Mitsubishi Electric Car lands in Australia

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Mitsubishi Electric Car lands in Australia

Post by marcopolo » Mon, 17 May 2010, 15:59

acmotor wrote:Tell us when you trade the lexus in on a hyundai!
Why not? After 14 Mercedes, I switched to Lexus! The diesel version of the latest Jaguar is a fairly attractive option. To the general public, especially those not in the market for that type of vehicle, old prejudices die very hard. You still hear criticisms of British Leyland Jaguar from the 70's.

Squiggles is a good example. One of the very early Lexus models was basically a modified Camry. Since then, the Vehicle range has evolved to become a serious competitor to Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar and BMW. (not forgetting Audi started life as an upmarket VW!).

The little Getz has improved each year and now receives a 4 Star safety rating.

But as I say, It's unfortunate that only Getz was available or willing to provide support to Blade in the early days. If Blade could have started with a purpose built body, but still compatible with a major service/parts dealer network like Mitsubishi Australia, say a modified Lancer, then with massive government sponsorship, who knows what might have been!

If Australian, State and Local governments had dedicated just 20% of fleet requirements, coupled with rego, insurance and parking incentives, production runs of 30,000 pa would be very realistic. This would have allowed an export drive, and before you know it, Blade would be selling the magical 50,000 pa.

An early EV program, with accompanying solar facilities, would have created tremendous economic activity in otherwise depressed areas of the Australian economy, and developed a far more sustainable manufacturing enterprise, for a great deal less, than the 220 billion the Rudd government has managed to fritter away on ill-conceived grand schemes.

Such a program would not have damaged local ICE manufacture, since no small to medium cars are produced in Australia.

Sigh, what might have been....

      

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Post by acmotor » Mon, 17 May 2010, 17:43

Wasn't Jag acquired by Ford (your fav. !) in the late 80s ??
Many of the more recent improvements may have come through that action ?

Image

Big mix of politics and business there marco and I don't totally disagree. I wonder though if Oz should stick to things it is good at (even if it is shovel work) and trade with the world rather than try to be an island ?
After 60 years of 'Oz' vehicle manufacture we still buy a lexus or merc if we want a technically superior vehicle. It's just that those vehicles have had their price inflated through protection.
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Post by marcopolo » Mon, 17 May 2010, 20:18

acmotor wrote: Wasn't Jag acquired by Ford (your fav. !) in the late 80s ?? Many of the more recent improvements may have come through that action

Well yes, you are quite correct, although the improvements began when the Thatcher government de-nationalized and separated Jaguar/Land Rover from British Leyland and placed Sir Jon Egan in charge. (drunken monkey's could have produced better cars than BL). Later Ford did a really excellent job of returning both Jaguar and Aston-Martin to profitability and increased quality control.

I can understand Bill Ford's 'it's the Blue Oval, or nothing' policy. During the reign of Jac Nasser, Ford looked like moving out of car production as Ford altogether!   

[Quote} Big mix of politics and business there marco and I don't totally disagree. I wonder though if Oz should stick to things it is good at (even if it is shovel work) and trade with the world rather than try to be an island ?[/quote]

Again, that is a very valid view point, but I think there is a role for Australian Manufacture. Like the USA and Europe, Australian manufacture will become far more competitive as the price of oil increases, and the cost of transportation offsets cheap labour.
After 60 years of 'Oz' vehicle manufacture we still buy a lexus or merc if we want a technically superior vehicle. It's just that those vehicles have had their price inflated through protection.

The Lexus,BMW, Audi and Mercedes are all cars in the luxury segment. The middle class segment is a more suitable market for Aus automotive. Holden, Ford, Toyota, serve it well.

A lot of 'quality issues' are really just perception. Australia's increasing disparagement of things built in Australia is distressing. Clothing, made in PRC, maybe much cheaper, but is of much poorer quality than was produced in this country. To accommodate, fashion designers have 'gone casual', in order to disguise the poor quality and take advantage of the enormous profits. Once the local manufacture is destroyed prices can increase, with vast profit margins for the importer.

I believe, the increasing trend to favour imported goods, erodes the ability of our own citizens to strive for excellence and innovation. I not saying we should revive AWA TV,!! but where we identify unfair, subsidized, foreign competition, we should match it.

Examples abound, look at the impact of Smith on EV's. True, the Ford family bankrolled them, but nevertheless they revived an industry in the UK, long thought defunct. Crown fork lifts in the US, a Family owned manufacturer, successfully competes with Toyota, Hitachi, Hyster, and the cheap PRC copies.

