Mitsubishi brings i-MiEV to Vancouver, might bring gas-powered version to U.S.

For all the work that Mitsubishi has done selling the i-MiEV as an electric vehicle around the world – Japan, New Zealand, the UK, Europe, etc. – the car is actually a modified version of the i, a tiny kei car offered in Japan and Europe. The jellybean shape could make it to the U.S. market with not only the all-electric powertrain as an option, but also a gasoline-powered version. Just as it does in Europe, the non-ev i would compete with the Smart Fortwo in the U.S., but considering the nosediving sales of the Fortwo in the States, we're not sure if the business case is there for this shift. If the i does come to the U.S., the 600 cc engine would likely be upgraded to a 1.0-liter three-cylinder powerplant, John Koenig, executive vice president for operations at Mitsubishi Motors North America, told Automotive News (subs req'd).

Meanwhile, the i-MiEV's electric intro tour continues with the introduction of a unit into BC Hydro's fleet in Vancouver, BC. Details after the jump.

[Source: Automotive News (subs req'd), City of Vancouver]


Mitsubishi Electric Car Goes Into Service in Vancouver, BC

Source: City of Vancouver

SYNOPSIS: Car is part of joint city and BC Hydro demonstration program.

North America's first production-ready, highway-capable electric cars have arrived in British Columbia. The Province of B.C., City of Vancouver and BC Hydro welcomed three Mitsubishi i-MiEV pure electric vehicles to Vancouver today. Two cars will be added to BC Hydro's fleet of vehicles and one will be added to the City's.

"We are very proud to demonstrate our leadership in climate-friendly transportation by having the first Mitsubishi all-electric cars right here in British Columbia," said Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Province of British Columbia. "Electric vehicles like these ones, fuelled by clean, renewable energy, will help us achieve a lowcarbon transportation future."

"Vancouver is at the forefront of adopting electric vehicles, and we're very pleased to be debuting Mitsubishi's i-MiEV in our City," said Mayor Robertson. "Supporting cleaner, more efficient forms of transportation moves us closer to our goal of becoming the world's greenest city, and we're very excited to partner with Mitsubishi in bringing their new electric vehicle technology to Canada."

The Province of B.C., City of Vancouver and BC Hydro signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Canada and Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Incorporated earlier this year to allow for the demonstration of the cars in B.C. The agreement also allows for the addition of cars as the vehicles become available.

"As we get ready for the increased use of plug-in vehicles, it is very important to know how the cars will interact with BC Hydro's grid and what their charging requirements will be," said Bob Elton, BC Hydro president and CEO. "The i-MiEV will help us answer some of these questions while serving as a symbol of BC Hydro's leadership in the demonstration of electric vehicles."

"This is a first – the world's first mass production electric car," said Tomoki Yanagawa, vice-president Sales/Marketing & Corporate Planning of Mitsubishi Motors Sales of Canada Ltd. "It's a first for Vancouver, a first for British Columbia, a first for -North America. This is history in the making."

Mitsubishi is committed to green technologies, and to leading the way in electric car development. Mitsubishi believes that all electric vehicles are environmentally-friendly and that they have the potential to greatly change our society and our daily lives. And now as we have passed the first 100 years of mass production of the automobile, structural change of the automobile industry is being called for, in order to make a low-carbon society a reality.

BC Hydro is one of thirty utilities collaborating with the auto industry to prepare electrical infrastructure for a potential transition to electric vehicles. BC Hydro commissioned the development of guidelines for electric vehicle charging infrastructure earlier this year. In addition, BC Hydro is a key player in the local Plug-In Electric Vehicle Working Group, the development of the national electric vehicle technology roadmap and the EPRI-led utility/auto collaboration. es.html

The City of Vancouver has been an early adapter of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Last year the City introduced new requirements for electric vehicle charging in single-family homes. This year Vancouver City Council passed a bylaw requiring new multi-family buildings to provide at least 20 per cent of their parking spaces with electric vehicle charging capacity - a first for North America. The City is also expanding charging capacity in public parking locations.

British Columbia is a leader in climate change solutions, and the increased use of plug-in electric vehicle technology is part of a broader sustainable energy strategy that is helping the Province of British Columbia reach its goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020. In addition, plug-in electric vehicles, fuelled by B.C.'s clean energy resources, support the Province's goal of reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 10 per cent by 2020.

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