Mitsubishi loan electric car i-MiEVs to the state of California

Mitsubishi has announced it will loan two of its zero-emission, new-generation. electric car i-MiEV’s to the State of California for evaluation in their test fleet.

The move comes as the Governor’s office and the Department of General Services both expressed interest in the inclusion of electric vehicles (EV), such as the i-MiEV, into the State’s support vehicle fleet.

During a May 24th press event, Governor Schwarzenegger was introduced to the Mitsubishi Motors i-MiEV by company officers. Schwarzenegger sat in the i-MiEV with lithium ion batteries and later spoke to a panel of reporters about the battery electric vehicle being representative of the technology necessary to tackle the sustainable transportation challenges facing the State of California.

Key committees within the California State Legislature seek to gain experience with battery electric transportation to help better understand and resolve the challenges facing the development of electric car infrastructure. Lawmakers and officials will have these vehicles available for extended test-drives to learn the nuances of driving an electric vehicle and experience the recharging process.

The i-MiEV went on sale in Japan in July of 2009. This efficiently-designed, battery electric, sub-compact vehicle seats four adults, and can be recharged from a standard wall-socket. The State of California will be evaluating production model RHD Japanese Domestic Market versions of the i-MiEV. Mitsubishi Motors plans to introduce an EV for U.S. consumers in 2011.