The Mitsubishi i-MiEV Is the Forgotten, Ultra-Cheap Electric Car

If you’re looking for an exceptionally well-priced electric vehicle, look no further than the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. You probably don’t know the i-MiEV, or at least you don’t remember it, but trust me when I say you can get one cheaply. And the lack of awareness around it is probably part of the reason.

Here’s a little refresher. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was sold in the United States during the mid-2000s, though I can’t quite pin down which years; I initially thought it was only sold here for the 2012 and 2014 model years, but some 2016 models are listed on Autotrader. Either way, it seemed to skip around in model years, likely because there wasn’t much demand, and the car was largely peripheral to Mitsubishi’s lineup.

So what exactly was it? Aside from being an egg-shaped hatchback, it was an electric car with a little 66-horsepower motor that could go around 60 miles on a single charge — with no gasoline backup engine. Those are weak numbers by modern electric car standards, but it would make a decent around-town runabout for drivers who often find themselves looking for parking spaces in crowded areas or generally only driving in crowded city centers.

It’s an especially good car to consider for drivers looking to save money, because the i-MiEV is tremendously cheap. Used 2012 models are easy to find on Autotrader for around $6,000, which is a far cry from the original MSRP of around $30,000. And even used 2016 models are hovering around that range; one has just 14,000 miles and a $6,999 asking price. The i-MiEV is really, really cheap.

Of course, there are a lot of reasons it’s cheap — the small engine, the low range, the small size and the uncertainty of Mitsubishi parts support. But if you’re looking for a cheap electric car and you don’t need to drive long distances, the i-MiEV might not be a bad idea.

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