Mitsubishi i Electric Car To Start at $20,490

Mitsubishi announced today that its diminutive i electric car, formerly known as the i-MiEV, will retail for $27,990, or $20,490 after a $7,500 federal tax credit. That makes it the most-affordable electric car in the U.S. market.

At $22,490, the step-up SE trim level will add alloy wheels, fog lights, a premium stereo, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and upgraded seat upholstery and interior trim. A DC quick-charge port will come only with a $2,790 premium package option on the SE trim level along with a navigation system, backup camera and Fuse Hands-free Link, a voice-activated media system. Leasing will also be available, but the pricing hasn't been finalized.

The reservation process will begin tomorrow, April 22, at, where prospective buyers can place a $299 refundable deposit through PayPal. The first 2,000 to sign up will receive a free home inspection; the rest must pay an additional $99 at the time of sign-up. As we reported earlier, Mitsubishi has partnered with Best Buy to manage inspections and installations by third-party electrical contractors.

The i will initially be sold in West Coast states, starting this fall, and Mitsubishi says additional markets will be added gradually, with a goal of hitting all 50 states by November 2012.

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