Why the Mitsubishi iMiev isn't expensive
Many people will have reacted with surprise when the price of Mitsubishi's new electric car, the iMiev, was announced on Tuesday.
For £38,699, you could buy a lot of different and exciting cars, or green ones for that matter – it is twice the price of the current eco King, the Toyota Prius.
But instead of viewing the iMiev as just another car, look at it as an entirely new piece of technology. See it in the same way as the latest iPod or Playstation and the price makes more sense.
The first iPod cost more than £200 when it was launched in America, and the latest ones cost almost half that, and are more efficient to boot. The difference is that while the iPod took a while to gain popularity, there are people out there clamouring for electric cars – Mitsubishi took two deposits before the price was even announced.
This is not just another car; it is the very first production electric car to go on sale. It has just four moving parts in the 'engine'. If another manufacturer announces it will make one cheaper, then the chances are it will be swallowing a lot of the costs involved with making it.
The iMiev will sell, to companies that want to be seen as green at the very least, and it will get cheaper as time goes by. OK, so it isn't actually cheap for now, but it will be and in the meantime a claimed cost of £115 for 12,000 miles of driving and a free annual road tax disc should soothe the wallets of those brave enough to be early adopters.