27th June, 2012
Visitors check out the i-MiEV during the launch of the Mitsubishi Motor's 3S Centre.
IPOH: Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) plans to launch its first fully electric car in Malaysia, the i-Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle (i-MiEV), by year-end, said Chief Executive Officer Tetsuya Oda.
He said however the company is now in the final stages of market research to determine the vehicle pricing for Malaysia.
“We are getting some enquiries and also have certain demands for this green car, which is aimed at environmentally-aware people and companies, but here there is no tax incentive compared to other countries, so it is difficult to set a target for this car,” he told reporters after launching Mitsubishi Motors’ 3S Centre (Sales, Service and Spare parts) at its authorised dealership, FA Automobiles Sdn Bhd on Jalan Kuala Kangsar, here yesterday.
MMM is targeting sales of 50 units of i-MiEV in the early stages, he added.
Since its debut in Japan, the i-MiEV has attracted a lot of attention worldwide, following its introduction in European markets at the end of 2010 and launch in North America at the end of last year, he said.
He said in the long run MMM is happy to offer Malaysians the opportunity to purchase their own electric vehicle and make the choice for a greener future.
“This effort is also in line with Mitsubishi Motors’ global direction to reduce the rate of global warming and to decrease dependence on fossil fuels,” he added.
To date, MM Corporation has shipped 20,000 units of i-MiEV including to PSA Peugeot Citroen.
The G and M models sell in Japan (after the government subsidy) for 2.84 million yen (RM108,381) and 1.88 million yen (RM71,745) respectively.
In Japan, the government subsidises 50 per cent (and up to 1 million yen) of the price difference between the electric vehicle and a similar class petrol model.
The first electric car registered in Malaysia, the i-MiEV is powered solely by electricity and can be recharged from a regular home socket, and produces 49 kW of power and 180 Nm of instant torque.
With a top speed of 130 kmh, the four-seater vehicle can run up to 160 km after charging for eight hours at 230 volts. The i-Miev accelerates 31 per cent faster than a petrol-powered car in the 40-60 kmh range.
Oda said MMM operates 52 showrooms (out of which 32 are 3S centres) and 37 service outlets throughout the country, and six more new showrooms and 10 new 3S centres are in the pipeline this year.
The 3S Centres will not only boost sales of Mitsubishi vehicles in the region, but house a fully-equipped workshop with parts storage area, body and paint repair facility and a customer lounge, he added.