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Mitsubishi ‘i’ is electric car for budget-conscious drivers

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Electric cars are upon us, but if you’ve looked into them you might have gotten a little sticker shock. But the rising cost of gas, now may be the perfect time to look for an electric vehicle.

The Nissan Leaf runs about $35,000 to start. The Chevrolet Volt, with its battery-power plus onboard generator, has a base price of about $40,000. It’s the same with Ford’s new battery-powered Focus.

But even with the current $7,500 federal tax credit, it’s hard to get any of these for under $30,000.

But there one new electric car is more affordable- Mitsubishi’s plug-in simply called the “i.” It has a base price of just over 29,000, and with the tax credit factored in it’s under $22,000.

It might look a little funny, but it is a real car. It can drive anywhere- even the freeway- although anywhere takes on a different meaning when a car relies on battery power.

Range is rated at 62 miles, but that can vary significantly depending on how you drive and whether you use the air conditioner or heater.

As a commuter, the “i” should work fine. However keep in mind though that the low price gets you a small and somewhat down-scale car.

The plastics are pretty low-grade, and even moderately tall drivers will find that the seat doesn’t go back nearly far enough. It’s also rather narrow, so you’ll be cozy with your front passenger. And don’t look for a center armrest, because there isn’t room for one.
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