Mitsubishi Bringing its Tiny Electric i-MiEV to America

Posted: Apr 10, 2009 10:49 a.m.

The "electric jellybean" is coming.

Autoblog reports that the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car, "already a hit in test drives and displays the world over - will be coming to the U.S."  Details of the move "are scarce," Autoblog says, "but company representatives told us ahead of schedule that the car would be available here sometime ‘before 2012.'"  The company will also be working with the electric utility in the city of Portland, Oregon to study the car's impact on local electric grids.

"It may not be called the i-Miev," according to Jalopnik.  The name, short for Innovative  Mitsubishi Electric Vehicle, is a mouthful. "But it will be powered by the same lithium-ion battery in the current versions undergoing fleet testing. Those batteries will be the limiting factor to the total volume though, as the supply of lithium will dictate the volume of the battery packs."

4wheelsnews explains, "requests from corporations totaling 2,000 units. The diminutive electric vehicles are made to meet the kei-class regulations of Japan, which offer them the benefit of certain parking, insurance and taxation guidelines. The iMiEV is also an ideal compact four-seater city vehicle."

If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals.