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Mitsubishi Motors Green Lights i MiEV Electric Car for Global Markets

April 09, 2009

Mitsubishi Motors announced plans to develop the pure electric, four-passenger Mitsubishi i MiEV for global markets on April 9.

Mitsubishi Motors North America President and CEO Shinichi Kurihara confirmed the i MiEV (Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle) is being developed for sale in world markets, including the United States.

The award-winning Mitsubishi i MiEV is expected to be the world's first practical electric vehicle offered by a major automobile manufacturer when fleet sales begin this July in Japan.

Kurihara was pleased to also announce that the State of Oregon and Portland General Electric (PGE) are joining Mitsubishi in the i MiEV partnership program.

Details of the programs are being finalized, but the findings from these real-world, independent tests will play an important role in further advancing the car's development for the U.S. market.

PGE is rolling out a network of charging stations across its service territory in Oregon and the addition of i MiEVs further facilitates its support of next-generation electric vehicles. PGE currently has more than a dozen charging stations up and running.

With its high-torque electric motor and clever packaging, the i MiEV offers an intelligent combination of useful performance with small physical and carbon footprints, plus a roomy interior and a sensible range of approximately 80 miles from its advanced lithium-ion battery pack.

The i MiEV's 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 i MiEV's onboard charger automatically adapts between a standard 110 outlet - which takes 12-14 hours - or half that time on 220. There is also a fast charge connector that allows the battery to reach 80 percent of capacity in just 30 minutes.

The proprietary lithium-ion batteries are purpose-built for automotive applications. It is produced by Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture among GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors.

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