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"Do you know the way to San Jose?" Dionne Warwick famously crooned. Well Mitsubishi sure does. The Japanese automaker got some much-needed movement on sales of its all-electric i (known overseas as the i-MiEV) by cutting lease deal for 50 of the EVs for a quartet of San Francisco Bay Area city governments.

San Jose is getting 38 of the EVs, while the rest are being spread between the cities of Los Gatos, Campbell and Mill Valley, according to the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC). The vehicles are expected to cut fuel costs by a combined $110,000 over three years and will reduce CO2 emissions by 400,000 pounds (which is equal the weight of about 275,000 iPads, for you Silicon Valley trivia buffs).

Of course, Mitsubishi offered what the BACC calls "highly favorable" lease terms for the city governments. We're not surprised. Earlier this year, a number of US Mitsubishi dealers offered substantial discounts on the i in order to sell more units. As a result, Mitsubishi i sales through May almost tripled from a year earlier, albeit from a rather small total, to 843 vehicles. Read the BACC's press release below.
Show full PR text
Four Bay Area Local Governments Participate in Single Largest Municipal Fleet Deployment of Light-Duty All-Electric Vehicles in Nation

Rollout of 50 Mitsubishi All-Electric Vehicles to City of San Jose, Town of Los Gatos, City of Campbell and City of Mill Valley Marks Significant Electric Vehicle Milestone

SAN JOSE, C.A., June 27, 2013 – Mitsubishi Motors North America President and CEO Yoichi Yokozawa, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC) and other Bay Area leaders today announced at a press conference at San Jose City Hall the deployment of 50 Mitsubishi all-electric vehicles to four Bay Area local government fleets – San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell and Mill Valley – representing the largest single municipal fleet deployment of light-duty all-electric vehicles (EVs) in the nation to date.

Supporting the region's efforts to establish the Bay Area as the "EV Capital of the US" and Governor Brown's goal of 1.5 million EVs on California roads by 2025, this deployment is one in a series the BACC and partners are facilitating, which collectively could result in 250+ EVs deployed over the next 12 months for valuable potential impacts including fuel cost savings of nearly $2 million and avoidance of nearly 6 million pounds of CO2 over five years.

The vehicles were secured under highly favorable lease terms, removing the upfront cost barrier and risk of traditional vehicle procurement. These unique lease options are allowing participating municipalities to expand on their already progressive sustainability efforts, while delivering the significant operations, maintenance and fuel cost savings associated with EVs.

The City of San Jose, which received 38 of the 50 vehicles, is aiming to power 100 percent of its fleet with alternative fuel vehicles by 2022 as a part of its Green Vision, and is currently 40 percent of the way toward achieving this goal. "We appreciate the opportunity to secure these new vehicles without any upfront expenditure," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. "By replacing older, less efficient vehicles with clean EVs, we reduce emissions but more importantly, save on fuel costs."

This deployment also is enabling smaller municipalities to both demonstrate the benefits of EVs in fleets and emerge as sustainability leaders. "The Town of Los Gatos is pleased to participate in this initiative to add electric vehicles to the fleet, which lowers our carbon footprint in keeping with our Sustainability Plan," said Town of Los Gatos Mayor Barbara Spector. "In addition to being nearly 40 percent less expensive to fuel, these vehicles will significantly reduce the Town's greenhouse gas emissions – over three years our five vehicles will avoid nearly 20,000 lbs of CO2."

"Many of our fleet vehicle routes are predictable and take place within the city itself," explained City of Campbell Mayor Evan Low. "These i-MiEVs are ideally suited for such applications and, using the network of 11 charging stations we've installed, we'll be able to charge the vehicles throughout the day. The EV proposition makes a lot of sense for our fleet."

"The City of Mill Valley is pleased to deploy these all-electric vehicles, reflecting the Council's core value of environmental conservation and sustainability," said Mill Valley Mayor Andrew Berman. "The need for green transportation alternatives represents a global issue and is more critical than ever. Integrating EVs into the City fleet makes both economic and environmental sense, and we will encourage other local governments to join us in doing the same."

"The California Bay Area is known worldwide for fostering innovation and advanced technology, so it is fitting that the cities of San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell and Mill Valley are deploying such a large fleet of highly energy efficient Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicles," said Yoichi Yokozawa, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. "These forward-thinking municipalities will reap many benefits from having the Mitsubishi i-MiEV in their fleets, such as tremendous reliability, an excellent safety record, greatly reduced maintenance and operation costs and, of course, zero tailpipe emissions."

This distinctive opportunity was the result of a multi-partner, cross-sector collaboration. Mitsubishi Motors North America is the supplier of the all-electric i-MiEV. Active International, a corporate trading and marketing solutions provider with services that increase market share, funded the leases through its corporate trading program, and worked with Mike Albert Fleet Solutions, a national fleet management and services provider, to develop the highly favorable leasing terms. The BACC validated the Bay Area market for Active International, facilitated key business relationships in support of the deal and coordinated with the public agencies to help finalize agreements.

