Mitsubishi i launches first in Hawaii

Nearly every automaker around the globe is looking closely at EVs and hybrids to help meet the ever more stringent CAFE standards that are being mandated. The latest automotive company to jump on the EV bandwagon here in the U.S. is Mitsubishi.

The car is called the Mitsubishi i and it carries a MSRP of under $30,000 before federal tax credits. The price after the $7,500 federal tax credit for the Mitsubishi i will be $20,490. That makes the car one of the cheaper EVs on the market. The EV comes in different trims with the low price being for the ES trim. The SE trim adds features like a 360W 8-speaker sound system, leather steering wheel and shift knob, as well as 15-inch aluminum wheels. The SE package adds $2,790 to the base price of the car.

One of the more impressive features of the Mitsubishi i is that with the DC quick charging port the battery pack can be recharged to 80% capacity in 30 minutes. The base car includes speed sensitive electric power steering, 120V 9-amp charge cable, four speaker stereo, and a 100W AM/FM/CD player.

The Mitsubishi i is powered by a 63hp electric motor and has a targeted driving range of 85 miles.

The car will be offered first in Hawaii. Buyers in the Aloha State will be able to get the federal rebate along with an additional $4,500 rebate from the state.

The car went up for pre-order on April 22 with a non-refundable deposit of $299 via PayPal due when the person orders. Buyers will also normally have to pay a $99 inspection fee to be sure their home will support the charging of the EV. The first 2,000 that pre-order won't have to pay that fee though.

“We thank Mitsubishi Motors for choosing Hawaii as one of the first states to receive the new "i" electric car.  Electric vehicles use a fraction of the fuel needed by traditional cars, so each EV on the road means we're reducing our dependence on imported oil and increasing our ability to reach Hawaii's goal of 70 percent clean energy within a generation,” said Estrella Seese, Acting Energy Program Administrator, Hawaii State Energy Office.

While the Mitsubishi i is just hitting the market, the company plans to stop making three models in the U.S. this August. The three models that will be discontinued at the Normal, Ill. plant this summer include the Eclipse Coupe, Eclipse Spyder, and the Endeavour. The Galant will continue to be made at the plant.

There have been concerns recently that the Evo may be discontinued as well.

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