Mitusbishi testing the i MiEV in California starting 4-quarter 2008

Mitsubishi has announced that it will team up with Pacific Gas and Electric Company to test the Mitsubishi i MiEV electric-car for research and demonstration purposes. Mitsubishi has been testing the i MiEV in the Japan for the past two years and plans on selling the electric car to the Japanese market in the summer of 2009.

With PG&E using the i MiEV for daily use, Mitsubishi can gain data and gauge the viability of the electric-car in the U.S.

The i MiEV is powered by a 330-volt lithium ion battery system mated to 47kW electric motor that provides better performance than the standard 64-hp gasoline engine of the regular Mitsubishi ‘i.’


Press Release:

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company to Conduct Joint Research with i MiEV Electric Vehicles

Innovative Four-Passenger Electric Car Delivery in Fourth Quarter 2008

Tokyo, August 8, 2008 “” Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today that it has signed a letter of intent with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) covering the use of MMC’s zero-emissions i MiEV electric vehicle for research and demonstration purposes.

According to Tohru Hashimoto, Corporate General Manager of the i MiEV Business Promotion Office of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, “We are hoping for the opportunity to introduce the small, four-passenger Mitsubishi i MiEV to PG&E’s fleet in the fourth quarter of this year so that we can begin real-world U.S. testing. The joint partnership will yield valuable data and a greater appreciation of the practicality of an all-electric vehicle in California.”

Extensive testing with the i MiEV has taken place over the past two years with seven major utility companies in Japan. The success of these programs quickened the pace and prompted Mitsubishi Motors to begin selling the electric vehicle in the Japan market in summer of 2009.

Through daily use, PG&E will gauge the viability of utilizing all-electric vehicles in its operations and further understand the impact of charging electric vehicles on the electric grid. The testing will provide PG&E and Mitsubishi Motors with vehicle usage data, which will be used to publicly demonstrate and validate the many benefits of dedicated electric vehicles within the California market.

“PG&E has been researching the benefits of electric vehicles since the nineties. Partnering with automakers like Mitsubishi is vital to developing compatible infrastructures to support electric vehicles in the marketplace and ensure responsible integration with the grid,” said Andrew Tang, senior director of smart energy web for PG&E. “By working with Mitsubishi, we will both benefit from a free exchange of electric vehicle information that includes charging infrastructure availability, vehicle data, vehicle commercialization expectations and public feedback.”

The i MiEV electric vehicle, which is based on Mitsubishi’s “i” gasoline-powered mini car on sale in Japan, adapts a zero-emissions state-of-the-art electric drivetrain. A durable 330-volt lithium-ion battery system is located under the floor deck and powers a permanent magnet electric motor. With this packaging, the vehicle offers the same level of interior utility and space as the gasoline version while lowering the center of gravity for more stable handling. The 47 kW electric motor offers improved performance and quicker acceleration over the 64-hp gasoline version.

The advanced lithium-ion battery is developed by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation / Mitsubishi Corporation / GS Yuasa joint venture company, Lithium Energy Japan. LEJ represents the leading edge in battery technology and promises up to 100 miles*1 of zero emissions, economical driving on a single charge when packaged in the i MiEV.