"Combined, these 50 vehicles could save the participating municipalities over $110,000 in fuel costs and reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 400,000 lbs over three years," noted Rafael Reyes, Executive Director of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative. "For fleets, EVs bring improved total-cost-of ownership and insulation from gas price hikes. These municipalities are true clean vehicle pioneers, actively helping to demonstrate the benefits of EVs in fleets and providing a model for other fleets to follow."

About the Bay Area Climate Collaborative
The Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC) is a public-private initiative of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and established by the Mayors of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland to accelerate the clean energy economy. Major partners include Bank of America, PG&E, Environmental Defense Fund, industry partners including ChargePoint, and local governments representing over 70 percent of the Bay Area population. The BACC is driving electric vehicle innovation through co-facilitation of the EV Strategic Council, the executive forum driving the region's vision to be the "EV Capital of the US"; the Local Government EV Fleet National Demonstration Project and facilitation of negotiated EV leases for fleets, for the largest collective municipal all-battery EV fleet deployment in the US; and Ready, Set, Charge, California! A Guide to EV-Ready Communities delivering key guidance on EV preparedness. For more information on the BACC, please visit: www.baclimate.org.

About Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, 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-MiEV 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.

About Active International
Active International consults with the Fortune 1000 on ways to optimize their enterprise assets, typically excess consumer packaged goods, real estate and capital equipment. As the global leader in corporate trade, Active has successfully helped many of the world's leading brands recover value, reduce costs and increase market share. Providing a dynamic financial tool, Active has helped its clients improve their business performance, delivering $1.5 billion in economic benefit since 1984. Active International is based in New York and has offices in 14 countries. www.activeinternational.com.
About Mike Albert Fleet Solutions
Cincinnati-based Mike Albert Fleet Solutions provides fleet optimization solutions that maximize cash flow, lower total cost of ownership, increase productivity and build brand awareness. The organization is one of the top 10 fleet management companies in the country, and is currently the nation's number one privately-held Closed-End lessor. Mike Albert offers Open and Closed-End leasing, Purchase-Leaseback options, and a comprehensive list of fleet management services, including Maintenance Management, AutoTag registration renewal, Telematics, accident management, fuel card, remarketing, and more. For more information, please visit www.mikealbert.com.
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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      DeepakX
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've leased mine when they had the $99/month deal with $0 down. After 4 months and 5000+ miles, the thing still gives me 60+ miles range, which more than meets my daily commute. Yes it's lowest when it comes to styling, class, interior space, torque, etc. but for that price I'm actually saving more every month than I paid for the car. Too bad Mitsubishi did not market this baby well-enough. Oh well. I enjoy my golf-cart.
      dzspleen
      • 2 Years Ago
      I saw one of these in person for the first time a couple of days ago, and I was shocked at how toy-like it looks. I generally like small cars like the smart and Scion iQ, but this car just looks like it's made entirely out of plastic.
      Simon De'Gato
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry CARGUY, but you must be reading old blogs. The 24 month lease program increased I MIev sales to the point that most dealers are out of them.
      Smooth Motor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Or said another way, Mitsubishi is boosting their iMiEV sales by 50%. The thing has been an epic failure.
        Aaron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        In the US, yes. In the rest of the world, it's been quite a success.
      Bryan Lund
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi continues it's slow gallup outshining all other automakers combined. Keep on keepin' on you big 'ole tri-diamond monster carmakers.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Things are moving way too slowly. No interesting models coming, nothing that will make a difference. The same boring overpriced EVs selling in symbolic numbers. At this pace we are in for a very long transition. When is somebody going to do it even a little right... I guess the only faint glimmer right now is Tesla's undeserved success which can push many of the other car makers into action because they are losing credibility very fast. If Angela Merkel had some balls (pun intended) she would get a Tesla Model S as her official car, as a huge middle finger to the nazi automakers :) Actually Tesla should consider giving her one :)
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder what they paid? Hopefully a really low price. With the Leaf S, the Spark EV, the Fiat 500e, the Honda Fit EV, the $4000 price drop on the Volt . . . well, the value of the Mitsubishi-i is just pretty low now. This is what competition does. Of course, the competition is mostly for ZEV credits right now but eventually it will be a competition for sales.
        Simon De'Gato
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Spec, Not sure what you mean by the value being low? The I MIev still is the lowest priced EV. It does exactly what it's designed to be. A commuter / short haul car. And most important, it actually works. So far the most trouble free EV None Of the cars you mentioned can touch the imiev lease. So looks to me like mitsu one upped the competition by taking the risk out of EV ownership and making the car affordable as a 2nd or 3rd car
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Simon De'Gato
          No, unless they've dropped the price, the MSRP of Mitsubishi-i is currently above other cars like the base model Leaf S and the Spark EV. But I guess no one is paying MSRP for these now. At a low price, these Mitsubishi-i cars can make great commuter vehicles considering the $7500 tax credit and the very low operating costs.
      wtrmlnjuc
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't know why Mitsubishi released their most bloated and ugly version of an otherwise small and sleek little car in North America.
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