New Zealand Prime Minister goes for a ride in an i MiEV, falls in love

There's nothing like a real-life introduction to get the love sparks flying. Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand happened to be in Japan the other day when she was invited to take a ride in the all-electric i MiEV from Mitsubishi. She found the ride through the Tokyo streets "smooth" and thought it was the perfect automotive solution for her own island country. "If they can get it into mass production and get the price down this would be an incredibly popular urban car," she said. She compared it to a modern "Mini" and stated her desire for "Japan to see New Zealand as a place that is very willing and ready to pick up these kinds of cars and because we've got so much renewable energy it makes sense for us to go the electric car way." With sales planned for Japan and the UK next year and with North America to follow in 2010, New Zealand is keen to have Mitsubishi offer it up to their populace as well, though no promises of Kiwi distribution have been made.

The Mitsubishi wasn't the only enviro-friendly vehicle Clark got to ride in during her visit. She also got to tour Tokyo's financial district in one of the four hybrid buses by Designline, a redevelopment project has imported from her own native land.

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