Thursday, January 29, 2009

Electric car on the way

AN ELECTRIC car looks set to go on sale in Australia next year for as little as $30,000.

The top secret plan to sell the Mitsubishi i MiEV, codenamed Project Green Drive, has been in the pipeline almost a year, led by a team mostly in their 20s and 30s.

Officially, Mitsubishi is embarking on a feasibility study for the egg-shaped four-seater that goes on sale in Japan this year, but the company's Australian president and chief executive, Robert McEniry, rates as "very high" the chances of it arriving in local dealerships by 2010.

"We think there's quite a groundswell for a vehicle like this," Mr McEniry says.

"We're fairly confident that demand is there . . . but there's got to be some commerciality behind it. But I think we'll be staggered with the support we'll get and that will probably do it."

Mitsubishi is bringing two i MiEVs - innovative Mitsubishi electric vehicles - to Australia on February 12. One will be for display - starting with next month's Melbourne motor show - and the other will be driven by potential customers, many of which could be governments and companies looking to promote a green image.

"Clearly (this will appeal to) companies and fleets that really have the resolve to reduce their carbon footprint," Mr McEniry says.

"Then I think the public will pick them up in places like Sydney and Melbourne. For city commuting they're ideal."

The i MiEV runs purely on electricity, so emits no carbon dioxide. It has a 47 kilowatt electric motor (about 25 per cent less power than a Toyota Yaris) and can be driven up to 160 kilometres on each charge.

It can be recharged in a regular power point in about eight hours, or just 20 minutes in a dedicated higher voltage outlet.

1 comment:

BeyondGreen said...

I just finished a wonderful new book called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now by author Jeff Wilson. It is without a doubt the best book out there. We seriously need to get on with utilizing alternative energy. The high cost of oil this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. The trickle down effects will be felt for years to come. The cost of fuel affects the price of every consumer product. Oil is finite it will run out one day in the not too distant future. We are using oil globally at the rate of 2 X faster than new oil is being discovered. We have so much available to us in the way of natural energy, wind , solar, wave plus the modern technologies of hybrid etc. What America seems to lack is a plan. This book even outlines a plan, a legislative agenda. It is fascinating and brings the act of weaning America off oil into perspective.