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TMR Team | Jan, 25 2013 | 1 Comment

Mitsubishi's $48,800 i-MiEV might not be rushing out of Australian showrooms, but it won't be leaving the carmaker's local range anytime soon.

Recent reports suggested that a lack of federal support for electric vehicles and a relatively small infrastructure had moved the carmaker to withdraw the i-MiEV from the Australian market.

Mitsubishi says that's not the case however, and while it will not maintain a local inventory of the pricey EV, it will remain available to Australian buyers.

The carmaker is taking steps to improve access to i-MiEV cars however, with a new "exposure program" seeing 81 demonstrators taken by 70 dealerships around the country. All 81 cars are also available for purchase.

A "foundation" pilot program launched in 2010 saw 110 i-MiEV cars hit Australian roads, and Mitsubishi says it has sold a further 59 i-MiEV cars to government and private fleets, and to the public.

"Mitsubishi believes the future of electric vehicles is bright and we are proud to offer Australians the opportunity to purchase their own EV and make the choice towards a greener future," Mitsubishi Australia CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri said.

The i-MiEV's main rival in Australia, Nissan's larger $46,990 Leaf is not selling much faster, with 2012 registrations totalling 96 cars.


Outlander PHEV Due Mid-2013

Mitsubishi will soon expand its list of ultra-green offerings with the Australian debut of the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), arriving mid-year.

The PHEV is billed as the world's first plug-in hybrid SUV, matching a 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor mounted at each axle.

The electric motors will be powered by a 12kWh lithium-ion battery. Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV will deliver a combined fuel consumption figure of around 1.6 l/100km

Combined, the plug-in hybrid system lists a driving range of around 880 kilometres, with carbon emissions listed at a low 50g/km.

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