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2010 Mitsubishi i MiEV Electric Vehicle Preview - (Australia)

March 1st, 2009
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Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) will display a production-ready electric vehicle, the i MiEV, for the first time ever at the 2009 Melbourne International Motor Show.

i MiEV – which stands for Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle – will be the central attraction at this year’s Mitsubishi display which will also feature the entire line-up of the company’s comprehensive product range, including the newly released Limited Edition RX Outlander.

The i MiEV, a viable zero drive-time emissions, fully electric vehicle, is due to go on sale in Japan during 2009.  Currently, the i MiEV is undergoing feasibility studies in several countries around the world, including the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Iceland, Canada, and as recently announced, now in Australia.

Utilising a large-capacity lithium-ion battery system with a charge time of just seven hours, the
i MiEV’s compact, high-output electric motor is able to produce 47kW of power, and 180Nm of torque.

With a top speed of 130 kilometres per hour and a cruising range of between 140 and 160 kilometres, (figures based on Japanese standard tests), the i MiEV is the perfect vehicle for city commuting.  And unlike many environmentally friendly vehicles where performance is sacrificed for economy, the
i MiEV’s  speed and dynamics are exceptional – in fact, the i MiEV is actually quicker off the mark than its petrol-powered equivalent.

Following the motor show, key stakeholders and members of the public will be given the opportunity to experience the i MiEV’s groundbreaking technology in a motorcade of public demonstrations, specialist briefings and select individual drive experiences.

Other vehicles on display at Mitsubishi’s 2009 Melbourne International Motor Show represent the versatility, style, efficiency, quality and value the company provides with its diverse product line.

The Limited Edition Outlander RX compact four-wheel drive will step into the Melbourne spotlight with added interior appointments, classy exterior accents, a powerful 3.0L V6 MIVEC sports-tuned engine, and added safety features including side and curtain airbags and reversing camera.

Mitsubishi’s NT Pajero will make its Melbourne Motor Show debut following a December release.  As the current winner of the two most sought after four-wheel driving awards in Australia - 4x4 Australia magazine’s 4x4 Of The Year and Overlander magazine’s Four-Wheel Drive Of The Year – the NT Pajero blitzes its opposition with more driver and passenger comfort, more power, more towing capacity and better efficiency.

Mitsubishi’s Triton is a work-horse suited for any challenge big or small, on-road or off the map. On display will be the double-cab four-wheel-drive duo of the Triton GLX-R and the stunning Triton Fastback with hard tonneau cover.  With a 3.2L CDi engine and Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4WD system, the Triton is the ideal work or recreational vehicle.

Featuring on the Mitsubishi stand at this year’s show will be the rest of Mitsubishi’s diverse range of quality vehicles including the gutsy and economic small car, the Colt VRX, the sportier Colt Ralliart and the refined practicality of the Grandis people-mover.

Also proudly on display will be the entire Lancer range of vehicles; the opulent sophistication of the Lancer Aspire, the all-out raw power and torque of the Lancer Evolution, the spirited versatility of the Lancer Sportback, the grunt of the Lancer Ralliart and the ever-stylish appeal of the Lancer sedan.

A special Victorian Police Lancer Evolution is set to arrest motor show audiences with its new look. Sporting the high-visibility chequered Victoria Police decals, this special Lancer Evolution has been on duty featuring in numerous public events such as open days, charity events, educational sessions, parades and regular street patrols for the Victoria Police.

For a first-hand encounter with the latest Mitsubishi Lancer, motor show patrons are invited to experience two racing simulators on the top floor of the stand.  Designed to give audiences an opportunity to feel the power and responsive handling of Mitsubishi’s latest performance vehicles, the racing simulators will be a point of interest on the stand for the duration of the motor show.

President and chief executive officer of MMAL, Robert McEniry, is thrilled to be unveiling the i MiEV at the Melbourne Motor Show in the lead-up to its Australian feasibility trials.

