updated 12:40 pm EDT, Fri July 8, 2011
Pioneer outs head unit/GPS for electric vehicles
Pioneer is the first company to introduce a vehicle navigation head unit meant for use in electric vehicles (EVs) such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The AVIC-ZH09-MEV sports a fold-out seven-inch touchscreen and proprietary technology that is said to be capable of estimating the power consumption needed for particular routes and where EVs can regenerate their batteries using onboard systems such as regenerative brakes. The system finds the most efficient such routes for EVs during navigation mode by default, so they aren't always the shortest or fastest.
A database of charging stations is also pre-programmed into the system, and users can access a screen that shows estimated costs of a trip.
More common features of the head unit include a CD/DVD drive with AAC, MP3 and WMA support, a USB port, SD card reader, 5.1-channel support, AM/FM radio tuner and ability to pick up and play back terrestrial TV signals. A 50Wx4 amp, an auxiliary port and Bluetooth are likewise present.
The head unit arrives in Japan late in July for 246,750 yen (just over $3,000). Pioneer usually exports much of its GPS line but hasn't mentioned its intentions for the ZH09-MEV so far.