Mitsubishi has entered into the economy cars foray with its Mitsubishi Mirage which is predicted will provide a considerable competition to the economy car produced by the Toyota-Daihatsu joint venture, Toyota Agya and Daihatsu Ayla. Now Mitsubishi has a chance to be a head of the game by bringing the first fully electric car to the country.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) has already been introduced to the Indonesian public since 2007, in fact in 2011, two Mitsubishi i-MiEVs has already been registered legally road worthy making it the first fully electric car registered for day to day driving in Indonesia.
Because it uses electricity much like your Smartphone, The Mitsubishi i-MiEV does not have a combustion chamber making it a zero-emissions vehicle. Since more than 70% of electricity produced in Indonesia is from coal or diesel fuel, you can’t really claimed it to 100% emission free, however, even when taking that into account, compare to other gasoline fueled car it emits only approximately 30% CO2.
The problem with electric car is that you would need considerably more time to refill the energy compare to the 10 to 15 minutes requires to fill up a gasoline car. Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a solution that allows you to recharge up to 80% of the car energy for as little as 30 minutes using 50kW/3 phase 200V quick charger. This however requires special electricity filling station which may take time to be available in Jakarta, let alone Indonesia.
You can also recharge the battery using your house outlet during the night when you are not using the car anyway. Using 200V (15A) power supply will take around 7 hours to get 100% power, so you can charge it before you go to bed and have it ready for office commuting in the morning. A fully charge Mitsubishi i-MiEV will last for 160 km which obviously lower if you turn on the air conditioner or anything else that use up electricity.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is powered by permanent magnet synchronous motor capable of top speed of 130 km/ hour. The car is 3,395 mm long, 1,475 wide and 1,600 tall, which is smaller but taller than Honda Jazz at 3,900 mm long, 1,695 mm wide and 1,525 mm tall. Although smaller The Mitsubishi i-MiEV can fit 4 adults comfortably because the cabin space is much larger due to no combustion engine requiring space like in conventional vehicles.
The car is equipped with 330 V lithium battery installed at the same area where a fuel tank is installed in the gasoline-powered version. The 230 kg battery installed under the floor of the body, giving it a lower center of gravity which in turn provides a more stable driving.
One of the biggest problems with car such as this is the price. While the car is good for the environment and supposedly also cheaper to run, the cost you need to invest to buy it is not cheap, especially for its size. The car which is already available in 19 European countries sold for ₤ 23,990 in the UK or more than Rp 350 million.
There are many more technology being developed by Mitsubishi for this car including wireless charger, better battery and more efficient motor. Lets just hope that one of the breakthrough will be how to make The Mitsubishi i-MiEV more affordable for the masses.