The 2012 Mitsubishi i will be available nationwide earlier than once expected, and the first bit of expanded availability can be seen with the delivery of six of the electric vehicles in Normal, IL. These are the first of the little hatchbacks that have made it to the U.S. outside of the vehicle's initial markets of America's West Coast states (excluding Alaska) and Hawaii.

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."
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Mitsubishi Motors Makes Initial Delivery of 2012 Mitsubishi i Electric Vehicles to the Town of Normal, Illinois

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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yep, 'informed opinion' said the same about WW1, and just about every conflict since.....
      Warren
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am amazed that people say they can't give up power windows, and AC. This is like people on the Titanic saying they can't give up truffles. They imagine a false choice. Do with less, or stick with what you have always done. The actual choice is do with less, or your grandchildren will do with nothing.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Warren
        When I bought my ranger I specifically looked for me with great seats, extended cab, premium stereo, roll up Windows, manual locks, manual transmission. I wanted what I wanted and the rest was fluff. Now guess what? The truck is well into 6 figures on the mileage, with the windows and locks still working, the stereo sounds great, and even the original clutch. Less stuff to fix...
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @EZEE On the other hand my Lexus GS450h, has just clocked over 212,000 on the harsh Australian roads, without requiring a single repair. The Lexus has power windows, seats, climate control, (every extra imaginable) and like each of it predecessors has been completely trouble free. So, I guess it's a combination of luck and manufacturing pride that makes the difference. The other difference is the superior quality of the Japanese supply chain, and labour relations.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's worth mentioning that Normal (or Bloomington?) is the home to Mitsubishi's north american auto plant. Normal is showcasing the products of the biggest employer in their city. Having a city government favor and promote the businesses isn't unusual, and is often a case of aligned interests, rather than something shady. But the article failed to mention it, and I think it's important to point out that the city's motivation probably is more about playing well with a large employer/taxpayer than it is about a commitment green technology.
      Warren
      • 3 Years Ago
      The pack is not to small. The car is too heavy, and not as aerodynamic as it could be. Easy price, weight, and energy savings...dump the standard AC, and power windows. I have never had any need for either, and don't want to pay for them them in dollars or range.
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Warren
        You cannot sell a car without standard A/C in the U.S. since the 70's I think. And power windows don't really weigh all that much. Dump them and maybe you can pick up 4 miles extra... not worth it.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          4 miles per gallon gain easily without them on a standard petrol car Joeviocoe. I borrowed my business partners car and discovered if you turned off the A/C his windows fogged up. He'd never cleaned them. I cleaned them when I had it and turned the A/C off. Saved him a fortune after I pointed it out.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Thanks Mark... but I was not talking about A/C usage consuming energy. Obviously that is one of the big energy savers. I was talking about the extra weight that an A/C system has, contributing to energy consumption (even when not in use)... being so low that it won't make a difference. It would cost the automaker more money to have a separate segment in the manufacturing line to give A/C or No A/C options since this is an internal component not like doors, seats, stereo, etc. When the American people want A/C at least some part of the year. Sure, a few people can get by without it... but that is TOO FEW people and automakers would be idiots to pander to such a small demand just to save a few miles in overall range.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Iran War Hysteria is going to drive up gas prices by about 30% soon. So, now would be a good time to take this car seriously.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Meh. They might go up. But I think everyone knows that a military conflict is in no one's interest, so it won't happen. There will just be more posturing. But that alone could drive up the price a bit but not massively. And the price is already partially inflated over the Iran issue.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Prices normally rise by around 75% winter to spring. This year poor economic prospects particularly in Europe may hold that to around 40%. Any influence from Iran would be on top of that, and should not be confused with this usual rise.
      harleydavid105
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just buy a Chevy Volt. Support America and American workers.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      This vehicle is so close to offering a nice INEXPENSIVE practical electric vehicle. It just comes up a bit short on range. It really needs a bigger battery.
        JP
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Which of course would make it more expensive.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JP
          Just add another 4KWH of batteries. That should add less than $2K to the price and make it much more practical.
