The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Honda FCX Clarity and the Toyota iQ were named the top three contenders for the World Green Car of the Year award that will be announced during the New York Auto Show next month. While there were some European and American vehicles in the original list of 22 cars, only Japanese vehicles - one electric drive, one hydrogen powered and one highly-efficient gas-powered vehicle - will fight it out for top honors. Which of the three do you want to see win?

Editor's note: AutoblogGreen's Sam Abuelsamid is one of three "green experts" that helped pare down the original list of 22 to these finalists.

[Source: Mitsubishi]


Mitsubishi i-MiEV Named World Green Car Finalist

CYPRESS, CA, March 9, 2009 --

Mitsubishi Motors' zero-emission urban transport solution, the pure-electric i-MiEV, was named today as one of the top three contenders in the prestigious World Green Car of the Year competition. The innovative i-MiEV was selected from a list of five first-round finalists-pared from an original list of more than 20 cars-by an international panel of 59 automotive journalists. The winner will be announced at the New York International Auto Show on April 9, 2009.

Mitsubishi's combined expertise with automobiles and electronics strengthens its ability to create innovative transportation solutions. The i-MiEV is an important and timely example of what is possible from Mitsubishi going forward.

To be eligible for the 2009 World Green Car of the Year award, a vehicle had to be available in at least one major market during 2008. The vehicle could be in production or an experimental prototype with potential near-future application, provided that it was released for individual or press fleet evaluations in quantities of 10 or more during 2008. Tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption and use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry) aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle's environmental responsibility, were all taken into consideration.

Scheduled to go on sale in the Japanese market this summer and currently undergoing U.S. testing with Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison, the i-MiEV offers an intelligent combination of useful performance with small physical and carbon footprints, plus a roomy interior for four adults and a sensible range of upwards of 100 miles from its advanced lithium-ion battery pack.

The lithium-ion battery pack consists of 22 modules, each one consisting of four cells that can be installed in either a vertical or transverse position under the i-MiEV's floor. The high-performance batteries are manufactured by Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture of GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors.

Flexible charging scenarios allow fast re-charging, requiring just 30 minutes to reach 80 percent of battery capacity. Its onboard charger also conveniently handles 110 or 220V for at-home charging.

Joining the Mitsubishi i-MiEV as finalists are the Honda FCX Clarity and Toyota iQ.

UPDATE: The headline of this release was previously "Mitsubishi i-MiEV Named World Green Car of the Year Finalist." It was changed at Mitsubishi's request.

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