The Mitsubishi i-Miev is everything you’d expect from a plug-in electric car: first of all its name picks up on the iPod / iPhone inspiration, like the Toyota I-Road. It’s quirky looking to suggest that it’s futuristic and it’s greener than the Incredible Hulk, as there are zero emissions. Even if you take into account the emissions caused by the power plant that provided the electricity that charged the car, it’s only emitting a third of the CO2 a petrol equivalent would.
Although it’s one of the greenest cars on the road, it can’t be classed as one of the safety. Euro NCAP note that “several structures had reached the limit of their load-bearing capacity,” after the car had undergone their stringent tests. Their report also says, “the vehicle might not be able to withstand an impact at a higher speed.”
It’s available for £23,990, which includes the government’s £5,000 plug-in car grant. Mitsubishi quote an electricity cost of £376 which will take you 12,000 miles, but the charge depends on your energy tariff. The engine has only 4 working parts rather than the 300 found in an internal combustion engine so the maintenance costs should be lower. To prove this the Japanese firm offer the i-MiEV Mitsubishi Service Plan (MSP) for £300, which covers the car’s first three years of servicing.
It’s exempt from road tax and from the London Congestion Charge. You can even get free parking in some London boroughs, so there are a few benefits to being an early adopter of all-electric power.