By Mark Kleis
Wednesday, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 5:57 pm
While the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are the most well known electric vehicles in the U.S., Mitsubishi hopes to mix things up in the near future with a Tesla-like approach to offering different sized battery packs for its own electric vehicle - the i-MiEV.

The i-MiEV model already revealed for U.S. consumption starts at $27,990 (before the $7,500 federal tax credit) and comes in three trim levels that can take the price to $32,780 - but the Japanese market has slightly different offerings. Mitsubishi offered the i-MiEV with either an 80- or 100-mile range previously, but now, according to Reuters, the automaker is mixing things up with a slightly cheaper 75-mile range model, as well as a new high-end model with 110-mile range.

Of course, the key concern with these models is price, which puts the new entry-level model known as the "M" edition at 2.6 million yen ($32,000), down from 3.98 million yen ($49,000). While the price dip is undoubtedly significant, so is the base range - down to just 75 miles. Like the U.S., Japan also offers subsidies of its own, dropping the effective price to just 1.88 million yen, or $23,000.

The higher-end "G" edition comes with a sticker price of 3.8 million yen ($47,000) and a range of 110 miles. Mitsubishi's president, Osamu Masuko, explained how they were able to lower the price and increase the range of their top-end model for 2012, "Costs have really come down dramatically," referring to the batteries. Masuko added, "We will try to keep the price down even when the subsidies go away."

Mitsubishi has not yet said if it will alter the i-MiEV offerings for the U.S. to possibly extend the range or enable a lower entry price.

1.'Mitsubishi Motors...' view

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