[TMS] Mitsubishi to Unveil Electric Vehicle with On-roof Solar Cells

Sep 10, 2007
Tatsuhiko Hayashi, Nikkei Automotive Technology
i MiEV SPORT employs an aluminum body.
i MiEV SPORT employs an aluminum body.
[Click to enlarge image]

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced, Sept. 7, 2007, that it will exhibit three concept cars at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show.

One of the cars that will make its worldwide debut is the i MiEV SPORT. Based on the i MiEV, the new vehicle enhances the driving experience. The i MiEV is an electric vehicle based on the platform of the light car i, which drives the rear wheels by a motor. In contrast, the i MiEV SPORT employs, in addition to the rear motor, in-wheel motors at left and right sides in the front to enhance maneuverability.

The left and right motors respectively have outputs of 20 kW, and the output of the rear motor is 47 kW. The new vehicle mounts a Li-ion rechargeable battery with an increased capacity. The vehicle body has a space frame structure made of aluminum alloy to reduce the body weight. It has a range of 200 km, which is longer than i MiEV's 160 km.

To increase the utilization efficiency of energy, the i MiEV SPORT is equipped with a photovoltaic generator attached on the roof and a power-generating fan inside the front grill. The photovoltaic generator has a generation efficiency of 13%, and recharges the battery while the car is parked.

When lit by the sun for about 1 week, an energy corresponding to 10% of the battery capacity (equivalent to a cruising distance of 20 km) can be recharged. When the car is slowing down, the fan inside the front grill is rotated for the power generation.

Mitsubishi will also unveil for the first time the Concept-ZT, which the company considers as the pinnacle of its technology. It is a large size sedan with an overall length of 4,950 mm. The sedan mounts a 2.2-liter diesel engine (max. output: 140 kW; max. torque: 400 Nm) mated to a dual clutch transmission named Twin Clutch SST.

The vehicle employs safety technologies including a pre-crash safety system, a lane-drift warning system, a pop-up hood and a bumper designed to minimize leg injuries to pedestrians.

The Concept-ZT has a body featuring a space frame structure made of aluminum alloy and the body is equipped with resin front and rear hoods, fenders and doors so that it is as light as an all aluminum body.

The vehicle mounts the S-AWC system, which integrates the electronic controlled 4WD and antiskid brake systems, etc. to enhance the driving stability. The commercial launch of mass-production models based on Concept-ZT has yet to be scheduled.

In addition, Mitsubishi plans to exhibit the Concept-cX, a compact SUV concept car that will be on display at the 62nd International Motor Show in Frankfurt. The Concept-cX features a body size of 4,100 mm (L) x 1,750 mm (W) x 1,550 mm (H), a wheel base of 2,525 mm and a 1.8-liter diesel engine.

Concept-ZT is a large size sedan measuring 4,950 mm in overall length.
Concept-ZT is a large size sedan measuring 4,950 mm in overall length.
[Click to enlarge image]
Concept-cX mounts a 1.8-liter diesel engine.
Concept-cX mounts a 1.8-liter diesel engine.
[Click to enlarge image]