VANCOUVER – The first production-ready, highway-capable electric car in the world will be on B.C. streets before the end of 2009.
The Mitsubishi i MiEV is a new zero-emission, pure electric car with extended range that will be tested by BC Hydro and the City of Vancouver according to a memorandum of understanding announced today by the city, the Province of B.C., BC Hydro and Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Incorporated.
Under the terms of the agreement, one car would be added to BC Hydro's fleet of vehicles and one to the City of Vancouver's fleet for demonstration and evaluation purposes. The agreement also allows for the addition of more cars as they become available.
"Electric cars are part of the sustainable transportation solution for British Columbia and I am pleased that the i MiEV will make its Canadian debut in Vancouver," said Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Blair Lekstrom. "By looking at new, innovative technologies, we can work toward achieving our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission by 33 per cent by 2020."
"We are committed to green technologies and to leading the way in electric car development," said Koji Soga, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc. "The i MiEV represents the pinnacle of Mitsubishi Motors' green technologies. We believe in this car, in its potential and in its future."
BC Hydro and the City of Vancouver are already partners in the Province's broader plug-in electric vehicle program, which is committed to demonstrating the opportunities for electric vehicles in B.C. and their potential demands on public infrastructure.
"I'm thrilled that Vancouver gets to debut the i MiEv," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "We want to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world, and supporting this early adoption of plug-in electric cars is one way that Vancouver is becoming a leader in green technology. Electric vehicles are an important way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions when combined with improvements to transit, biking and walking."
"We are at a turning point in the history of the automobile industry," said Shinji Kowase, president & CEO Mitsubishi Canada Limited. "This worldwide economic recession will come to an end, but we cannot go back to business- as-usual. We are reinventing our industries with a new commitment to the environment. Every facet of Mitsubishi's multiple business endeavors reflects our commitment to the new Green Economy – especially electric vehicles such as the one we are showcasing here today: the i MiEV. It is the face of the future."
BC Hydro has launched a comprehensive strategy to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2010. A large portion of the strategy focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from BC Hydro's vehicle fleet. BC Hydro has also recently added a new hybrid bucket truck to its fleet and has converted three hybrid vehicles to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Announced in October 2006, the Mitsubishi i MiEV represents the height of Mitsubishi Motors' green technologies. Currently involved in testing and promotional activities in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Europe, the i MiEV will be launched in Japan during the summer of 2009.