Many dealerships have goals they want to attain, but the one set by Mitsubishi is to put themselves ahead of the pack in the EV market. By 2013, Mitsubishi will have a total of eight different electric and hybrid vehicles available, but only half of which will ever make it to the U.S. and to dealerships like Jim Ellis Mitsubishi in Marietta. The immediate goal of Mitsubishi is to sell 2000 of their i vehicles by April 2012 starting when it arrives in the states in November.
350 of those 2,000 have already been presold and the ones that arrive in November will go to fleet customers first. The i-MiEV is expected to rise to 20,000 units annually in Japan and Europe by the Japanese fiscal year in March 2016, says Yoshikazu Nakamura, senior executive officer of Mitsubishi's electric vehicle business office. Three of the 8 electric or plug-in hybrid cars aforementioned will be available in the United States by then (beyond the i-MiEV). The first of which will be plug-in hybrid version of Mitsubishi's Outlander crossover, that should come to our shores by April 2013.
Mitsubishi's sole goal is to reduce their costs by creating electric or plug-in versions of their existing gasoline cars instead of starting from scratch like Nissan did with its Leaf. For the i-MiEV, Mitsubishi expects to be at 50,000 units globally which is expected to be the least expensive highway capable EV's in the market.
The i arrives stateside in November, but the first of the 2,000 i vehicles will be split between the fleet and retail customers with retail sales beginning in January. Last week, the EPA rated the U.S. version of the i at the equivalent of 126 mpg city and 99 mpg highway, and said it has a real-world driving range of 62 miles.