The reason Mitsubishi is so focused on Normal – it released the "New Normal" commercial about the i in October – is because it's home to Mitsubishi Motors North America Manufacturing. Mitsubishi delivered the first fleet i in the U.S. to City CarShare in the Bay Area in December and made the first customer delivery in Hawaii the same month.
The Illinois deliveries are not just being pushed by Mitsubishi. The city of Normal is doing its part to encourage electric vehicle use, as well. Along with nearby Bloomington, IL, the city has created the EV Town initiative which works to develop the area "as a model electric vehicle community."
Normal, Illinois, January 24, 2012 – Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA), today delivered six (6) brand-new 2012 Mitsubishi i electric vehicles (EVs) featuring Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology to the Town of Normal and Mayor Chris Koos in a ceremony held in the hometown of Mitsubishi Motors' U.S. vehicle manufacturing plant.
In addition to Mayor Chris Koos, other speakers at the event included Jerry Berwanger, EVP & COO of MMNA Manufacturing Division and Ryan Gremore, General Manager of O'Brien Mitsubishi in Normal, Illinois.
Upon conclusion of their remarks, these dignitaries handed the keys to the new Mitsubishi EVs to six Normal Town Council members who then experienced the fun-to-drive 100% electric-powered vehicles for themselves by driving around Normal and visiting charming locales including the Normal Theater and Carl's Ice Cream Store - settings featured in the Japanese auto manufacturer's advertising campaign for the 2012 Mitsubishi i.
"Putting these six all-electric cars into our fleet is the next major step in the EVTown initiative, which has put Normal-Bloomington in the national spotlight as a forward-thinking community," said Normal Mayor Chris Koos. "The Town of Normal is eager to get these cars into service and to show our community how well EVs work for a variety of tasks, even in our cold January weather."
The event marked the first delivery of the all-electric 2012 Mitsubishi i to a customer outside the states of Hawaii, California, Oregon, or Washington.
"I would like to thank the Town of Normal, Mayor Chris Koos and the Normal Town Council members, the EV Task Force and the entire local community for all of the support they have provided to Mitsubishi Motors over the years," said MMNA President & CEO Yoichi Yokozawa in a statement. "The Town of Normal is setting an excellent example for the rest of America to follow by embracing this exciting, environmentally-friendly and money-saving new form of transportation."
Mitsubishi Motors and the State of Illinois announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last year that marked the start of a working relationship between both parties to help foster important initiatives that support electric vehicles like the 2012 Mitsubishi i.
For more information, please visit MitsubishiCars.com/imievfleet and EVTown.org.
About Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of approximately 400 dealers. In November of 2011, MMNA launched the battery-powered electric vehicle Mitsubishi i as part of a corporate mission to offer consumers more environmentally responsible modes of transportation. This battery-powered electric vehicle technology addresses the need for vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions and support a growing agenda for sustainability. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.