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Mitsubishi Corp. to provide 507 i-MiEVs to Estonian Government; CHAdeMO quick charging network for the country

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) will provide 507 units of the i-MiEV electric vehicle manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors (MMC)—the largest single provision since sales of the EV started—to the Estonian Government. This also marks the first case of provision of electric vehicles under the Green Investment Scheme (GIS) established pursuant to Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol, whose proceeds are to be used for environmental measures including greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions.

Under the terms of the GIS contract, MC will purchase 10 million tons of emissions rights and provide the 507 electric vehicles, as well as support with regard to the introduction and dissemination of CHAdeMO quick charging technology (earlier post). The Estonian Government will use the proceeds of the sale to support measures aimed at realizing the widespread use of electric vehicles. These measures are:

  1. the introduction of electric vehicles for use by public facilities;
  2. improving infrastructure for charging; and
  3. subsidy programs for consumers who purchase electric vehicles, to be introduced by the end of 2012.

The charging infrastructure will consist of around 250 quick charging stations, which will enable to charge the car battery to 80% of its capacity within 30 minutes, and which will be installed over 2011-12 and will cover all major cities, main highways and important transport links.

The grant scheme will enable around 500 Estonian private individuals to acquire an electric car who can choose between any electric car that has obtained an EU type approval. More concrete terms for support will be established by the Ministry of Economy and Communications and the grant scheme will be operated by KredEx.

In order to guarantee the full environmental effect of the program, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to conventional fossil energy sources, all owners of electric vehicles will have to start consuming only electricity generated from renewable energy sources through a Guarantees of Origin scheme. MMC will also provide technical support to the Estonian Government in monitoring CO2 reductions effected by introducing i-MiEV. The 507 units will be shipped to Estonia by end of fiscal 2011.

Estonia has set of goal of achieving a 10% share of renewable energy use in the transport sector. The Estonian Government noted that, with a population of only around 1.4 million people, Estonia may end up possessing the most dense and modern EV charging infrastructure and with most electric cars per capita.

i-MiEV first went on sale in July 2009 mainly towards fleet customers and for individual customers in April 2010 in Japan. MMC has sequentially expanded its sales to global scale after its release in Japan to Hong Kong, Australia and Europe -- and will start its sales in Canada and the United States this fall.

(A hat-tip to Jarmo!)


Henry Gibson

High power charging stations are a disaster for the electric grid and are best and cheapest built with a natural gas engine generator as no high power transmission lines and transformer is needed.

Full electric automobiles are inappropriate for almost any use when range extending engine generators can weigh almost nothing even with their fuel. At least a 100 watt direct methanol fuel cell could be provided, but a one to three kW model aircraft engine generator would be cheaper.


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