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Green’ is still a price premium for EVs down under

Tuesday, December 10, 2013   by: Greener Ideal


Mitsubishi i-Miev

Thinking of buying an electric car to save either the planet, or some money, or both? According to the Mitsubishi Motors Australia online pricing calculator, the driveaway price of a new plug-in i-MiEV electric car is a staggering $53,230. That’s roughly the same as you’d pay for a high-performance Ralliart Lancer ($39,990 driveaway) and a Mitsubishi Mirage sub-compact car ($12,990 driveaway).

Buyers in the USA can acquire the Mitsubishi i-MiEV for much less. Mitsubishi recently slashed the price of the i-MiEV plug-in electric car by 20 per cent in the US market in a move designed to boost lacklustre demand.

The price reduction (for the 2014 model year) cuts the i-MiEV’s price by a significant US$6130 compared with the current 2012 model. Future i-MiEV customers will pay just US$16,345 for the EV, after a $7500 federal government tax credit. (The list price is US$23,845.) Customers in California receive up to another US$2,500 in tax incentives, dropping the price to US$13,845 in that state.

In a statement, a Mitsubishi spokesman said: “The main intention for us was to re-analyze the EV subcompact landscape. It has changed quite a lot since we launched the car, with different competitor vehicles being launched.”

The price reduction and government EV incentives mean the i-MiEV and conventional petrol-powered Mitsubishi Mirage share similar price points in the USA.

Shaun McGowan from says enquiry rates on ‘green’ cars remain low. “We see almost no enquiries on battery-powered electric cars, and less than one per cent of enquiries on hybrid cars. Buyers we talk to are receptive to the concept of greener motoring, but at the end of the day the price is prohibitive for most customers.”

Even considering the exchange rate, Californian EV buyers could have for Mitsubishi i-MiEVs parked in their driveways for around the same price as one Australian i-MiEV. They’re essentially identical, albeit with the steering wheels on different sides.

The price of driving a car with zero tailpipe emissions in Australia certainly is hard to justify.

It will be very interesting to see the general Australian car buyers reaction of the ever green, Tesla Model S when it launches eventually in mid-2014. With strong sales in the US and Europe, Tesla was forced to postpone its Australian launch from mid-2013. Keep in mind that Tesla has already sold out of its first six months of Australian allocation. The prerequisite for reserving a Tesla S was a $6,000 deposit. The Tesla S is expected to cost less than $100,000 Australian dollars. With Tesla shares at an all-time high, I’m very excited to see the launch happen, eventually.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

With electric vehicles becoming more popular, it is bizarre to think that the rev-head, petrol powered, Ford Mustang may go green says Ford. Having ruled out diesel for the iconic “pony” car, Ford know where they need to go with fuel economy and all options need to be considered.


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