|The i MiEV will begin fleet testing in the US in the fourth quarter.|
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has signed letters of intent with two California utilities—Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)— that will result in the electric i MiEV entering the fleet testing and vehicle evaluation programs run by each.
The i MiEV, which has been in test in Japan over the past two years with seven major utility companies, is powered by a compact 47 kW motor that develops 180 Nm (133 lb-ft) of torque and a 330V, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack from Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ). LEJ is a joint venture of GS Yuasa Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC). Top speed of the i MiEV is 130 kph (81 mph), with a range of up to 160 km (100 miles) under Japanese 10-15 cycle driving conditions. (Earlier post.)
In the SCE testing, the utility hopes to help Mitsubishi Motors gauge how electric vehicles will most effectively connect to the smart grid of the future and the next generation Edison SmartConnect advanced meters. In addition, the collaboration may explore future requirements for vehicle communication and connection, helping enable new customer values associated with home energy management and control.
SCE’s EV Technical Center, unique in the utility industry, partners with automakers and battery manufacturers to conduct industry-leading prototype testing and evaluation on battery EV, plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell EV vehicles.
PG&E will gauge the viability of utilizing all-electric vehicles in its operations and further understand the impact of charging electric vehicles on the electric grid. The testing will provide PG&E and Mitsubishi Motors with vehicle usage data, which will be used to publicly demonstrate and validate the benefits of dedicated electric vehicles within the California market.
MMC hopes testing to begin in the fourth quarter of this year. Mitsubishi has already moved up its planned introduction date to the market of the i MiEV, and has increased its production plans. (Earlier post.)