i or i-Miev

Mitsubishi i? or Mitsubishi i-MiEV?

There’s been much confusion over the name of Mitsubishi’s electric vehicle. It was first introduced as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle), and now the media is largely referring to it as simply the Mitsubishi i.

The Mitsubishi i is a kei car (Japanese category of small vehicles), first released by Mitsubishi Motors in January 2006. It has a 660cc engine located behind the passengers, much like the Smart Cars here in North America.Mitsubishi i-Miev

The Mitsubishi i exceeded sales targets by 20 percent and won thirteen awards in it’s first year. The Mitsubishi i was only available in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand, and was introduced to the United Kingdom in 2007.

In 2009, the Mitsubishi i-Miev (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) was launched in Japan for fleet customers. The i-Miev was an electric version of the popular Mitsubishi i.

Around the world the Mitsubishi i-Miev is called just that – the i-Miev. This is to differentiate the i-Miev from the gasoline/diesel powered Mitsubishi i.

However, in North America the gasoline powered Mitsubishi i was never available – thus Mitsubishi has decided to call the i-Miev simply the i. During the LA auto Show, when the American version of the Mitsubishi i was revealed, several sources reported that Mitsubishi decided to drop the MiEV from the name and call the US version the ‘i electric vehicle’.

The US version of the Mitsubishi i is larger than the Japanese version of the i and i-Miev. It has redesigned bumpers and includes more versions than the Japanese and European versions in order to meet crash standards and US customer’s preferences.

To further add to the confusion, when the Mitsubishi i-Miev is launched in Canada in late 2011, Mitsubishi is sticking with the full i-Miev name, and the Canadian i-Miev will be the same size as the international Mitsubishi i-Miev, not the larger US Mitsubishi i.

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  • EV Hopeful says:

    Wow – thank you for clearing that up! haha
    It’s good to know the info behind the confusing Mitsubishi I and Mitsubishi i-Miev naming, but I think I’m still confused as to what to call it!

  • Mart says:

    I guess Apple has already trademarked “i-Car”?

    • John says:

      Mitsubishi should make a marketing deal with Apple, they would sell millions of them.

      P.S. my 2012 US car says “i MiEV” several places on the car.

      • iet says:

        John, I wouldn’t buy an I-Miev if it were linked to Apple. I hate that religious all-controlling cult :p Even claiming to own the “i”. Please!

  • Pedro Arrais says:

    The Canadian iMiEV is the same as the US model. See specs here: http://www.mitsubishi-motors.ca/en/vehicles/i-miev/2012/specs/

    The equipment levels are different though.

    In Canada even the base iMiEV will have the fast charger. All our cars will be equipped with fog lights and Daylight Running Lights. They will also come come standard with the battery warmer.

  • R. G. White says:

    I feel that Mitsubishi has greatly underestimated the practical appeal of a rear-wheel-drive car with the motor stuffed under the back seat — especially in Canada, with the winter driving conditions that often prevail here. Now that the i has been made with left-hand-drive, and the dimensions enlarged for the North American situation, why is the car not being offered as a clean turbo-diesel, for a Canadian price under $20,000? Also, when will other models be offered with the new layout?

  • Jeremy M says:

    Every piece of US marketing I encountered, and every dealer with whom I discussed the car, and the back of the car itself, use the name i-MiEV, not simply i. I’ve seen it referred to just as i in some articles, but that’s it. My only guess is that they flirted with just calling it the i in the USA, but then went back to i-MiEV after all.

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