Mitsubishi i-MiEV – Click above for high-res image gallery

Despite Mitsubishi's lengthy press release, there's just not much to say here other than that the automaker is confirming what we already knew – that it will begin offering its electric-powered i-MiEV in Australia this summer. According to the company, the i-MiEV will become the nation's first manufacturer-produced electric vehicle available to the general public when it hits dealer lots this July. Mitsubishi plans to ship at least 40 i-MiEVs to the land Down Under by the end of August. Mitsubishi Motors global president Osamu Masuko officially announced the entry of the i-MiEV into Australian market with these words:
The i-MiEV has been attracting a lot of attention in Australia, and I am pleased to announce that we can now confirm additional vehicles will be arriving here in the next few months. This announcement will ensure that we will be number one in bringing the electric vehicle to Australia.
Follow the jump for more on the i-MiEV's trip to the land Down Under. Hat tip to Larzen!

[Source: Mitsubishi]


Mitsubishi's Global President Confirms First Shipment Of i-MiEV Electric Vehicles To Australia

The ground-breaking Mitsubishi electric car, iMiev, with zero-drive time emissions, will arrive in Australia in July, announced global president Osamu Masuko, who is now on his first ever trip down under.

Jun 07, 2010 – Mitsubishi Motors Corporation's global president, Osamu Masuko, today announced the automotive manufacturer would supply i-MiEV electric vehicles to Australia. At a press conference marking his first official visit to Australia, Masuko confirmed Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) will be the first company to release manufacturer produced electric vehicles in this country.

During the conference, Masuko confirmed the development of the i-MiEV placed Mitsubishi as the front-runner in electric vehicle technology.

"The i-MiEV has been attracting a lot of attention in Australia, and I am pleased to announce that we can now confirm additional vehicles will be arriving here in the next few months."

"This announcement will ensure that we will be number one in bringing the electric vehicle to Australia," Masuko said.

The initial shipments of the i-MiEV electric vehicles are scheduled for arrival in Australia in July and August, and will initially include 40 vehicles for Australian distribution. The vehicles will be offered to customers under a leasing agreement, starting from July onwards.

According to MMAL's CEO and President, Masahiko Takahashi, the vehicles will find no shortage of potential owners on local shores.

"Over the last twelve months we have conducted feasibility trials with potential electric vehicle customers, such as local, state and federal government bodies, and major fleet operators, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive," Takahashi said.

Released in Japan in July 2009, the i-MiEV, which stands for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle, is one of the world's first truly viable zero drive-time emission city commuters in volume production.

International interest in the vehicle has been considerable and the i-MiEV has undergone feasibility studies in several countries around the world, including the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Iceland, Canada, and more recently in Australia.

Utilising a large-capacity lithium-ion battery system and a compact, high-output electric motor in place of a traditional gasoline power train (based on Japanese and European trial figures) the i-MiEV has some impressive technical specifications for a zero drive-time emissions vehicle.

Producing 47 kW of power and 180 Nm of instant torque, the i-MiEV's permanent magnet synchronous engine is supported by a revolutionary lithium-ion battery from Lithium Energy Japan.

The i-MiEV's electric motor is smaller, produces more torque at low revolutions and is quieter than a similarly-powered turbocharged gasoline engine (according to MMC in-house tests). Most importantly, the i-MiEV's engine is cleaner, producing zero drive-time CO2 emissions.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia is part of the global Mitsubishi Motors organisation and is fully owned by Mitsubishi, one of the world's largest companies.

The company's history dates back to 1870, when Mitsubishi's Japanese founder, Yataro Iwasaki, started a shipping company with three steamships. The company grew from strength to strength and, in 1914, registered the Mitsubishi three-diamond trademark. This symbol embodies more than 130 years of tradition, and has earned the confidence and trust of customers all over the world.

Mitsubishi takes great pride from knowing that more than 11 million people from around the world have chosen to drive a Mitsubishi vehicle. There are Mitsubishi dealers in more than 200 sites across Australia. These professional and knowledgeable dealers help owners ensure their Mitsubishi car is always looked after by fully-trained Mitsubishi technicians, using genuine Mitsubishi parts that meet stringent global standards.

Mitsubishi works hard to develop new cars and technology, as well as ground-breaking safety systems that challenge convention.

If you would like to know more about new Mitsubishi cars, environmental cars, electric cars and the i-Miev take a look at the Mitsubishi website.

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