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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and the government of Thailand struck up a deal late last week to begin fleet testing electric vehicles (EVs) in the Asian nation. MMC, with assistance from its local producer and distributor Mitsubishi Motors Thailand, will begin to prep Thailand for the possible launch of its electric i-MiEV.

Meanwhile, the Thai government has decided to move forward with its Electric Vehicle Project – a program aimed at advancing EVs and expanding the country's automotive industry. Additionally, by signing the deal with Mitsubishi, Thailand will be able to research – under real-world conditions and with actual vehicles – the feasibility of EVs nationwide.

Mitsubishi currently sells the i-MiEV in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and select European markets, but hopes to expand sales of the electric hatch into other areas including the Principality of Monaco, Iceland, Denmark and Singapore. In addition, the automaker plans to launch the all-electric i in the U.S. next fall.



[Source: Mitsubishi]

PRESS RELEASE

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and the Thai Government Agree on Joint study for Testing of the i-MiEV for the Popularization of Electric Vehicles in Thailand


Bangkok, December 9, 2010 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and the government of Thailand announced today that they agreed to start joint study for fleet testing of electric vehicles (EV).

MMC, through its local producer and distributor Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh), will begin initiatives for future market introduction of the i-MiEV new-generation EV.

Meanwhile, the Thai government will move forward with its Electric Vehicle Project, creating an integrated organization with related ministries and government agencies under the direction of the Ministry of Industry (MOI).

The Thai MOI has already been aiming towards advancement of EVs as part of its policies to expand the Thailand automobile industry, however through the start of this EV joint project with MMC, the MOI moves forward with specific testing for the popularization of EVs, through use of the i-MiEV, researching the acceptability and marketability of EVs in Thailand, setting up user support systems, and expanding charging infrastructure, etc.

MMC President Osamu Masuko celebrated the move, mentioning "This joint EV study project with the Thai Ministry of Industry is a happy occasion for both Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Motors Thailand. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Minister of Industry, who recently gathered a group consisting of the Ministry of Industry, the Board of Investment, the Thai Automotive Institute, and other concerned authorities to act as an advisory board for the project. The popularization of EVs in Thailand will not only contribute to the reduction of environmental burdens, but I also firmly believe that the popularization of EVs in Thailand will be an important aspect in bolstering Thailand's competitive edge in the next-generation vehicle industry.

MMC is currently selling the i-MiEV in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and European markets. In addition, MMC is already collaborating on initiatives to promote the popularization of EVs centered on agreements with various governments including the governments of the Principality of Monaco, Iceland, Denmark, and Singapore, among others.

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