Mitsubishi Rolls Out 5,000th i-MiEV

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has announced that the 5,000th i-MiEV rolled off the assembly line at its Mizushima Plant yesterday, marking an important milestone in electric vehicles' existence.

Production commenced in June of 2009, with deliveries debuting in July 2009. Since then, the i-MiEV has sold 3,000 units in Japan alone, in spite of its rather high price of 4 million yen (about US $43,000). Mitsubishi also started left-hand drive European-spec i-MiEV production last month, and says it is "steadily proceeding with global rollout of EVs."

The first ever batch of i-MiEVs was bought by the Hong Kong Government after extensive testing carried out by various government departments, that took 6 months to complete. Hong Kong is the first market in Asia, other than Japan, where i-MiEVs were sold before April 2010.

Mitsubishi plans to move production of the i-MiEV in fiscal year 2011, from the current commercial vehicle assembly line to the minicar assembly line for cars. The company says that the move is necessary in order to further expand its production scale via starting North American-spec i-MiEV production.

For the diffusion of EVs, infrastructure development is as important as developing the car itself. Mitsubishi has been tying up with governments and other businesses to collaborate for the implementation of EVs. The company has been conducting joint research with power companies. They will evaluate and analyze EVs’ practical applicability and quick-charge compatibility, which will help to develop vehicles and infrastructure for safe and convenient EV use.
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