- David Hort
Mitsubishi offers finance deals to kickstart i-MiEV sales
Mitsubishi has expanded its range of finance offers for the i-MiEV electric vehicle (EV), as sales of battery-powered cars continue to struggle in the UK.
The i-MiEV has been on sale since 2009 – making it the first pure EV available in the UK – however EVs have struggled to sell in the volumes they would have hoped for, with the i-MiEV clearing just 170 units this year from a total of 1,553,094 new car registrations in the UK in 2011 to date.
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To stimulate sales, Mitsubishi has revamped its finance range to offer a new entry-level contract hire offer for the i-MiEV, starting at £239 a month before VAT with a 60-month contract. Previously the Japanese manufacturer’s finance deals started from closer to £400 per month excluding VAT.
Mitsubishi is also offering customers in the UK two shorter contract options over 47 or 35 months, which cost £279 or £350 per month, respectively.
Each contract requires a deposit, equivalent to six monthly payments, and excludes VAT, before monthly payments begin.
The i-MiEV is also available with a 0 per cent finance option over 47 months for retail and business users, which Mitsubishi believes will offer a more flexible method of purchase for customers who can request regulated or non regulated plans, with or without final balloon payments. A final payment which can be made if you want to buy the car outright.
The finance option requires a £5,871 deposit, £259 monthly payments (before VAT) and the option to buy at the end of the contract with a balloon payment of £6,000.
Unlike some of its EV competitors, the i-MiEV is also available to buy outright for a price of £24,045, which includes the £5,000 government grant for EVs and first year registration fees.
The Peugeot iOn –essentially a rebadged version of the i-MiEV – is only available on finance, costing more than £400 per month before VAT.
The i-MiEV is also cheaper than the Nissan Leaf to buy outright, with the Nissan costing almost £26,000 after the plug-in car grant.
Peugeot isn’t the only French manufacturer to release EVs and Renault has similarly joined the charge. As well as the Kangoo ZE – an electric van – Renault will also release the electric Zoe and Twizy after the Fluence electric four door arrives in the UK early in 2012.
The Fluence ZE will be priced from £17,850 (including the £5,000 government grant) however owners will lease the battery pack from the manufacturer for £75 per month.
While concerns remain about EVs in terms of range anxiety and a lack of a substantial charging network in the UK and mainland Europe, there are also fears that the short-term nature of their battery packs and the untested waters of an EV aftermarket will put buyers off.
However, according to Mitsubishi and residual value experts CAP, the i-MiEV will retain 43 per cent of its original value after three years. Mitsubishi says this figure is better than most combustion-engined rivals.
Whilst that residual figure is comparable to the three-year value of the entry-level Ford Ka – a city car rival to the i-MiEV – which retains around 44 per cent of its value after three years, the i-MiEV is almost three times more expensive to buy outright than the Ford.