiEV. It was expensive to develop, it was pushed to dealerships nationwide (so not strictly a compliance car), it was competitively priced (at least at first – I’d say the pricier CA 2013 model is no longer competitive with the Leaf S), yet utterly neglected in terms of advertising or even general brand awareness. Aaron’s right, there is zero awareness of this car – without exception, every person I know who is aware of the i-MiEV learned about it from seeing me drive it. For a re-launch to achieve anything, Mitsubishi needs to sharpen their pencils to get the ES’s price meaningfully below the Leaf S, then provide some basic advertising to let folks know that Mitsubishi has… Read more »

The CA-MiEV, in my opinion, is many times better looking than the i-MiEV, but also, a 186 mile range would actually make the car FAR more usable by people.
With the i-MiEV, I would barely make it to the office and back home, and I wouldn’t be able to detour at all (which I routinely need to do with my job).

Why DOESN’T Mitsubishi (which btw is utterly failing in the US) take a creative tact like actually making the CA-MiEV? It looks cool, has a great range, and would be voraciously gobbled up by consumers.

sigh. Mitsubishi, are you reading this!!! Make the CA-MiEV !!!

+1 yes, please build it, with the stated range. Providing well over 100 miles of AER is a great differentiator. Tesla doesn’t need to advertise 🙂

The only problem is the Mitsu dealer near me won’t order any more because it took them almost two years to sell the two they had. Sold the last one for $19,900 (sticker was $32,000). When I compare the i-miev to the Leaf, the design, the spartan (ugly) interior, the size and less range work again the Mitsubishi. They just need a product that competes. Surely they’re capable? The concept CA-Miev looks like a much better exterior, but don’t kill it with a Fugly interior.

imiev nice car but 182 mile range is a must and it would kill all the competition