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
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
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
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.