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Mitsubishi Motors Evaluating i MiEV in New Zealand

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), in cooperation with its New Zealand subsidiary Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand (MMNZ), will show the zero-emissions i MiEV electric vehicle in New Zealand as a preparatory step toward a possible future introduction to the local market and to create greater public awareness of electric vehicles.

The move will be carried out in cooperation with state-owned electric power company Meridian Energy, New Zealand’s largest energy provider, which generates 100% of its electric power through renewable resources such as hydroelectric and wind generation.

Mitsubishi Motors and Meridian will launch a promotional tour of the country sometime after February 2009. Representatives from national and local government will be given the chance to drive the car, in order to spur discussions about possible subsidies as well as developments in infrastructure and marketing considerations.

MMC is currently working to bring the i MiEV electric vehicle to market in Japan during 2009. Because vehicles in New Zealand have their steering wheels on the right side of the car, the same as Japan, MMC will consider the country a likely candidate for early introduction of its zero-emissions electric vehicle if market conditions prove favorable.



Tracking the iMiEV is a good way to follow the progress of 16kWh battery packs. GS Yuasa the Japanese partner for these batteries, claims the pack retains 83% capacity after 1000 charges. This indicates a linear decline in capacity to around 60% after five years of daily charge/discharge. Chances of this pack making it to the 10 year 150,000 mile mark are slim.

It may be that the first EVs will need to include a battery upgrade as part of their pricing if the vehicle lifespan is to be stretched to 10 years. I expect rapid improvement in battery chemistry and EV design - making these early product entries shorter lived by necessity.

Production Volt was introduced this morning. In light of battery longevity concern - I remain in favor of an EV with genset onboard. Offloading over-40 AER to the generator will extend battery life to some degree.


"Tracking the iMiEV is a good way to follow the progress of 16kWh battery packs."

Not really, because the potentials of the different lithium-ion chemistries being backed by each of the different companies are dramatically different.

For example, the CEO of Altair nano (the battery from which manages 15,000 100% DOD 5 minute cycles with next to no degradation) has stated that they are making good progress in increasing the energy density from around 80 Wh/kg to compete with the other chemistries, and that they should be able to sell for under $500 per kWh in the near future, once in volume production.


Yikes... Alan Gotcher left a while ago. The new CEO is Terry Copeland.

No evidence yet of the improvement in cost and energy density Alan talked about. Ignore the price, it's still one of the best Li-ion batteries on paper specs.

New Zealand is a good place for an EV. Loads of wind and hydro potential. No oil. They are also digging up coal as fast as their little kiwi beaks can peck.

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