I think we should support such pioneers as Ross Blade, and other industries where circumstances are favourable. We should definitely have retained such skills as tram/bus building.

Next month I shall have the opportunity to put the EV questions to Joe Hockey (shadow treasurer) and see what he fails to answer.!      

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Mitsubishi Electric Car lands in Australia

Post by Thalass » Tue, 18 May 2010, 04:40

Jaguar is owned by Tata now. And, well, we'll see how it goes.


Who42 makes a good point: There is very little choice in the EV market still, which is why most of us are here converting our own. If Subaru made an all electric (or series hybrid, rather) Outback, I'd buy that!

I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.

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Post by acmotor » Tue, 18 May 2010, 06:09

Just to clarify the blade discussion and marco's guilt trip after buying 14 mercs ! Image

We need both new mass produced EVs AND conversions of new and used vehicles to have any hope of getting the required EV penetration into transport that I for one consider we need in the near future for the oil and environmental reasons we all know.
Blade is a (polished) 'conversion' of new and near new. It offers just one of the options we need and using just one model/class.
A decision to buy or not buy blade is not a patriotic one. Lets leave that one alone and stop making it something it is not.

"A lot of 'quality issues' are really just perception." lexus ?? Image

marco, so just what will you ask Joe that he hasn't heard before ?
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Post by marcopolo » Tue, 18 May 2010, 07:34

acmotor wrote: Guilt? Not at all! I loved (and loved in) my 500 SEC!
A decision to buy or not buy blade is not a patriotic one. Lets leave that one alone and stop making it something it is not.{/quote]

You don't feel to buy Austalian patriotic?
"A lot of 'quality issues' are really just perception." lexus ??
Absolutely!
marco, so just what will you ask Joe that he hasn't heard before ?


Good point, what would you like asked?

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Mitsubishi Electric Car lands in Australia

Post by procrastination inc » Tue, 18 May 2010, 15:40

Marco,

Ask Joe if supporting and promoting the use and manufacture of electric vehicles in Australia is part of the liberal parties plan of "Direct Action" against climate change.

If so, does this include public access charging infrastructure? import tax concessions on EV components/cars? ADR's for EV's? Green power generation?

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Post by acmotor » Tue, 18 May 2010, 17:10

Actually, I would ask what plans Joe's gang have to change the fuel excise based revenue system. i.e. road funding and coffer filling. (perhaps not in that order)

I'm less into the handouts and sibsidies for EVs (would be nice) but the real question for government is how do they plan to handle the economic structural changes of electric transport ?
You could be forgiven for wondering if a lack of EV support is becuase they have pondered the very point !


Ah yes, 14 mercs and a lexus. Now there's a model of patriotic purchasing. Mind you the dealers probably made a lot more money, in Oz, call it value adding, than Ross does on an egetz ! Image
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Mitsubishi Electric Car lands in Australia

Post by marcopolo » Wed, 19 May 2010, 19:48

acmotor wrote: Actually, I would ask what plans Joe's gang have to change the fuel excise based revenue system. i.e. road funding and coffer filling. (perhaps not in that order)
I shall try, although I have only a limited amount of question time.
I'm less into the handouts and sibsidies for EVs (would be nice) but the real question for government is how do they plan to handle the economic structural changes of electric transport ?
You could be forgiven for wondering if a lack of EV support is becuase they have pondered the very point !
Or maybe not! I realise Joe Hockey looks a bit like what you get if you shave a bear, but he seems more rational and receptive than the troglydite Sen Kim Carr!
Ah yes, 14 mercs and a lexus. Now there's a model of patriotic purchasing. Mind you the dealers probably made a lot more money, in Oz, call it value adding, than Ross does on an egetz !


Oi! I used to own in succession a Monaro GTS, VE Valiant Coupe, Falcon GTHO, and Torana A9X Hatch, Statesman Caprice! Now that's patriotic! ( I wish I owned them now! However, middle age, marriage, parenthood converted me to Merc's! Nothing to raise your blood pressure! (560 SEC excepted).

But, never fear there is a new motoring era dawning, and EV's will produce classics designs for young luna...well I would just love to see a couple of those 'classics to be', built here in Australia!

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Mitsubishi Electric Car lands in Australia

Post by mjcrow » Sat, 05 Jun 2010, 03:52

Mitsubishi are only bringing 40 iMievs to OZ, and they are only going to be available to Fleet buyers on a Lease arrangement (after which they may take them back and crush them? Let's hope not). Media release here

They will be available in July this year.

