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i-MiEV, Mitsubishi's funky electric golf cart, is dead

This is probably the least surprising departure from the US market this year.


After years of utterly dismal sales in the US, Mitsubishi pulled the plug on the i-MiEV, its only stateside electrified offering.

The 2017 model year will be the last for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV in the United States, Green Car Reports, um, reports, citing confirmation from Mitsubishi itself. "All available retail units have been sold," a Mitsubishi spokeswoman told the outlet.

Can't say we didn't see this coming.

Mitsubishi Motors North America

Time was not kind to the i-MiEV. One of the first mass-market electric cars to be offered, the car packed a 16-kWh, lithium ion battery and a single electric motor. With just 66 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque on tap, the EPA estimated its range at just 62 miles. Charging the small battery takes a whopping seven hours on a 240-volt Level 2 home charger.

At a price point of $22,995, it had a hard time fighting EVs with longer range, faster charging, more interior volume and better equipment, like the Nissan Leaf, which debuted a few years after the i-MiEV. Its funky golf-cart looks didn't help, either. Now, in the age of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and other 100-plus-mile EVs, it was clear the i-MiEV was punching above its weight.

The sales figures paint a sad story. Its best sales month was all the way back in February 2013, with 337 units sold. For the last three months, Mitsubishi hasn't sold a single one, perhaps because they ran out of stock, based on the spokeswoman's words. Thus far in 2017, Mitsubishi sold six i-MiEVs. It hasn't had a double-digit sales month since September 2016.

This leaves Mitsubishi without a single electrified vehicle in its US lineup. The Outlander's plug-in hybrid variant is still not on sale in the US, but it should hit dealerships in the first quarter of 2018, after approximately four years of delays. The Renault-Nissan Alliance purchased Mitsubishi in late 2016, and it's believed the Alliance will lend Mitsubishi a platform for future EVs, likely based on the 2018 Nissan Leaf.