“The interest displayed by Australian private consumers and organizations in the new electric car technology has been overwhelming,” Mr Takahashi said.
“We have received more than 300 applications for the electric vehicles. Our original approval was for 40 vehicles, but we can now announce that our parent company in Japan has approved an additional 70 vehicles for the Australian market, taking the total available i-MiEVs to 110.”
“This approval from our parent company has been achieved despite high worldwide demand for the i-MiEV, and initially limited production capacity by MMC.”
Mr Takahashi announced the additional units at an event at Melbourne’s East Webb Dock today held to celebrate the arrival of the first 20 vehicles to Australian shores.
The event marked the first ever volume shipment of electric vehicles for release in the Australian market where 20 i-MiEV electric vehicles rolled off an international container vessel in a convoy led by Premier of Victoria, the Honourable John Brumby, the Victorian Minister for Roads, Ports and Major Projects, the Honourable Tim Pallas and Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) CEO and President Masahiko Takahashi and the MMAL CEO and President.
It is the first time a number of commercially viable, fully electric powered vehicle produced by a major car manufacturer will take to Australia’s roads for full-time duty on government and corporate fleets.
Released in Japan during 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 commuter cars produced by a volume manufacturer – and the first to be released in Australia.
The i-MiEV’s electric motor is smaller, produces more torque at low revolutions and is quieter than a similarly-powered turbocharged gasoline engine. The i-MiEV produces zero drive time CO2 emissions when powered by green energy. With a range up to 160 kilometers and a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour, the i-MiEV will suit the requirements of most private or fleet drivers, considering that more than 80 per cent of urban Australian commuters travel less than 100 kilometers per day.
Present at the arrival event at Melbourne’s East Webb Dock were members of MMAL’s i-MiEV Foundation Customer Group comprising more than thirty major public and private organizations.