Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mitsubishi i MiEV electric car in Australia

Mitsubishi i MiEVAccording to a media release, Mitsubishi will be demonstrating their i MiEV electric car in Australia. So called "key stakeholders and decision makers" will be given a drive of an electric car "for the first time". I have already driven an Australian made electric car, but have asked Mitsubishi for a test drive, when theirs comes to Canberra. The i MiEV is an electric version of their petrol engine Mitsubishi i small car. Such retrofits of very small cars have been technically successful, but a marketing failure in the past. The problem is that customers what to show they have an environmental vehicle and that very small conventional cars are already efficient. Toyota's Prius has been a success because it looks different to Toyota's petro cars and is not too small.
"... Do we have sufficient sources of renewable energy to re-charge these cars in growing numbers? Do we have the infrastructure in place to enable full utilisation of electric vehicles? Are the incentives in place to encourage the early adoption of this cutting edge technology? These are the sort of issues that need to be addressed now, in order to create the market and the rationale to bring these cars to sale in this country.

Following display of the i MiEV in February at the Melbourne International Motor Show, Mitsubishi Motors will be moving this ground-breaking technology around the capital cities of Australia in a motorcade of public demonstrations, specialist briefings and individual drive experiences for key government officials, fleet managers, environmental opinion leaders and the media.

Later in the year we will build on this initial exposure program with a diverse range of longer term trials of the i MiEV in government and private fleets across the nation.

With this i MiEV program, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) will be seeking to prove to key stakeholders the true viability of this cutting-edge technology, and in doing so lay the foundations for the proposed sale of the vehicle in the Australian market.

The vehicle As one of the company's initiatives for reducing global warming and dependence on fossil fuels, MMC plans to bring the i MiEV electric vehicle to market in Japan in 2009.

i MiEV utilizes a large-capacity lithium-ion battery system and a compact, high-output electric motor in place of the traditional gasoline power train. ..."

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