Geneva Motor Show: Mitsubishi i-MiEV

A green concept based on lightness and design

Fotogallery The Mitsubishi star at the Geneva Motor Show is the i-MiEV Sport Air Concept: a lightweight concept car, weighing 930 kg thanks to its aluminium frame, powered by li-ion batteries.

Its electric range enables the car to run 160-200 km and, like its elder sister the i-MiEV, it will be launched in Japan in 2009 and in Europe in 2010.

Unlike its standard petrol-fuelled 660 cc “I” version, the i-MiEV prototype, also on display at the Geneva Motor Show, offers better performance (it is 31% faster in acceleration from 40 to 60 km), better torque (180 Nm instead of 94 Nm), and has got a more noiseless engine (less than 5 dB).

It can accommodate 4 passengers and has wide space for the batteries (placed under the loading platform for better balance), which enables the car to get enough daily range to meet the requirements of most drivers.

The i-MiEV is equipped with a pack of high energy density li-ion batteries, made up of 22 modules, with 4 cells each.

It takes 7 hours to charge the batteries from a 200 V household electric outlet, 14 hours, instead, are necessary if the battery is connected to a 100 V outlet. There is also a 200 V 50 kW rapid charge system which enables the battery to charge 80% of power in 30 minutes.

In this way the i-MiEV’s consumption costs in Japan (¥/km) are one third lower than a small petrol car (daily charge) or even one ninth (night charge).

For its market launch MMC is carrying out research with Japanese energy utilities and establishing ad hoc partnerships in order to develop li-ion batteries. Indeed, on December 7th 2007, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation joined forces with leading battery companies such as GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corporation by setting up a joint-venture company “Lithium Energy Japan” where each partner was to supply their own most advanced know-how.

As from the beginning of 2009, 200,000 units for 50Ah lithium batteries will be annually produced, to be be installed in 2,000 Mitsubishi i-MiEV cars.

Mitsubishi has also signed an agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroen that envisages that the French carmaker can develop a European electric vehicle based on the i-MiEv: it should be made by MMc and sold by Peugeot, at the same time as the European i-MiEV.

The purpose of this mutual collaboration consists in speeding up the spread of the two carmakers’ own electric vehicles in the European market between the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.

Tags: concept , PSA , Peugeot , Japan , Lithium-ion , Europe , electric motor , electric car , Mitsubishi , energy company , electric energy , Geneve Motor Show

Autore: GIUSEPPE GANDOLFI

 

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