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Mitsubishi’s Electric Car Sells For Under $30,000

(AP) – At just under $30,000 base retail price, the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the most affordable all-electric car in the U.S. market.

The little five door with very little hood in the front also has an eye-popping, 126 miles-per-gallon-equivalent rating from the federal government in city driving. That’s higher than the 106 mpg-e city rating of the 2012 Nissan Leaf electric car but less than the 132 mpg-e of the upcoming Honda Fit EV.

An added bonus: The rear-wheel drive i-MiEV has a plucky personality and speed-sensitive steering that, while electrically delivered, feels and responds more like a regular car’s steering than does that of some gasoline-electric hybrid cars.

The same compliment goes for the iMiEV’s electric brakes and their firm, realistic pedal feel.

Still, i-MiEV drivers have to keep a close eye on mileage range, because like all solely electric cars, this little hatchback can’t go far on a full charge. Indeed the U.S. government estimates the i-MiEV range at 62 miles on a full charge.

Typical time to fully recharge: Seven to 22 hours, depending on the charger.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $29,975 for an i-MiEV ES model with 66-horsepower electric motor, a 16-kilowatt lithium-ion storage battery and a one-speed, direct drive transmission.

In comparison, the most popular all-electric car in the United States – the front-wheel drive Nissan Leaf – has a starting retail price, including destination charge, of $36,050 for a base, 2012 SV with 107-horsepower electric motor, 24 kilowatt lithium-ion battery and a single-speed reducer tranny. The federal government estimates a 73-mile range for the Leaf on a full charge.
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