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Mitsubishi i-MiEV – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Republic of Estonia aims to lead the world in terms of plug-in vehicles per capita and has kicked off its drive to the top by inking a deal that will have Mitsubishi shipping 507 i-MiEVs over to the northern European state by March of 2012. In addition, Estonia will install approximately 250 quick-charge stations, allowing most battery-powered cars to be charged to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes or less.

Under the terms of this rather unusual agreement, Mitsubishi will buy ten million tons of emissions rights from Estonia. Meanwhile, the Estonian government will take that money and spend it to support measures aimed at increasing the widespread use of plug-in vehicles. Looks like some mutual back scratching is going on here, the good kind.

Estonia claims that with a population that's just shy of 1.4 million, it may end up possessing the densest and, possibly even the most modern, plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure in the world. Many thanks to the tipsters!




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 7 Months Ago
      Fantastic.

      Mitsu is killing the EVO in the US, has no Miev for the US, but manages to find 500 Mievs for Estonia.

      And people wonder why Mitsu is circling the drain?
        • 7 Months Ago
        The world, and in particular the electric car world, does not revolve around the US.
        The market there is very competitive, so prices are low, distances are large, petrol prices low, and urban freeways make average speeds high.
        All of these things make the US one of the least suitable for electric cars, and one of the least profitable.

        Estonia is 17,413 square miles. That means that 250 fact chargers would theoretically be spaced only 8 or 9 miles apart.
        In practise of course many of those will be in the biggest towns, or town, Tallinn, but you will still be able to comfortably travel all over the country relying on those charge points.

        Japan has a savage climate in many areas, and the Mitsu will have been thoroughly tested against harsh conditions.
        Estonians are used to coping with the cold and snow without access to the very big and powerful vehicles that are taken for granted in America, and will work within the limits of the vehicle.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Not hard to figure that one out, it's all about credits. Estonia gets credit for negotiating the innovative deal with Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi gets credit for building an innovative car and infrastructure using Estonia as a 'testbed'. I'm left wondering how these tiny cars will perform in half a meter of snow and -30c temperatures, not to mention crash worthiness on Estonia's treacherous roads...

        I'm not an EV convert yet, and don't think electric vehicles are cut out for nordic driving conditions...
        • 7 Months Ago
        ...and as much as we all love the Evo, maybe it just never had 'credit-ability'
      • 7 Months Ago
      Estonia's primary source for electric power generation is its vast reserves of oil-shale.
      (although some natural gas is imported from Russia).

      In 1996, the EU agreed to treat Estonian emission from oil-shale in the same way a coal-fired power stations.

      Estonia is anxious to gain the super-credits granted by the EU for reducing road transport emissions. Mitsubishi are very concerned that Renault/Nissan are pursuing a policy of EV dominance in small nations by utilising the Better Place, one vehicle power charging monopoly.

      Mitsubishi, understand that the little under-performing iMev will never sell in any significant numbers in the USA, so instead is concentrating on small nations where competition is less fierce.
        • 7 Months Ago
        These 3,5m cars are quite popular all over Europe, which explains, why they have sold around 100 i MiEV in Germany in those two month...

        For US customers they might be to small, there the market seams to start, where the European ends.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Ugh. Truth hurts.
      • 7 Months Ago
      It's normal version for Europe. For US is wider.