Mitsubishi i-MiEV


With all the attention given the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, you'd easily be forgiven for completely overlooking the diminutive Misubishi i-MiEV. First, the small EV has yet to roll into the driveway of a U.S. customer. Second, until recently, Mitsubishi's national advertising has been just as hard to find as the vehicle. Rather than working to build buzz in advance of the vehicle's availability as both Chevy and Nissan did with their respective cars, Mitsubishi has decided to play the i somewhat on the qt.

However, that doesn't mean the dealers have to keep their lips zipped. The owner of San Rafael Mitsubishi north of San Francisco has been working with local groups of EV enthusiasts to make sure the i doesn't disappear from the radar of potential EV buyers. That effort has paid off. So far, San Rafael Mitsubishi has taken deposits for 24 of the bug-eyed hatches, which isn't bad when you consider that it's unlikely any of the purchasers have actually seen an example of the car they're buying.

Mitsubishi is beginning its own advertising campaign right about now and dealers should be able to park demo vehicles on their lots by December. The first deliveries to customers in the early roll-out states should begin around the same time.