Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s Global President, Osamu Masuko, recently announced at a press conference that the automotive manufacturer would supply i-MiEV electric vehicles to Australia.
Marking his first official visit to Australia, Masuko confirmed that Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) would be the first company to release a manufacturer produced electric vehicle in the land Down Under.
Masuko claimed during the conference that Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV is leading the race in electric vehicle technology. “The i-MiEV has been attracting a lot of attention in Australia and I am pleased to announce that we can now confirm additional vehicles will be arriving here in the next few months.”
“This announcement will ensure that we will be number one in bringing the electric vehicle to Australia,” Masuko said.
They schedule the initial shipments of the i-MiEV electric vehicles for arrival in Australia by July and August and will initially include forty vehicles for Australian distribution. They will also offer the vehicles to customers under a leasing agreement, starting from July onwards.
Masahiko Takahashi, MMAL’s CEO and President, said that the vehicles would find no shortage of potential owners on Australian shores. “Over the last twelve months we have conducted feasibility trials with potential electric vehicle customers, such as local, state and federal government bodies, and major fleet operators and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive,” Takahashi said.
Released in Japan last July 2009, the i-MiEV, which stands for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle, is one of the world’s first truly viable zero drive-time emission city commuters in volume production. International interest in the vehicle has been considerable and the i-MiEV has undergone feasibility studies in several countries around the world including the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Iceland, Canada and until recently in Australia.
Using a large-capacity lithium-ion battery system and a compact, high-output electric motor in place of a traditional gasoline power train (based on Japanese and European trial figures) the i-MiEV has some impressive technical specifications for a zero drive-time emissions vehicle. Producing 47 kW of power and 180 NM of instant torque, the i-MiEV’s permanent magnet is a revolutionary lithium-ion battery from Lithium Energy Japan. The i-MiEV’s electric motor supports synchronous engines and is built smaller, produces more torque at low revolutions and is quieter than a similarly powered turbocharged gasoline engines.