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First 2012 Mitsubishi i Delivered To Retail Customer

Last week, Mitsubishi announced the first fleet delivery of the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV and now it has delivered the first of its new electric vehicle to an actual retail customer in Hawaii with the somewhat dubious claims of average fuel costs dropping from $70 a week to $3.


Representatives from Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., along with Neil Abercrombie, Governor of Hawaii, and personnel from Cutter Mitsubishi of Aiea, Hawaii, made the first customer retail delivery of the 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i featuring Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology in a formal ceremony today at the historic Hawaii State Capitol Building in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Bryson and Bridget Nishimura of Waipahu, Hawaii.

In San Francisco last week, representatives from Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA), along with San Rafael Mitsubishi, conducted the first fleet delivery of the all-new 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i to the California Bay Area's City CarShare. The fleet delivery was an important first step in getting consumers to accept the 2012 Mitsubishi i.

The Hawaii first-in-the-nation bucks the trend that most manufacturers seem to follow of starting in Southern California and then slowly working their way east across the lower half of the United States and up the Eastern Seaboard. Then, the rest of the country is filled in with Alaska and Hawaii hardly ever getting a car first.

However, the Hawaii delivery makes sense in terms of impact because of its high gasoline prices. It has the highest prices in the nation at an average of $4.05 a gallon and unlike other parts of the country, its prices are trending upward.

Those gas prices made Bryson Nishimura proclaim, "We purchased the 2012 Mitsubishi i primarily to save on gas – we currently spend about $70.00 a week on fuel. But it should cost us only around $3.00 for a full charge of electricity – that's going to be a great savings for us! Long-term, the Mitsubishi i should save us at least $3,000 a year," said Mr. Nishimura, retired from a career with Hawaiian Telephone.

As reported here at TorqueNews recently, the Mitsubishi i has been proclaimed the most fuel efficient vehicle in the United States. The 2012 Mitsubishi i earns the title thanks to its EPA-rated 112 combined/126 city/99 highway MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). According to Mitsubishi, its electric vehicle has a range of 62 miles.

Figure that Mr. Nishimura was spending $4 a gallon for gas, he was going through 17.5 gallons a week but Mitsubishi didn't outline in its press release sent to TorqueNews what kind of vehicle he used to drive.

One thing that could be suspect, though, is his claim of $3 in electricity to juice his vehicle because it takes up to 22 hours for a full charge. Even a 240-volt charger takes seven hours to top off the tank, so to speak. At the average per kilowatt hour charge in 2010 of 25.47 cents, that would mean roughly he was charging his new Mitsubishi about 12 hours per week, or roughly 111 miles. That means his old vehicle (maybe a Hummer 1?) was getting average fuel economy of 6.5 mpg. No wonder he wanted to get rid of the thing.

Regardless of those sketchy numbers, Mr. Nishimura may have done the right thing by switching to an electric vehicle in the expensive Hawaii marketplace and Mitsubishi may be on the right track with its decision to introduce the 2012 Mitsubishi i there to its first retail customer.


FiddlerJohn (not verified)    December 30, 2011 - 2:26PM

Mr. Nishimura says that his new car will cost $3 to charge the battery. He didn't say his $3 charge takes him as far as the $70 per week on his old car.

His new car has much less range than his old car. A gas car might go three or four hundred miles on a full tank. Most electric cars go 50 to 100 miles on a full charge.

My guess is that his new car fuel cost will about 20% of his old car fuel cost, or about $14. He can expect to charge his new car at least five times a week. Most people will just charge the car every night and not worry on those few nights when they forget to charge it.

The EPA sticker on his new car says, "You SAVE $9850 in fuel cost over 5 years compared to the average new vehicle."

If Mr. Nishimura spends $70 per week on his old car, that's $18200 in five years. If his new car is only 20% or $3640, that saves him $14560 in five years. Wow! This is going to change the way we think.