If you buy a Mitsubishi i-MiEV plug-in battery powered car in Australia today, it will cost you an incredible $53,463. It seems outrageous - the same car in California is selling at just a quarter of the price.
If you buy one in California today, it will cost you US$13,845 - about the same as a Mirage sub-compact.
Mitsubishi in the USA has dropped the price of MY14 i-MiEVs by 20 per cent to bolster failing demand. The move slashes the list price to US$23,845. A US government tax credit worth US$7500 slashes the price to US$16,345, while a California state tax rebate cuts another US$2500 from the price. All up, California i-MiEV customers pay just US$13,845 - roughly a quarter of the price paid by Australian i-MiEV buyers.
For that sort of spend, you could purchase a Ralliart Lancer - and a Mirage to run around in...
Obviously, government incentives are a significant factor in the price disparity. So too is the exchange rate, and the five per cent import duty paid by Australian buyers. But that doesn't account for all of the difference. Neither the Australian Government nor Mitsubishi seems very serious about selling plug-in electric vehicles in Australia.
Fifty-three grand is too much to pay for a vehicle that requires an overnight stop (to recharge) every time you need to go more than 160km.