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Fleets switch on to Mitsubishi EV

Lease only: The first shipment of Mitsubishi's plug-in electric vehicle, the i-MiEV, will be assigned to government and corporate fleets.

First Mitsubishi i-MiEVs destined for 33 government and corporate organisations

20 Jul 2010

MORE than 30 government and corporate organisations will be the first to sample the first full production electric vehicle to arrive in Australia from next month.

Mitsubishi Australia has named 33 entities that have signed up to lease the i-MiEV, calling them the Foundation Group, but lease details such as cost and duration were undisclosed.

Three federal government departments will drive the i-MiEV, along with the New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian and Victorian governments, and Adelaide, Marion (south Adelaide), Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sydney councils.

The NSW NRMA and South Australian RAA motoring groups put their names down for the electric vehicle.

Several companies with an interest in green issues have signed on the dotted line, including electric infrastructure suppliers Better Place and ChargePoint, and electricity suppliers Energex, Energy Australia, Ergon Energy, ESCO Energy Solutions, ETSA Utilities and Western Power.

21 center imageOther i-MiEV lessees include GE Custom Fleet, Carsales, Google, Leaseplan, Hume Building Society, Ozgene, Rock Constructions, Roche Products, St George Bank and, appropriately, Mitsubishi Australia Limited. No universities have signed up to lease i-MiEV.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) said it would support the members with a wide ranging advertising campaign.

The initial shipments of i-MiEV would total 40 vehicles, but Mitsubishi said it hoped it would be able to source another 60 vehicles to fulfil strong demand.

MMAL president Masahiko Takahashi said the i-MiEV had attracted a lot of interest.

“The last 12 months have seen Mitsubishi conduct Australian trials of the vehicle with hundreds of potential owners, including local, state and federal government bodies, and major fleet operators, and the feedback from these test drives has been very positive,” he said.

“We have three times as many applicants as vehicles at this point. We could not have wished for a better response.”

The iMiEV has a top speed of 130km/h, generates 47kW and 180Nm of torque and takes up to eight hours to recharge.

The micro city car has a range of up to 160km, powered by a rear-mounted electric motor linked to a lithium-ion battery pack.

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