Mitsubishi is Keeping a Golden EV in Japan, but Why

April 6th, 2022 by


Have you ever thought of importing a vehicle from overseas that is not available in the U.S.? It’s a common thought many automakers have. Unbeknownst to many consumers, automakers usually have twice as many vehicles available in Europe, Japan, or really any other continent in the east, than what is shown on their U.S. website. Heck, Mitsubishi Motors, focusing on their SUVs in North America, still has sports cars, trucks, and electric vehicles (EVs) making up their lineup in Japan. What?! Now, many people may be wondering if they can get behind the wheel of one of these cars if they import it to America, but for the most part, it’s illegal to drive them…unless you can find a loophole. There is also the official list of vehicles now available for import to the U.S. listed in 2019, but we’re not talking about that today. We’re talking about the mysterious Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV.

Yes, the all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV still lives on…just overseas…and no longer a subcompact car but a really tiny van. Still, that doesn’t stop consumers from eastern countries buying it like hot cakes, and if you know how to work the system, consumers can buy this vehicle as an import. This story comes from a citizen of Australia, Chris and Sarah Jensen, who own the Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV, and love it. Not only that, but it’s always turning heads – probably because it’s not usually seen outside of Japan, let alone on the streets of Brisbane, Australia, but the minicab got noticed. Many people asked what the car was, what its range is, charging time, etc. It was a seven-year old model, but it was an electric vehicle (EV) to write home about.

First off, the Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV has an all-electric range of 100 miles. Jensen says his older model gets about 75 miles, but that’s still more than the average driver needs for a day or two, especially if living in the city, and post-pandemic. Like all EVs, there are many choices for recharging. Using a home charger, the MiEV can charge up overnight, like plugging in your phone before turning out the lights. Both are charged up and ready to go in the morning. If out and about, the Minicab MiEV can also handle fast charging stations, able to charge up in 15 minutes with CHAdeMO. When traveling further, although the U.S. just started to make a commitment to installing more charging stations, in Australia, they have the Queensland Electric Superhighway, filled with charging stations for those long trips.

Once a delivery van, the Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV has various seating configurations for opening up store space. Perfect for people with an active lifestyle, taking bikes wherever they go. The minicab is long enough to lay down in and act as a small camper. Perhaps Jensen was able to get this vehicle because it was a second-hand import from Japan, or perhaps Australia isn’t as strict about imported vehicles. Regardless, Jensen says the Minicab MiEV has replaced his old daily vehicle and has become the family favorite. Enough for errands or the daily commute for only a couple of bucks to charge up, it’s worth going imported if you can.

However, if taking a risk with an imported vehicle is not in the cards, Mitsubishi Motors still has a strong lineup in America, especially with the new generation of the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander. If an SUV isn’t your thing, the 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage is still heralded as one of the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered hatchback on the market. You can find these models and more when you shop for a new Mitsubishi at University Mitsubishi.

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