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Mitsubishi targets fleet with first UK electric car

Date: 14 January 2009   |   Author: Guy Bird

Mitsubishi i-Miev

Mitsubishi has confirmed it will launch its four-seat full-electric i-Miev city car in the UK in the autumn of 2009 with British fleets firmly in its sights.

All of Mitsubishi's 200-unit UK allocation for 2009 are expected to go to high-profile fleets with a desire to be 'seen to be green', and it is looking to lease the vehicles direct due to the expected high £750 per month lease rate (or a notional £35,000 list price if bought outright).

Lance Bradley, Mitsubishi's director of sales and marketing, told BusinessCar that many big fleets have already shown a strong interest, including the Metropolitan Police, British Airports Authority and Transport for London.

Key fleet customers have been invited to drive the production-ready car this month and Bradley is confident all 200 will be "sold even before they arrive in the UK".

Mitsubishi reckons 100 miles in the i-Miev will cost just 45 pence worth of electricity - equating to 0.45p per mile - and servicing costs are expected to be low with longer intervals than a conventionally powered car.

Zero road tax, full London congestion charge exemption and only 4% benefit-in-kind company car tax (electric cars are emissions-free at the tailpipe so get a 6% discount on the 10% base band) will all help reduce other running costs considerably. Mitsubishi is also planning a 10-year or 93,600-mile warranty for the battery.

After the initial 200 units - about 10% of the global production for 2009 - manufacture will increase. Mitsubishi plans to make 10,000 i-Mievs in 2010 and possibly double that figure again afterwards to bring the price down to a target £15,000 in a few years' time.