Vancouver, BC signs on for Mitsubishi iMiEV testing

The latest test site for the Mitsubishi iMiEV is in the Great White North, specifically the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver joins several other locales on the west coast in testing the viability of electric cars (see also: Portland, Oregon and San Francisco). The British Columbia provincial government, the city and the local utility BP BC Hydro have all signed on to the program. The city and utility will each get an iMiEV for testing; more will be added later as Mitsubishi builds them. Vancouver is the first Canadian city to sign on with Mitsubishi. The province has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by one third by the end of the next decade.


Mitsubishi signs MoU with the City of Vancouver regarding testing of i MiEV electric vehicle

Tokyo, April 7, 2009 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) subsidiary Mitsubishi Motors Sales of Canada (MMSCAN) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of British Colombia, the City of Vancouver, power company BC Hydro, and Mitsubishi Canada Limited for feasibility testing of the zero-emissions i MiEV*1 electric vehicle.

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 Environment Minister Barry Penner. "By looking at new, innovative technologies, we can work toward achieving our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission by 33 per cent by 2020."

"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."

Announced in October 2006, the i MiEV represents the pinnacle of Mitsubishi Motors' green technologies. Currently involved in testing and promotional activities in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, the United States and across Europe, the i MiEV will be launched in Japan during the summer of 2009.
*1 MiEV: Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle

Tata says it sells over 51,000 Nano "booking forms" in five days

Tata knew pent-up demand for its super-cheap Nano would be so high in advance of its official delivery date that the Indian automaker set up an unique pre-ordering system allowing potential customers to sign up with booking forms. After all these forms have been collected, a computer will randomly choose the first 100,000 people to take possession of tiny Nano in July.

That process began just five days ago, on April 1st, and Tata has already sold over 51,000 booking forms to its dealer network and individual customers, with another 30,000 or so being taken from a number of Tata partners. Each order form is being sold for 300 Rupees, which is about $6 in U.S. funds. Prices for individual Nanos are reportedly ranging from between 95,000 and 145,000 Rupees ($1,880 to $2,780), which officially makes this the World's Cheapest Car.

One thing seems sure: Tata is going to sell a ton of these cars. Whether or not that's a good thing depends on your particular viewpoint. It's almost a certainty that people will be safer in the four-wheeled enclosed Nano than on the little scooters and cycles they are currently riding, but a number of environmental groups have voiced concerns over the impact this many new cars will have on their surroundings. Regardless of how this ultimately plays out, this is only the beginning.

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