Unlike some other hatchbacks that will be departing the U.S. market, I don’t predict anyone pouring one out for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The automaker announced it will discontinue the electric vehicle due to slow sales.
Green Car Reports got an official statement from Erica Rasch at Mitsubishi Motors North America who confirmed that “2017 was the last model year for the i-MiEV, and all available retail units have been sold.”
According to Green Car Reports, the i-MiEV was technically the first mass-market electric car. Mitsubishi was testing fleets of them in Japan in 2007, two years before Tesla launched its roadster and the i-MiEV was on sale before the Nissan Leaf hit showrooms in 2010.
Despite its place in history, there weren’t too many positive qualities about the i-MiEV. It looked like an insect mated with a golf cart and had about the same amount of range. The i-MiEV would run out of juice in about 62 miles. With the electric motors pumping out the equivalent of about 66 horsepower pushing around 2550 lbs, the i-MiEV was also one of the slowest accelerating cars on the market doing the casual jaunt to 60 mph in 13 seconds.
At the time, the i-MiEV was also the cheapest EV you could buy with a starting price of just under $30,000, though the materials and interior looked to be lifted from a $12,000 econobox.
Mitsubishi will now focus its electric vehicle efforts on the Outlander Plug-In hybrid, which is the only crossover in its segment that offers a plug-in option, though no one seems to notice.