Deliveries of the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV will be beginning next month, according to recent reports — meaning that the relatively unsuccessful model will soon have a new opportunity in the American market.
Specs haven’t been released for the model yet, though, so it’s hard to say outright whether it will continue on its recent sales trajectory or not.
To date, total sales have numbered less than 2,000 units in the US — considerably less than its competitors. This is, at least partly, down to the fact that the model has to date only possessed a range of ~62 miles — whereas the Nissan LEAF, for example, possesses a range of ~80 miles.
During the same period of time that 2,000 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs were sold, ~72,000 Nissan LEAFs were sold — for some sense of the contrast. Still, perhaps changes are in order and Mitsubishi can capture a greater share of the market?
The release of the 2016 model will mark the second time that Mitsubishi has skipped a year with regard to releasing new editions — 2012 and 2014 being the two editions out there currently (in the US, elsewhere the year numbers are a bit different).
With regard to potential changes, the 2014 model did see a price cut of $6,000, and the introduction of CHAdeMO DC fast-charging outlets as standard offering. Presumably, 2016 will see changes on a similar scale.
On a related note, Mitsubishi’s Outlander Plug-In Hybrid is supposedly going to finally be released in the American market at some point within the next year or so (despite recurring delays). Presumably, that model will sell better in the US than the i-MiEV has, owing to its status as an SUV — and the American obsession with such vehicles. It has sold extremely well in Europe and Japan.
While the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In isn’t in the same price range as Tesla’s upcoming Model X, it probably is worth noting that Tesla has a good chance of owning the high-end range of the electric SUV market once Model X production gets going — so, the Outlander may see its sales diminished some from what they would have been with an earlier release.
Image Credit: Mitsubishi