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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.

mitsubishi-i-miev-hero
Mitsubishi

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.