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Mitsubishi i-MiEVs for Geek Squad

Best Buy’s Mitsubishi i-MiEVs Debut At The Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show In Geek Squad Livery

The four i-MiEV’s leased by Best Buy Corporation for the Geek Squad in-home service fleet will be on display at the Best Buy Live display at the 2010 Las Vegas CES. These battery electric i-MiEV’s leased from Mitsubishi Motors are part of an exploratory program conducted by Best Buy to evaluate these zero tailpipe emission, four passenger vehicles for implementation in their Geek Squad service fleet. The vehicles will actually enter service with the Geek Squad fleet by January 13th at a Best Buy retail location in El Segundo, California.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Best Buy Geek Squad Car – Hi-res. Images

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Best Buy Geek Squad Car
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Best Buy Geek Squad Car
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Best Buy Geek Squad Car
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Best Buy Geek Squad Car


Electric Vehicle Background
Mitsubishi Motors has been involved in electric vehicle development for more than 35 years. Concentrating mostly on motor and battery technology, Mitsubishi has developed the zero-emissions i-MiEV, an electric minicar which has been on sale in Japan since summer of 2009. The i-MiEV was named as one of the top three finalists in the 2009 World Green Car competition.

With its highly efficient electric powertrain, the i-MiEV concept is a zero on-road CO2 emissions vehicle. Even when taking into account the CO2 emissions emitted by the power plants that generate the electricity required to power the car, the i-MiEV only produces about 30% of the CO2 of a comparable 660cc gasoline minicar.

The onboard electric systems also help reduce noise pollution during day-to-day operation. Free of the vertical vibrations and exhaust noise of gasoline engines, the i-MiEV’s motor helps bring about a 5dB reduction in sound when fully accelerating from 31 mph.

The onboard electric systems also help reduce noise pollution during day-to-day operation. Free of the vertical vibrations and exhaust noise of gasoline engines, the i-MiEV’s motor helps bring about a 5dB reduction in sound when fully accelerating from 31 mph.

Supplementing the standard Drive mode in the i-MiEV concept is the Eco (Economy) and Brake driving modes. Selectable through the transmission’s gearshift lever, the Eco mode limits excessive power from reaching the motor while the Brake mode uses extra regenerative braking during incline descents to further charge the onboard batteries.

Innovative Power System
Based around a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, the i-MiEV’s power system uses high-capacity lithium-ion batteries and a groundbreaking three-way battery charging system. The i-MiEV uses cutting edge high energy density lithium-ion batteries to power its motor. Each floor-mounted battery pack consists of 22 modules, which are themselves comprised of 4 battery cells. Battery modules can be installed either vertically or transversely, allowing them to fit easily in the area underneath the cabin floor, retaining cabin space and lowering the center of gravity.

The estimated target range for the i-MiEV concept is 80-100 miles. Three different types of battery charging systems are available. Using the onboard household charger, the i-MiEV can be recharged through 220V (15A) and 110V (15A) power sources. Ordinary electric outlets plugs are used and access the i-MiEV from the passenger side of the vehicle. The full charging time is approximately 7 hours for the 220V system and 14 hours for the 110V system. A quick-charger system is also available, accessible on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Using a three-phase 220V power supply, the quick-charger can produce an 80% battery charge in about 30 minutes.

High Efficiency and Low Cost
The i-MiEV’s small, lightweight and powerful electric motor can be assembled and installed in a smaller packaging space than a gasoline alternative. Taking advantage of the electric motor’s instant torque characteristics, the i-MiEV produces 133 lb.-ft of torque from a standstill and 63 hp of power. With a top speed of 81 mph, the i-MiEV provides quieter and sportier driving with superior power output versus a comparable gasoline minicar.

The cost per kilometer to operate the i-MiEV is also 1/3 that of a comparable gasoline minicar when charged during daytime hours. If charged during off-peak or nighttime hours, the cost can drop as low as 1/9 that of a gasoline equivalent, greatly reducing operating costs.

Optimum Packaging
Retaining the right-hand drive I minicar’s mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, the i-MiEV places the charger, inverter and electric motor system below and behind the rear passengers. This allows the high capacity lithium-ion batteries to be installed underneath the floor. Besides lowering the center of gravity of the vehicle, the battery placement also provides the i-MiEV with generous cabin space and reasonable rear luggage compartment space.

The left-hand drive i-MiEV concept goes one step further with its long 100.4-inch wheelbase and a larger (+1.7 inches versus the right-hand drive i-MiEV) 59.8-inch overall width. For greater driving stability and control, Mitsubishi engineers widened the front track by 3.7 inches and the rear track by 5.3 inches. The reshaped front and rear overhangs were also lengthened by 2.1 inches overall for increased safety and protection during front and rear-end collisions. With the wheels pushed out to the corners and the body optimized for ingress and egress, four adult-sized occupants can travel in comfort with generous legroom and ceiling clearance.

Joint Research
Over the past two years, testing has been carried out on the i-MiEV in Japan with seven major utility companies. Replicating that structure of partnered development and testing here in the US, i-MiEV units have been undergone prototype evaluation programs with both Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Southern California Edison. By partnering with these major utilities, Mitsubishi will be able to evaluate battery and charging system performance, as well as any possible future production vehicle’s ability to integrate into the US energy structure.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV specifications

i-MiEV (Japanese right-hand drive)
Overall length 133.7-in.
Overall width 58.1-in.
Overall height 63.0-in.
Track: F/R 51.6 / 50.0-in.
Wheelbase 100.4-in.
Number of passengers 4
Vehicle weight 2381 lbs.
Motor output 63 hp
Motor torque 133 lb.-ft
Battery system 330V lithium-ion
Drive mode Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive

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