While Mitsubishi has been busy boasting about Australia's atmospheric demand for the i-MiEV, a lesser-known electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer has been blasting the Australian government with claims of favoritism. In June, Australia's Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, announced plans to purchase 40 imported i-MiEVs from Japanese automaker Mitsubishi. Once delivered, the i-MiEVs will become the heart and soul of Australia's first electric fleet of vehicles.

Now, you'd probably think that there are a lot of Australians who are thrilled to become a part of the EV movement and truth is, they probably are. But the government's decision to import EVs rather than selecting from a homegrown producer has made the director of Australia's Blade Electric Vehicles (BEV) company more than a just a little upset. BEV produces the Blade Electron, an EV that the company believes is far superior to the i-MiEV and much less expensive as well. Ross Blade, director of BEV, took a shot at Albanese's choice to exclude the Electron by offering this remark:
We cannot understand why Mr. Albanese has chosen to exclude the Electron. The federal government has spent over $100,000 of taxpayers' money on the development of the Blade Electron through the COMET (Commercialising Emerging Technologies) program. Despite the Electron meeting Australia's design standards, the federal government has chosen instead to lease a foreign product at nearly double the cost.
According to Blade, the Australian government's lease agreement with Mitsubishi calls for a monthly payment of $1,740 per i-MiEV, whereas each Blade Electron would cost the government only $900 per month. The Australian government responded to Blade's outrage by stating that Australia did not select the Blade Electron because it's not a mass-produced vehicle and failed to meet the country's predetermined guidelines for inclusion in the EV program, but a spokesman for Mr. Albanese would not comment on the specifics surrounding the Electron's failure. Hat tip to Toby!

[Source: TheAge]

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