Talk about an international collaboration. Currently on display at the Geneva Motor Show, the electric mircrobus Mia will be manufactured in China by a small French-German company called Mia Electric, powered by batteries built in Israel and developed by EVida (which has offices in the US, UK, and Israel) and sold in Europe come 2012. There currently are three models to choose from that will seat one to four people, depending on configuration.
With EVida's 8kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack, which can be fully charged in three hours, expected range is about 55 miles. Opt for the larger 12kWh pack and range jumps up to about 80 miles. Getting so many miles out of so few kWh is no doubt helped by the lightness of the vehicle which tips the scales at less than 1,730 pounds. Top speed is 68 miles per hour, allowing drivers to take to the freeways (just make sure to stay out of the fast lane).
At this time it is unknown whether the Mia will make its way Stateside. This will probably be determined by its success in the European market, and no doubt may require a few American tweaks before it arrives.
*UPDATE: We had Olivier, a reader, send in the following clarifications:
- the vehicle will not be assembled in China but in France (at the Heuliez factory at Cerizay where it was created before the recent sale of the electric division which became MIA Electric)
- the 8 kWh batteries will be built by Evida (Israel), but the 12 kWh batteries will be built in a Le Mans factory (France) by E4V (a French company) (see http://www.e4v.eu/?langue=GB)
- the 2012 date is for consumer sales, but the date for institutions is June 2011.
- the price in France is expected to be €15,000 for the cheapest model (€20,000 minus a €5,000 ecological bonus in France).
[Source: All Cars Electric | Image: mia-electric]