Published on June 5th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer
First Major Auto Company Has Begun Electric Car Production
Yes! The Oil Age has officially ended: Autoblog green reports that Mitsubishi has just begun production of the first freeway speed EV from a big auto company.
EV fans have suffered for years through stops and starts in the roll-out of the obvious and necessary vehicle to drive us into our glorious low carbon future: Sure, brave little electric car start-ups like Tesla now deliver gorgeous EV models – to those with unlimited money, and of course there are plenty of 25 mile-an-hour NEVs – for those with unlimited patience.
But most of us have limited time and money: Where is our regular highway speed electric car that can get you all the way to work and back? With more than 3 wheels? Seating more than 2? And with a hood to keep out the rain? So far, it’s been just promises and strange contraptions and showroom vaporware for us.
Our future after the carbon age, was looking grim, indeed… So today, great news…
Mitsubishi has begun the production of its iMiEV electric car today at its factory in Okayama.
It’s a tough little car. Here’s a great video of a test-drive several years ago of a prototype iMiEV ascending the steepest mountain range in Japan.
Mitsubishi is the first of the major automakers to kick off full scale production of a new EV and will be followed (in theory) by most other automakers over the next two years. However high gas prices last year and the econo-apocalypse has driven these majors to bankruptcy in the meantime, so we’ll see…
But Mitsubishi will complete the first 2,000 through the remainder of this fiscal year and speed up to 5,000 next year. The iMiEVhas a range of about 100 miles from its lithium ion battery pack. The batteries are produced by a joint venture between Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa. With the government incentives available in Japan, it will cost about US$31,300 at current exchange rates.
Japanese Government incentives halved the cost of the Prius to its earliest adopters too; they helped Toyota ease the first Prius off the assemblyline with hefty rebates, and we know how that turned out. Seems government can pick winners and losers, despite what our polititians say…
Via Autoblog green