Mitsubishi representatives officially announced that the i MiEV electric vehicle – already a hit in test drives and closely involved in joint programs with power companies across the world – will be coming to the U.S. This move has been hinted at for a long while, but now we know for certain that the electric jellybean, based on the “i” minicar, is coming.
Official details are scarce, but company representatives told us ahead of schedule that the car would be available here sometime “before 2012.” The problem isn’t the technology (a left-hand drive model should go on sale in Europe in 2011 after the right-hand model hits Japan this summer and the UK, maybe in 2010), but guaranteeing a supply of lithium. If GS Yuasa can’t produce the batteries, then Mitsubishi can’t make the cars. Mitsubishi recently upped production plans in order to make 20,000 units a year. But don’t get too attached to the i MiEV name (which stands for “Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle”); when this car comes to the U.S., it’ll get a new model name.
Follow the link to read more details about the i MiEV and view a video clip of the i MiEV being introduced to the streets of San Francisco after it was presented to our local utility company, PG&E.
Official press release from Mitsubishi follows after the jump:
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