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Post by acmotor » Sat, 05 Jun 2010, 05:37

Lease is $1740/month 3 years. Applications close 2nd July for intending purchasers who can show just cause why they should be considered. !
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Post by EV2Go » Sun, 06 Jun 2010, 08:07

I think I need to reinstall Windows, my calculator appear to be malfunctioning $1740 * 36 = $62,640 for only 3 years and you don't own it at the end, that can't be right Image

I could buy a Porche 911 GT3 and it wouldn't depreciate $62k in 3 yrs...
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Post by Squiggles » Sun, 06 Jun 2010, 15:21

You forget it is targeted at government and some how they will calculate that this is cheap, after all if they run short of cash they can raise the tax on some industry......oh wait they are already doing that!

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Post by marcopolo » Sun, 06 Jun 2010, 19:26

EV2Go wrote: I think I need to reinstall Windows, my calculator appear to be malfunctioning $1740 * 36 = $62,640 for only 3 years and you don't own it at the end, that can't be right I could buy a Porche 911 GT3 and it wouldn't depreciate $62k in 3 yrs...


I believe the lease plan is based on a 50% residual. If this is correct it is the usual tax deductible maximum benefit plan.

However, there may be some special depreciation allowance not yet announced to make the lease rate viable with a write off deduction for special depreciation.

I am still awaiting the reply from Mitsubishi to the question we put to them at the fleet launch. When (if) I receive a reply, I will post it here!

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Post by acmotor » Mon, 07 Jun 2010, 03:17

That would be good if you could keep us posted marco. Image

Will mitsi only lease ? Who is the financier, mitsi themselves ?
Another reason to lease is to take the product back at any time or at end of lease, otherwise outright purchase would also be offered ?
The leasee has no legal option to buy out residual either.

I understand that many feet buyers would prefer a lease anyway ?

Excuse the cynic in me. Déjà vu requires no translation. Image
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Post by marty11 » Tue, 08 Jun 2010, 00:46

mm me too. .was originally excited at the Imiev.. now stroking my chin at the cost.. I think I would rather buy a Tesla S, and pay more, (and wait longer)   

or.. buy a range extended Holden Volt (Chevy Volt).. which may at least be able to be bought , or leased / bought, at more favourable bang for the buck. Maybe the Volt might come in in another two years.. or quicker. .2011 would be nice.. I heard their factory plans are ahead of shedule (cant remenber where I read it though..)

Maybe Misubishi figure they can geta LOT of cream off the first batch.. tempting as it is.. .I think I can hold off and wait 12 months more.. dont forget the leaf.. I like the look of it too.

Could be Leaf or Volt for me,rather than leasing the Imiev for three years, then paying 50%.. .at teh end of lease..would then have paid closer to $90,000 -    too much.. wayyyy too much..so I didnt reply to their email -- even at $62,000.. strokes chin... can wait..

cheers.. Marty
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Post by acmotor » Tue, 08 Jun 2010, 04:20

Could be driving imiev while you wait the 3 years or more for other offerings to actually be available in Oz !
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Post by Thalass » Fri, 11 Jun 2010, 06:02

By the time the S is available in North America, I should be moving over there. And I managed to convince the missus that I need a Tesla Model S in order to survive Canadian winters. In the meantime: EV Motorcycle fun!
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Post by photomac » Sun, 27 Jun 2010, 03:16

western Power head office in Wellington street had a visit from an iMiEV on Friday 25th June. Yes - it's small but effective and extremely presentable. Great for suburbia. As coal fired electricity will produce about 40g CO2 per km for an electric vehicle compared to 420g per km for petrol - all electric is a great step forward. (Just remember to buy 100% green energy - to support local companies like GreenRock (geothermal) and Carnegie Wave Energy - and all will better :)
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Post by bobkerry » Wed, 11 Aug 2010, 01:44

hey pictures are really awsome and the information provided is really informative...
i must say this is the place where we can share our experience too...
thanks alot for sharing it

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Post by marcopolo » Sun, 15 Aug 2010, 20:47

photomac wrote: western Power head office in Wellington street had a visit from an iMiEV on Friday 25th June. Yes - it's small but effective and extremely presentable. Great for suburbia.


