In a research effort to gauge the impact of electric vehicles upon the power grid, power company Southern California Edison will partner with Mitsubishi, which will provide prototypes of their i-MIEV electric vehicle.
“Southern California Edison has more than 20 years and 16 million EV miles of experience operating the nation’s largest private fleet of electric vehicles,” said Edward Kjaer, SCE’s director of electric transportation in announcement last week. “This new EV collaboration with Mitsubishi complements SCE’s existing work on plug-in hybrids and next-generation advanced batteries and their effective connection and control by Edison’s next-generation meters.”
The partnership with Mitsubishi comes at a time when the Japanese auto maker is preparing to launch its first electric car. Expected to launch in the Japanese market next year, the i-MIEV will cost roughly ¥4 million (approximately $37,496); government subsidies may reduce the price to around ¥3 million.
Mitsubishi originally planned to delay sales until after the SCE fleet test was complete. The company cited favorable market conditions and rising fuel prices as the reason for starting sales a year ahead of schedule.
The i-MIEV will feature a 63 horsepower electric motor powered by 330-volt lithium-ion batteries. The car will run for roughly 100 miles on a single charge and can be recharged off of a 110-volt outlet in about seven hours. A ‘quick-charge’ pack is also in development; the goal is to charge the car's battery to about 80 percent in under 35 minutes.
Mitsubishi hopes to sell up to 2,000 units in Japan in the first year on the way to nearly 10,000 units by 2011.
Photo Credit: Mitsubishi Motors USA