Mitsubishi Goes Electric in Australia  

Posted by Big Gav in , , ,

The Courier Mail reports that Mitsubishi is going straight to electric cars in Australia, bypassing hybrids entirely - Mitsubishi's plug-in i MiEV on sale in 2009.

AUSTRALIA will have its first plug-in electric car by the end of next year. The baby Mitsubishi i MiEV has been confirmed for local sales, with a showroom target in the final months of 2009 and a starting price in the $30,000 range. The company plans to skip the hybrid phase of future car development and go straight to a plug-in, with a claimed top speed of 180km/h and a range of 200km.

"Mitsubishi don't make hybrid cars. They make electric cars. And we will have one here as soon as we possibly can," says the managing director of Mitsubishi Motors Australia, Rob McEniry. "We will have the i-car initially. But it doesn't go into volume production until next year. How many we get depends on the reaction by some of the key fleets in Australia, and governments. We would dearly like to have a number of them here in 2009."

The news comes as several European manufacturers, including BMW and VW, confirmed they were also getting ready to build electric production cars.

Mitsubishi's i MiEV has only been a motor show concept until recently, both as a standard car and a sports model, but Mitsubishi is pushing ahead with a solid production plan for the aluminium-framed baby. It has an on-board power pack, using lithium-ion batteries, with three motors. One turns each of the front wheels, with the third powering the back axle. The power pack is in the rear of the car, creating maximum cabin space despite an overall length of only 3.4m.

CNet reports electric car startup Aptera has received funding from a range of sources, including Google - Electric carmaker Aptera raises $24 million round.
Aptera Motors, the electric car start-up that on Tuesday nabbed funding from Google.org, announced Thursday that it has secured $24 million in a series C round. The Carlsbad, Calif., company aims to spend the funds on its manufacturing center in nearby Vista.

Aptera has set the end of this year for the release of its all-electric Typ-1, a two-seater, three-wheeled electric car whose streamlined shape might look at home in a Jetsons cartoon. Each street-legal vehicle would cost less than $30,000.

The electric version of the three-wheeler would drive 120 miles per charge, while a hybrid version due for release near the end of 2009 is meant to achieve 300 miles per gallon.

"The Aptera Typ-1 is designed to be the lowest-energy way to transport two passengers safely from point A to point B," Bill Gross, chairman and CEO of start-up incubator Idealab, which backs Aptera, said in a statement.

Google's philanthropic arm on Wednesday shared that it will split $2.75 million toward its RechargeIt initiative between Aptera and battery start-up ActaCell.

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