Mitsubishi?s electric i MiEV is about to become a part of a NSW government test program to assess its ability to reduce carbon emissions from the State's 26,000 strong vehicle fleet.
NSW Minister for Climate Change and Commerce, Carmel Tebbutt, announced that the i MiEV evaluation vehicle currently touring the country would be evaluated for potential use as part of the State fleet.
The four-door, four-seat i MiEV, which is already available in Japan, is capable of traveling up to 160km on a single charge. Mitsubishi is considering the i MiEV for Australia as early as 2010.
?In the future, electric vehicles could offer a viable alternative to conventionally-fuelled cars for everyday transport, especially around the inner city and we?re keen to evaluate their potential,? Ms Tebbutt said of the trial.
?The NSW Government fleet has about 26,000 vehicles, so there is potential for electric cars to make massive savings in carbon emissions.?
Ms Tebbutt also announced an Electric Vehicle Taskforce would be established to investigate infrastructure policy and legislation surrounding electric vehicles.
The NSW government is wary of the fact electric vehicles may not actually reduce the state's carbon footprint, following reported admissions by Subaru that its own electric Stella could generate more greenhouse gas than an equivalent petrol-powered car, when charged from a coal-fired power source.
Currently Mitsubishi has one i MiEV car in the country which was displayed at the Melbourne Motor Show, a second evaluation vehicle is due later this year and both will be used to demonstrate electric vehicle technologies to governments and fleets.