Series of test underway in US, Europe, Canada, Australia and New ZealandMitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) is accelerating its drive toward greater environmental responsibility and reinforcing its 'Drive@earth' global sustainability initiative by announcing its commitment to develop the pure electric, four-passenger Mitsubishi i-MiEV for global markets. The award-winning Mitsubishi i-MiEV is expected to be the world's first practical electric vehicle offered by a major automobile manufacturer when fleet sales begin this July in Japan. So far Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, as the forerunner in the development of electric vehicles, has been conducting joint research with power companies in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, United States (California and Portland) and across Europe using the zero emission iMiEV.
Recently in the United States, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state of Oregon and a Letter of Intent with power company Portland General Electric was finalized. According to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski "Oregon welcomes the partnership with Mitsubishi Motors as we transition to the next generation in vehicle technology. Together, we can build a consistent and reliable infrastructure so consumers can make the switch seamlessly to electric vehicles". He also added that "The partnership shows that a state can create opportunity for its commitment to a greener future – wins for our economy and our environment. Portland General Electric is rolling out a network of charging stations across its service territory in Oregon and the addition of Mitsubishi iMiEVs further facilitates its support of next generation electric vehicles. Portland General Electric currently has more than a dozen charging stations up and running.
Furthermore in Canada, the Government of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, power company BC Hydro and Mitsubishi Sales of Canada Limited has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the testing of iMiEV. Under the terms of the agreement, one car would be added to BC Hydro's fleet of vehicles and one to the City of Vancouver's fleet for demonstration and evaluation purposes. The agreement also allows for the addition of more cars as they become available. Canadian Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom said that "Electric cars are part of the sustainable transportation solution for British Columbia and I am pleased that the iMiEV will make its Canadian debut in Vancouver".
In Monaco, fleet of i MiEVs will be supplied from the end of 2009 to its local community service organizations, including the post office, telecom office and other organizations including Monte Carlo SBM hotels and casinos. Mitsubishi Motors sees opportunities for collaborating with Monaco as a partner and as a test market for the iMiEV. The fleet monitoring test was carried out in order to prove the vehicle's technical capabilities in daily use and also to evaluate its market acceptability.
The Mitsubishi iMiEV, which is also one of the 2009 World Green Car Finalist, is based on the current Mitsubishi "i" minicar currently being sold in Japan. Not only does the iMiEV prove to be eco friendly by emitting zero carbon dioxide, but this is also easy on the budget. Running cost is only one third that of a comparable gasoline fed vehicle. Cost per kilometer can drop as low as one ninth of the gasoline engine. The iMiEV represents the pinnacle of Mitsubishi Motor's green technologies.