Published on November 24th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
Mitsubishi Minicab EV “Returns” To Sale In Japan With New Battery Tech
Mitsubishi Minicab EV returns to Japan with some improvements.
Few may remember this, but Mitsubishi Motors Corporation was actually one of the first traditional car companies to offer an electric vehicle. The Minicab MiEV was offered with a battery electric powertrain way back in 2011 but the range was rather unsubstantial at 100-150km depending on capacity. They sold about 13,000 units of the MiEV globally in the last 12 years.
More recently, Mitsubishi Motors has reintroduced the Minicab MiEV in South East Asia as part of pilot studies in the commercial sector. Both Indonesia and Thailand have already jumped on board. Now it looks like the Minicab MiEV is making its return to Japan itself as the Minicab EV as the world accelerates towards decarbonisation. Sure, the range isn’t great but considering it’s being used as a “last mile” commercial solution, it’s definitely practical enough.
The Minicab EV will come in 2-seater and 4-seater variants for the Japanese domestic market. Pricing starts at 2,431,000 yen and tops out at 2,486,000 yen, which translates to about RM76K to RM78K.
The revised 2024 model comes with a new battery pack which offers improved range. Other enhancements come to safety and convenience features. The new battery pack allows for up to 180km of range per charge, which Mitsubishi Motors says is a 35% improvement. “Normal” charging over AC200V (15A) takes about 7.5 hours for a full recharge. A top up from 0-80% takes 42 minutes using 50kW DC charging.
Besides the new battery pack, there’s a new electric motor which produces 195Nm of torque instantly. It’s not for speed, but for moving the Minicab EV when it’s fully loaded. The new motor is also designed as a single unit, which improves quietness. There’s also a “B” position for the gear selector, which increases brake regen.
In terms of safety, the Minicab EV now comes with Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic High Beam, Ultrasonic mis-acceleration Mitigation System as well as Hill Start Assist. Convenience improvements include an integrated power outlet for V2L use, both Type A and Type C USB ports as factory options and a smartphone tray.
Another change is the damping performance of the front and rear shock absorber. This enhances passenger comfort and decreases cabin sway. Even with all these improvements and inflation, the pricing of the Minicab EV has been kept the same.