Previous G8 summits have seen talk about biofuels and GEM electric vehicles. This year, the EVs are getting a bit of an upgrade, with ten Mitsubishi i MiEV electric vehicles available for officials at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in Japan in early July. Media representatives covering the conference will also be able to ride in the zero-emission jellybeans. MItsubishi said in a statement (after the jump) that it hopes "attendees of the G8 Summit will find a new appreciation for the superior practicality and environmental viability of electric vehicles."
The Summit will cover a wide variety of topic, from environmental concerns to African development to the world economy. The Prime Minister of Japan, Yasuo Fukuda (also the G8 Summit chair), said that, "Global warming is a huge challenge, and humanity has no time to lose. The international community must urgently strengthen efforts to resolve this issue." He hopes that a Japanese proposal called the Cool Earth Promotion Programme will pick up support in Hokkaido.
MMC provides i MiEV electric vehicles for use at G8 Summit
Tokyo, June 6 2008 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced that it would provide 10 i MiEV*1 electric vehicles for official use at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit. The electric vehicles will be used as transport for visiting world leaders and members of the media. Additionally, the vehicles will comprise one part of an on-site display*2 and test drive. MMC hopes that through its small contribution, attendees of the G8 Summit will find a new appreciation for the superior practicality and environmental viability of electric vehicles.
MMC will bring the i MiEV electric vehicle to market next year (2009) in Japan, as part of its plan to help reduce global warming and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The i MiEV is based on the " i " minicar, and utilizes a large-capacity lithium-ion battery and a compact, high-output electric motor in place of the traditional powertrain.
At present, MMC is conducting fleet tests in cooperation with several domestic electric power companies, in order to make electric vehicles a common sight on Japan's roads as soon as possible. Plans are also under way to begin fleet testing of the i MiEV at more than one U.S. power company as early as this fall. Data about the effects of local climate and driving preferences, gathered in the aforementioned tests, will allow MMC to make meaningful progress toward bringing the i MiEV to market.
*1 MiEV: Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle
*2 The large-capacity lithium-ion battery used in the i MiEV will also will also be displayed at the event.