DETROIT Dec 4 Mitsubishi Motors Corp
has cut the price of its i-MiEV subcompact electric car in the
United States by 20 percent for the 2014 model year, joining the
parade of automakers who have lowered EV prices to boost demand.
The Japanese automaker said on Tuesday that it would cut the
price of the i-MiEV by $6,130 over the previous 2012 model to
$23,845 when the new version goes on sale in the spring. After a
$7,500 federal tax credit, the price starts at $16,345.
California residents can receive up to another $2,500 in EV
incentives, which would lower the price to $13,845.
"The main intention for us was to re-analyze the EV and
subcompact landscape. It has changed quite a bit since when we
launched the car, with different competitor electric vehicles
being launched," Mitsubishi spokesman Roger Yasukawa said.
He added that Mitsubishi also wanted to make the car similar
in price to the company's gasoline-powered subcompact Mirage
car, which starts at $13,790.
Plug-in vehicles like the i-MiEV have not received strong
support from U.S. consumers, in part because of their higher
prices and lack of a nationwide battery charging network.
U.S. sales of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles in the
first 11 months of 2013 totaled 564,287, according to research
firm Autodata. That represents just 4 percent of total
Among the automakers slashing the prices or offering
aggressively priced lease deals on their EVs this year are
Toyota Motor Corp, General Motors Co, Daimler AG
, Ford Motor Co, Fiat, Honda Motor Co
and Nissan Motor Co
Through the first 11 months of the year, sales of the i-MiEV
have almost doubled to 1,018 vehicles. However, in November
alone they slumped 71 percent from a year ago to 12.
Mitsubishi said that in addition to the price cut, the new
i-MiEV also will have an expanded standard equipment package
that includes heated front seats, a quick-charge port, a battery
warming system and heated side view mirrors.