Mitsubishi slashes iMiev prices

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Mitsubishi has brought the cost of its electric car, the iMiev, into line with rivals by slashing nearly £10,000 off the originally quoted price.

The Japanese manufacturer was the first to announce a price tag for its electric car back in March, when it said it would sell for £38,699 before any government discounts were applied, but now it will cost £28,990.

With the government's £5,000 incentive for electric and low-emission vehicles applied, the iMiev will cost from £23,990 when it goes on sale on 1 January next year.

A spokesman for the company said that he couldn't reveal the precise reason for the cuts, saying: "Mitsubishi is constantly monitoring market forces, including production costs. The equation is very complex."

Now that the final price has been announced and the value of the car after three years can be estimated, the company can work out how much it can lease the iMiev for. Mitsubishi has confirmed it will only offer a leasing package for the whole car, and not battery and the car separately, as Renault has said it will.

The company has also announced specification for the small electric car, which will come with alloy wheels, keyless entry, heated driver's seat and wing mirrors, leather interior and a manual air conditioning system.

The car should be capable of travelling 80 miles between charges and can be re-juiced from empty to full in 9 hours. An 80 percent charge takes just 30 minutes.