It has become readily apparent to automakers that consumers aren’t willing to pay much of a premium for pure electric vehicles. This has led to cost-cutting across the board, though an Illinois Mitsubishi dealer has undercut everybody with a $69-per-month lease deal on the Mitsubishi i electric vehicle. How is that even possible?
As is usually the case, the devil is in the details. O’Brien Mitsubishi in Normal, Illinois, is offering a 24-month lease program that costs just $69 per month. However, once you add in tax, title, and registration, you’ve got to plunk down an additional $2,100 to drive the Mitsubishi i off the dealer lot. For those who would rather put no money down, O’Brien also offers a $169 a month lease for 24 months, which is still substantially cheaper than Mitsubishi’s official lease offer of $249 per month for 36 months.
If you recall, Normal, Illinois is where Mitsubishi launched its all-electric i in an effort to drum up excitement for what was the cheapest EV on the market. Unfortunately, the Mitsubishi i was the worst-selling vehicle in the U.S. last year, with less than 600 models finding homes in 2012. Having driven the Mitsubishi i ourselves, it is easy to see why. The official EPA rating gives the i just 62 miles of driving range, and even fully equipped, the Mitsubishi i feels cheap; leather seats aren’t even an option!
The only appealing thing about the Mitsubishi i is its low price, starting at $27,990, and even that won’t last. The Nissan Leaf received a $6,400 price cut last week, putting it on par with the Mitsubishi i’s price, and the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is said to have a starting MSRP of $25,000 before tax incentives. Even the upcoming Chevy Spark EV will be price competitive with the Mitsubishi i. In other words, the only way to sell the Mitsubishi i is to practically give it away. Even then, the Mitsubishi’s one advantage won’t last much longer…and if sales continue to be terrible, neither will this EV.
Source: Green Car Reports