Mitsubishi Slashes i-MiEV Price, Joins Other Carmakers in EV Sales

Dec 10, 2013 12:22 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma (j.ecarma@autoworldnews.com)

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Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV's listed price has been reduced by 20 percent. (Photo : Mitsubishi)

As American shoppers pay more for cars, prices on electric vehicles are actually going down, but that doesn't necessarily mean that buyers will opt for plug-ins.

Mitsubishi recently cut the listed price for its i-MiEV by 20 percent, making it the cheapest car on the electric vehicle market, TIME reported.

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Despite the drop in price, "it's still hard to imagine many drivers excitedly running out to buy one," the outlet noted.

Automakers are betting that lower prices with boost electric vehicle sales. Tesla expects to sell 21,500 of its Model S vehicles by the end of the year, while Nissan and Chevrolet are fighting for the EV sales lead.

"Electric vehicles had the largest decrease in pricing, down 15 percent due to several price cuts during the past year," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

Nissan, Chevy and other carmakers saw increased sales after they slashed prices on EV models, according to TIME.

Mitsubishi's EV has only sold 1,000 models so far, with just 12 i-MiEV cars selling in November.

Dropping EV prices contrast with the rest of the car market, where the average price paid for a new light vehicle in November was $32,769, up 3 percent compared with October, and 1.1 percent year-over-year, according to Kelley Blue Book figures.

The i-MiEV's new listed price is $23,845, which is $6,130 less than the previous edition.

According to TIME, federal tax credits further reduce the out of pocket cost to $16,345. In states like California, the net takeaway price after further government incentives could fall under $14,000.

Despite the tempting price, the i-MiEV may still have trouble selling more than a dozen cars a month. The vehicle received a review from Consumer Reports that was lukewarm at best.

The model is "not a car in which anyone will be happy spending time," reviewers said, adding that the lower price is "still a lot of money for a car that feels like little more than an enclosed golf cart. The appeal lies solely in providing attainable access into the world of pure-electric cars. At this price, it becomes more feasible as a second, occasional-use car."

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