Tony O'Kane | Apr 10, 2009

While Mitsubishi showcased a left-hand-drive version of its all-electric i MiEV city car at New York, the Federal Government this week confirmed that the battery-powered vehicle was officially road-legal for Australia.

The i MiEV has satisfied all of the relevant Australian Design Rules to be road-registerable and, while it doesn't guarantee we'll see it come our way, it at least paves the way for Mitsubishi to commence volume importation.

"The Mitsubishi i MiEV’s represents a revolution in car design, bringing us a major step closer to ‘emissions free’ driving," Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Anthony Albanese said.

"The vehicle’s 47kW motor uses no petrol, and as a result produces no emissions while on the road.

"At present, the transport sector contributes 14 percent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions."

One country that's already confirmed to receive the i MiEV is the USA. At the New York Auto Show Mitsubishi officially announced that a left-hook version of the car would be sold in the US, and will likely hit the market before 2012.

The US version will also ditch the i MiEV moniker in favour of another badge, but at this stage it's unclear what the new name will be.

The i MiEV is set to commence fleet sales in right-hand-drive form in Japan this July.

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