      • 3 Years Ago
      As Dave says, what you or I want in a military conflict is irrelevant. Public support has been fanned up many times in the past (Lusitania, WMD in Iraq) and will be fanned up again if it's in someone else's (well-connected) best interests.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Go into that dealership and ask for adapted solar panels sold with that car. If they don't do that service then say that you won't buy that car and that you will not be caught again to have to pay for polluting fuel.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Goodoldgorr, you don't need or really want solar panels adapted specificaly for the car. You'd waste the generating capacity when the car wasn't plugged in. You want a grid tied system on your house sized to put into the grid about the same as you take out. Or just change your electricity tariff to a green energy provider. Then you can have both a house and a car that you are not paying for polluting energy. I've changed mine to a deep green tariff. The carbon footprint of electrical consumption isn't in the use, it's in the generation. Yes I'm using the same electricity as my neighbours, but for everything I use a green power company has to put 100% certified zero carbon power into the grid to cover my consumption out of it. Which means I'm not funding a coal fired station to do that for me. Truth is I'm 1 mile from where one of the largest offshore windfarms in the UK feeds into the grid, but my old electricity supplier I was paying chose to generate a lot of thier electricity from coal so I switched. My car is a 92 Toyota MR2. It mostly runs it's (much energy reduced) electrical consumption from 40watts of solar panels on the (mid mounted) engine cover. During the winter it uses top up charging from the grid. Vehicle electrical energy is some of the dirtiest energy you use. Generated from petrol, with an at best 35% efficient engine and a 50% efficient alternator. Warren (next comment down) is right. Why do we have all this "can't do without" crap on our cars? We spend more time at work and at home and none of my friends have electric windows or seats in their homes... Do yours? Apart from the dirty electrical consumption (and the component cost) we have to fund shifting the extra weight around. My little MR2 is basic (has only electric windows), light and reliable. Less to go wrong, less to fix and less reasons other than rust and mechanical failure to scrap it. My car is 20 years old my parents car is 10 years old (Citroen C5, very advanced top of the range European car) that Citroen has every conceivble and inconcievable gadget known to man. It's getting more and more personality quirks as it gets older. That car will be scrapped shortly like many others because the tech goes wrong and costs too much to fix. They are all built to last 10 years. Every component has about the same life span now. My car cost as much to half refurbish as thier last service. This year I will refurbish the other half of it. If the engine dies it will cost as much to replace as a major service on thiers. My "old car" might be less fuel efficient than theirs, but mine's converted to run on LPG (propane) and only uses that fuel to move the car (electric is from solar, no PAS, AC or Auto Trans). Mine still passes emissions every year without a catalitic converter. It's a 2.0litre 33mpg car as standard (the North American MR2 was a 2.2litre, slower & higher consuming model, I never worked out why). There is only me to shift from A-B.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          Mark Maher, any relation to Bill Maher?
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mark Maher, Mark, firstly let me congratulate you on your passion and commitment to 'green' energy. LPG, is a better source of fuel oil than straight Gasoline, but it's still a fossil fuel. But, some times a passion can appear to others like an obsession (especially if others don't share your passion). The transition from Oil is complex and varies from place to place. You have to be careful that your passion, doesn't turn into a "I'm Greener than Thou" attitude, which is counter productive! But it's great seeing your awareness and commitment on a personal level to reducing pollution in the UK. My brother and I have decided to install a bio-mass Combined Heat and Power or Co-generation generator to turn farm waste into electricity in conjunction with the solar installation. (not easy with a Grade 1 listed building). In this way we hope to set an example for others and also power our own EV's. But while what we do personally, is satisfying, it's really minuscule when you consider that every year, each large container ship emits the equivalent of 50 (that's right 50!) million, motor vehicles in toxic pollution each year! That means if we could just stop, even 2 of these vessels using Bunker Oil, it would be the equivalent of the pollution for all the motor vehicles in the UK! . The abolition of this fuel would also save more than 160,000 lives annually! . Something to consider, eh?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Btw Goodoldgorr, What have you done to reduce your consumption? Clearly you haven't looked into grid tied solar or changing your energy tariff to a carbon neutral one or you'd have known the answer to your own question. I hope you are not just one of these people that throws these comments out but does nothing. :(
          goodoldgorr
          • 3 Years Ago
          What i have done to be more green is that i shop now in that website for a green car, this is an active effective green method and it give some results. I explained clearly what exactly what i want to buy so car enginneers knows what products to build and sale. Me i will buy when only they will decide to offer a green ride, something better and cheaper. It's the same with most electronic products, it's always better and cheaper and more powerful and smaller, so it have to be the same thing with cars. If mitshubishi don't sell adapted solar panels for their imiev then forget to do business with them, they are already obsolete. It's deceptive to not sale the complete green package when it's easilly doable. Nobody is stupid enouph to not harness solar energy when their imiev is parked under the sun for hours and hours. Many imiev owners can install these solar panels onto thier home or at the place they work. It take some control boxs between solar panels and the home and the car. The best is a well adapted and up to date complete system for the car and home that is also adapted to the old electrical system for when there is too much demand and few sun, it take meters, windows programms for the statiscal datas and state of charge, etc. This is the job of mitschubishi to do so , it's called a green modern complete package. Remember that these compagnies works for big oil and that these little electric cars are just there for pr reason's. It's there to distract us from big ships petrol consumption and pollution, airplanes, machineries, tractor-trailer trucks, electrical generation, etc. Notice that there is absolutelly nothing green for that market. These cars are there for pr where they say to us that the car have to be suppar and costly instead of a real innovetion
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