When electric cars first made their mainstream debut, the cheapest one you could buy in the US was the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which before rebates came in at about $29,000. Four years later though, Mitsubishi and Nissan are teaming up to build an EV that costs half that amount before any tax rebates, reports the Nikkei.
The minicar-based EV will be aimed specifically at the Japanese market, where small “kei cars” have remained stubbornly popular due to their low cost to buy and operate. After a series of price cuts to both the Mitsubishi i-Miev and the Nissan LEAF, these down EVs now cost between $22,000 and $28,000, and once you factor in rebates the cost comes down to between $15,000 and $21,000. But once those incentives inevitably run out, will buyers still be driven to electric vehicles?
Mitsubishi and Nissan aren’t taking any chances, and their micro-EV could prove especially popular in major metro areas like Tokyo, where parking comes at a premium and gas costs can be exceptionally high. Nissan and Mitsubishi are also working together on a national EV charging network meant to expand public charging offerings all across the island nation.
But the big draw would be a the super-low price, as after Japan’s generous EV incentives of about $7,200, this new micro EV would cost buyers less than 1.78 million yen, or about $8,000. An $8,000 EV is a car it’s almost impossible to say no to, you know what I mean? People have spent less on countertops for their kitchen makeovers, but to have a vehicle that allows you to eliminate or reduce your gas costs to almost nothing?
That’s just a no-brainer to me. Let’s hope this is more than just rumor and hearsay.