Search 4,000 EV News articles

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mitsubishi to lease i-MiEV Electric Vehicle in Australia from July

THE cost of electric cars will halve in two years as production ramps up to meet demand, Mitsubishi president Osamu Masuko said yesterday as he announced that the first batch of battery-powered vehicles for Australia would go on sale next month.

The car, called the iMiev, has been undergoing fleet trials around Australia for months and Mr Masuko said Mitsubishi wanted to take a lead with the technology. "This announcement will ensure that we will be No 1 in bringing the electric vehicle to Australia," he said.

The first shipment of 40 cars will be offered on three-year leases for $1740 a month, with the cars returned to Mitsubishi at the end of the term.

The company said that, despite the total cost of $62,640, there was a lot of interest from a broad range of buyers including governments, businesses and individuals.

Mitsubishi expects demand for electric vehicles and hybrids to run hot over the next few years and believes they will hold more than 20 per cent of the global market by the end of the decade.

Mitsubishi planned to quadruple production of the iMiev to 40,000 a year by 2012, Mr Masuko said, and economies of scale would halve the price of the car.

But Mr Masuko said it was vital that governments helped establish the technology, which was still in the earlier stages.

"In the initial instance we will require some assistance in terms of government infrastructure, especially with quick-charge stations," he said.

In Japan, where the government offers incentives to buyers of battery vehicles, the iMiev costs about Y=4 million ($52,000).

Electric vehicle purchases are also subsidised in the US, Europe and other markets. Australia does not have such a scheme, but the federal government yesterday committed to take three iMievs after Mr Masuko met Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Canberra and demonstrated the car to Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong.

Mr Albanese said 85 per cent of Australians drivers travelled less than 100km a day, so the car was ideal for their needs.

"Fully electric vehicles offer significant benefits in dealing with climate change in the longer term," he said.

"There's no doubt that the Australian market is ready for an electric vehicle."

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

No comments:

Post a Comment