DEAD: Mitsubishi to end i-MiEV, the world's first mass-produced EV

Updated Sep 23, 2020 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates
It sold only 32,000 units since 2009.

After eleven years in the market, Mitsubishi will be dropping the i-MiEV by the end of 2020. The i-MiEV or Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle five-door hatchback has gained distinction for being the world’s first mass-produced electric passenger vehicle.

The reason behind the i-MiEV’s discontinuation is slow sales. Also, the i-MiEV, as we’ve said, is an aging platform and it can no longer compete effectively against newer EVs currently available in the market today. Since 2009, Mitsubishi has been selling the i-MiEV in more than 50 countries. Despite its widespread availability and length of time in the market, it only sold 32,000 units. Suffice to say, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV never took off.

A picture of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Also, the late 2000's look of the i-MiEV was a bit polarizing

According to a Mitsubishi Motors executive, the company does not have the resources to update the i-MiEV, or to make a new model. As we’ve said, the i-MiEV has been lagging in performance. It only has a 160-km cruising range. Compare that to the Nissan LEAF’s current range of 276 km with its 30 kWh battery.  The Leaf also sold more units since 2010 at around 500,000. There’s also the Chevy Bolt EV, the i-MiEV’s primary competitor in the U.S. market. On a full charge, the Chevy EV can achieve a whopping 416 km of range.

Note, however, that Nissan and Mitsubishi are both members of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. As such, Mitsubishi will be employing the help of its fellow alliance member to develop a new electric vehicle to replace the aging i-MiEV.

A picture of the Nissan Leaf.

Unlike the i-MiEV, the Leaf's design has recieved updates. It's a great looking EV that's for sure

We can expect a new EV from Mitsubishi at around 2023. We’re guessing that this new EV might be underpinned by the same platform the Leaf uses. As for now though, we’ll have to wait for more news regarding the i-MiEV’s replacement. While discontinuing the i-MiEV, note that Mitsubishi has recently released the Outlander PHEV here in the Philippines. So while the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is as good as dead, the future of Mitsubishi hybrid models is certainly bright.

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Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar learned how to drive a car years before he got his license. Today, he's still looking for that perfect '90s Japanese coupe to drive into the sunset while listening to Crazy Little Love by Nuage. Also has a thing for badass off-road vehicles and weird engine swaps.