The Mitsubishi i-MiEV has become the first zero emissions fully electric city car to be used on the government funded Technology Strategy Board user trials.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a top speed of 81 mph, a range of 100 miles and can be trickle charged from flat to full in seven hours at any UK three-pin socket - costing under £1 for a full charge. In addition the Mitsubishi i-MiEV can be fast-charged from flat to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes using the quick charger.
Mr Genichiro Nishina, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Europe, said: "Mitsubishi Motors takes an holistic approach to environmental and sustainability issues at every stage of the vehicle's design, production and in-service lifecycle. The i-MiEV is the most prominent element of our basket of environmental solutions, which makes the prospect of ultra-low carbon transport a present-day reality".
This is the first stage of a Government-supported UK-wide project to trial electric and ultra low emission vehicles - and begins in the West Midlands today. The keys to 25 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) will be given to independent drivers - including automotive expert Quentin Willson - to test over the next 12 months by the CABLED (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Vehicle Demonstrators) consortium in Centenary Square, Birmingham.
The CABLED consortium will manage the project after being confirmed in June 2009 as one of eight successful teams in the £25 million Technology Strategy Board Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Demonstrator Competition. The consortium brings together the expertise of 13 West Midlands-based organisations within the engineering, automotive manufacturing, academic, public and infrastructure sectors, and is led by global engineering consultancy Arup.
The project is worth £15 million and will trial 110 vehicles on the roads of Birmingham and Coventry. UK-wide, 340 vehicles are being tested using funding from the Technology Strategy Board. As well as being the largest, CABLED is the first consortium to begin vehicle trials and has recently gained further public backing thanks to £2.5 million funding awarded by Advantage West Midlands (a regional development agency).
Neil Butcher, Arup's project leader of the CABLED consortium said: "Less than 1% of the vehicles registered every year in the UK are electric and most of these are currently used in London. We think that by 2020, low carbon cars will be commercially viable, and it's important that we start to understand the public's reaction and provide the necessary infrastructure to prepare for this.
"Today's launch is a landmark occasion for the UK automotive industry, and this project will begin to examine the points where the vehicles meet the built environment - energy generation, battery charging and driver behaviour. This is an important first step on our roads to a low-carbon future."
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