While we were hanging out at the 2009 Geneva International Motor Show, we got the chance to take a look at Mitsubishi's iMiEV -- an electric vehicle based on the gas-driven, 'i' supermini available in Japan right now.
The 'MiEV' bit of the name is an acronym for 'Mitsubishi innovative electric vehicle', and it is pretty innovative, all things considered. Unlike similar cars, such as the G-Wiz, it has four seats, a half-decent cruising range, and won't cause people to laugh and point when you roll past.
Power is supplied by a 330V, 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack, linked to a 47kW (about 63bhp) electric motor connected to the car's rear wheels. The motor pumps out 180Nm of torque, which isn't an awful lot, but if driven sensibly, the iMiEV has a range of approximately 160km. Mitsubishi is being coy about the acceleration, but it has promised the iMiEV will only be about 30 per cent slower than a traditional petrol-powered supermini.
Recharging the iMiEV is possible by plugging it straight into a conventional household electricity plug, or into one of the charging stations beginning to crop up around cities such as London. A full recharge will take approximately 7 hours if connected to a 200V (15amp) plug, but can take up to 14 hours on a 100V (15amp) outlet. Sorry, America.
The iMiEV is still in the concept phase at the moment, but we wouldn't be surprised if it reached production. It's already piqued our interest due to the simple fact it has four seats. Click through for more pictures and keep it Crave for more info.