“The zero drive-time emission electric vehicle has the potential to change the way Australia thinks about automobiles, and will provide a real boost to the environmental lobby. I’m certain Australia will welcome the i MiEV during it’s stay in Australia, and I look forward to seeing the public response at the motor show,” said McEniry.

“And while the i MiEV is the star attraction at our stand, Mitsubishi is offering a great line-up that really demonstrates the quality, performance and styling of our vehicles,” concluded McEniry.

The 2009 Melbourne International Motor Show is at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Southbank from Friday 27th February to Monday 9th March.

The i MiEV, which stands for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle, may well become one of the world’s first truly viable zero drive-time emission city commuters in volume production when it is released on the Japanese market this summer.

MMAL’s president and chief executive officer, Robert McEniry, commented that the company expected the vehicle to generate a great deal of interest.

“This is the first time a production-ready electric vehicle has ever featured at an Australian motor show.”

“Hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles are becoming increasingly common in this current environmentally conscious climate, but Australia hasn’t seen anything like the i MiEV before,” said McEniry.

International interest in the vehicle has been considerable. Currently, the i MiEV is undergoing feasibility studies in several countries around the world, including the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Iceland, Canada, and as recently announced, now in Australia.
MMAL will commence a nation-wide feasibility test following the i MiEV’s public introduction centre stage in Melbourne.

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 a remarkable 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. Batteries are supplied by Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture formed by GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Mitsubishi Motors.
The i MiEV’s electric motor is smaller, produces more torque at low revolutions and is quieter than a turbocharged gasoline engine. Most importantly, the i MiEV’s electric motor produces zero emissions.

With total voltage measuring 330V, and total energy output at 16kWh, the compact battery and motor reside under the seating and in the back of the vehicle, allowing four adults to sit comfortably, plus a good sized luggage compartment in the rear of the vehicle. In a small car, this maximisation of space is made possible by the i MiEV’s smart design and long wheelbase of 2550mm.

Requiring seven hours from a normal domestic household 200V power supply for a full battery charge, the i MiEV should ideally be left to recharge overnight, making it perfect for daily commuting over common distances in a city landscape.

Able to reach a top speed of 130 km/h, with a range of around 160 kilometres1 from a single charge, the i MiEV is a rear-wheel drive vehicle with three ‘speeds’: Drive, Eco and Brake.

Drive is the full power mode where the car drives under normal mode. Economic or ‘Eco’ cuts torque output compared to the standard Drive setting. By using the Eco range, the driver can avoid expending excessive charge, and make more efficient use of the remaining power. Brake mode offers high regenerative braking that absorbs as much kinetic energy as possible – restoring power to the battery - and is perfect for downhill driving.

Compared to a similar sized petrol car, the running (fuel/charge) costs per kilometre are roughly one third lower. If charged during off-peak or night time hours the operating costs will be even less2.

The i MiEV, with its groundbreaking technology, will tour Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide in a motorcade of public demonstrations, specialist briefings and individual drive experiences for key government officials, fleet managers, environmental opinion leaders and the media.

Through this i MiEV program, MMAL will receive feedback from key stakeholders regarding the viability of this cutting-edge technology and, in doing so, lay the foundations for the possible sale of the vehicle in the Australian market.

MMAL Vice President of Brand and Marketing, Paul Unerkov, said the advanced technology and environmental consciousness of the i MiEV manifested Mitsubishi’s brand values going forward.

“Mitsubishi Motors has made huge investments in research and developmental; we are striving to enhance our sustainability initatives, and the i MiEV is a clear demonstration of these principles combined,” said Unerkov.

“And everyone at Mitsubishi Motors is excited about this vehicle.  We can’t wait to see the public reaction from the i MiEV’s appearance in Melbourne, and to see the results of our extensive feasibility studies following the motor show.”

1. Range is based on the ‘Japan 10-15 Mode’ drive cycle and may vary depending on a number of factors including use of climate controls, driving style, road conditions, number of passengers and the condition of the vehicle.
2. Based on Japan market conditions.

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