Mitsubishi Motors Corp has presented its "i MiEV" electric vehicle, which will start field drive tests (fleet monitoring) in fiscal 2007, at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show. With improvements given to the predecessor model that the company has been testing in advance, this new model has approached closer to commercialization, Mitsubishi said.
Along with the lowered noises from the motor and the inverter compared with the predecessor, Mitsubishi said it reduced the motor weight by 10% and the inverter mass by 30%, while maintaining the motor's maximum output and maximum torque. The motor and the inverter are products of Meidensha Corp. The motor's maximum output is 47kW and maximum torque is 180N·m.
GS Yuasa Corp's cell was employed for the automobile's Li-ion secondary battery power supply. The cell's current capacity is 50Ah and voltage is 14.8V. With 4 cells packed in a module, a total of 22 modules are equipped under the floor of the car. Overall power capacity is 16kWh, which allows about 160km of driving per charge.
To fully charge from a power outlet at home, it takes about 7 hours at 200V and about 14 hours at 100V. The charger and the DC-DC converter attached with the car are products of Nichicon Corp.
Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Mashiko clearly stated "We will commercialize a small electric vehicle in 2009" in a press conference at this motor show. This is one year earlier than its previous commercialization schedule slated for 2010.
Mitsubishi Motors is currently providing a test vehicle each to the Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc, the Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc and the Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc. The company is planning to provide the showcased model to these power companies and advance field tests in fiscal 2007, as well as conducting field tests to the Kansai Electric Power Co Inc and the Hokkaido Electric Power Co Inc in fiscal 2008.