I know I say this a lot, but having driven 7 production and or prototypes from the major manufacturers, I am baffled why anyone, well anyone rational, would purchase the iMev at nearly seventy thousand rather than the locally produced, better performing, larger, cheaper to run, cheaper to insure, more comfortable, Blade Electron at $48,000 or about $30,000 four a fully recondition second hand Electron?

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Post by rhills » Sun, 15 Aug 2010, 22:10

You are indeed baffled, aren't you.

Like many here, I admire Ross' work and would like to support an Ozzie business. I have contemplated several times buying a Blade but each time I've decided not to. Here's why:

First, some background. I own a real dinosaur, a 1990 Pajero V6 which I'd dearly like to swap for an EV, especially as we don't need the size/carrying capacity of this vehicle any more (and in retrospect, probably never did).

To be fair to our 'dinosaur', it's done nearly 300K kms and the only major maintenance has been to replace the gearbox with a reconditioned unit. All around me, I see Hyundai Getz etc. a third the age that are ready for the scrap heap. The newer models might be much better, but my neighbours across the road have a relatively new one and when I lean against the door panel, it *feels* much more flimsy than either my Pajero or our other car, the Audi A4 Quattro. Unfair comparison maybe? However, it leads me to lean towards a Mitsubishi over a Hyundai.

You'll have noticed by now that both our vehicles are imported. At the time we bought the Pajero, there was simply no Oz made alternative available. When we bought the Audi (1999), I wanted a 4wd sedan and again, there was no Oz made option available. Daily I make purchase decisions favouring local produce and manufacturer. However when we buy a car, it's a long-term decision and we won't compromise on functionality.

Now, all that said, I would have *major* difficulty shelling out $70K for a Mitsubishi iMiev and I'm surprised that there isn't more probing of Mitsubishi about the decision behind this price tag? This vehicle *couldn't* cost that much more than a petrol Colt to produce and since when did they amortise the development cost of any other vehicle over the first few thousand purchasers?

However, I also have real problems with some of the things that Ross Blade is doing (likely because he has to). If he were able to buy gliders off the Hyundai production line sans all of the ICE paraphernalia, I'd feel much more comfortable with what he's doing. I struggle with the idea of supporting the inefficiencies inherent in putting these surplus bits into the vehicle, shipping all that extra metal here from Korea (or wherever) and then removing them again before you can even start the process of electrification. If Ross could source a small, ideally Ozzie-made, glider without the ICE junk to start with, I'd feel much more comfortable with what he's doing.

Strategically, EV's are not going to progress while their production is saddled with such inefficiencies. They will remain the domain of the enthusiast. The average punter will look at the perceived weaknesses (range, speed of "refuelling") and say "why should I pay a premium for that?".

It's obvious that I don't buy cars very often. I want my next purchase to send a message to motor vehicle manufacturers about the way of the future. I also want the vehicle to last at least as long as long as my previous ones. We can debate whether the first aim would be achieved by the purchase of a Blade Electron. However, I need to see the results of the "time test" to be convinced about the second.

Now, if Ross was building one of these, I'd have bought it already!

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Post by Electrocycle » Sun, 15 Aug 2010, 22:48

I thought the Blade donor was bought minus ICE parts?

Hyundais are based on Mitsubishi designs, and in many cases outlast them.

If you see a fairly late model car on the road blowing blue smoke, 9 times out of 10 it's a Mitsubishi (usually a Magna). Hyundais don't seem to have the same problem.
The 90's model Excels are still going strong, which is what improved Hyundai's reputation in the first place.
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Post by marcopolo » Tue, 17 Aug 2010, 00:33

rhills wrote: However, I also have real problems with some of the things that Ross Blade is doing (likely because he has to). If he were able to buy gliders off the Hyundai production line sans all of the ICE paraphernalia, I'd feel much more comfortable with what he's doing. I struggle with the idea of supporting the inefficiencies inherent in putting these surplus bits into the vehicle, shipping all that extra metal here from Korea (or wherever) and then removing them again before you can even start the process of electrification. If Ross could source a small, ideally Ozzie-made, glider without the ICE junk to start with, I'd feel much more comfortable with what he's doing
The Blade Electron is built from a Glider.the definition of a glider is that it is just that, a glider, no ice parts.

But of course you are safe, there is no small Australian made car. Even if there was, by your own definition you would want an imported vehicle because of some perceived long life quality.

The truth is, like most Australians, you'll wait to support Ross and Electron until he either disappears,or no longer needs support! Meantime you drive an elderly ICE Japanese SUV, while complaining about those with hybrids!   

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