The Geek Squad goes electric, thanks to Mitsubishi

Best Buy leases four electric cars from Mitsubishi for its Geek Squad.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham

Geek Squad Mitsubishi iMiev
The Geek Squad's new electric rides on display at CES Wayne Cunningham/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Best Buy leased four iMiev electric vehicles from Mitsubishi in a test program for its Geek Squad. The cars, sporting Geek Squad livery, were on display at CES. All right-hand drive, the cars were built to Japanese specifications.

Mitsubishi i-Miev
The Mitsubishi iMiev emits no CO2. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Best Buy will run the cars out of its El Segundo, Calif., store, using them to provide in-house tech support to residents in the area. Given the 80- to 100-mile range of the cars, Geek Squad members will have to reserve them for local calls.

Mitsubishi has been signing up partnerships with various organizations, including utilities and Best Buy, to get the cars into a road testing environment. Data gathered from these lease deals will let Mitsubishi further refine the electric power trains.

Based on the Mitsubishi i Kei car platform currently sold in Japan, the iMiev uses an electric motor producing 63 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque. With its 330-volt lithium ion battery pack located under the floor, it emits no CO2 on the road.

Geek Squad members will have to wait 7 hours for a full charge off of a 220-volt power supply. If Best Buy installs Mitsubishi's quick charger, an 80 percent can be achieved in 30 minutes.