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Mitsubishi opens solar charging unit, confirms EPA stats for '12 EV

By KBB.com Editors on July 8, 2011 4:10 PM
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Looking for an innovative way to support the November launch of its new 2012 Mitsubishi i electric vehicle, Mitsubishi Motor Sales has opened a solar-powered charging station on its main campus in Cypress, California. At the same time, it released official EPA mileage figures for its first EV --which includes a stellar 112 MPGe combined rating.

Speaking at the dedication ceremony, Katsuya Takamiya, president and chief executive officer, Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, noted that Mitsu’s new EV charging facility can accommodate up to four EV’s simultaneously using three different protocols. The two Level 1 (110V) outlets can deliver a 100-percent battery replenishment of the Mitsubishi i in 22 hours, a process that requires only six hours on the Level 2 (220V) circuit. The Eaton Level 3 DC Quick Charger lives up to its name by serving up an 80-percent recharge for the Mitsubishi I’s lithium-ion battery pack in just 25 minutes. During its initial period of operation, the automaker plans to allow owners of any brand of EV to make use of the new facility for free.

The other key bit of news made on the day concerned the release of official EPA numbers for the 2012 Mitsubishi i. According to the federal mileage mavens, this zero-emissions subcompact offering merits a 126 MPGe rating in the city and 99 MPGe on the highway, earning the aforementioned 112 MPGe combined mark. By comparison, the Nissan LEAF EV earns 106/92/99 MPGe marks in those respective categories. Anyone suffering from range anxiety can take some comfort in knowing that the EPA also awarded the 2012 Mitsubishi i a 62-mile “real-world” per-charge driving range, a figure based on its performance in a battery-battering worst-case evaluation regimen that includes multiple intervals of aggressive motoring as well as high-ambient temperature running with the air conditioning and other power-sapping accessories in operation. However, that does put it some 11 miles behind the LEAF’s 73-mile stat.

All things considered, Yoichi Yokozawa, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America feels confident about the car’s chances for success. "We feel that with the combination of capability, affordability, and high level of efficiency offered by the 2012 Mitsubishi i will prove very appealing to consumers considering EV transportation." The very well appointed Mitsubishi i ES is set to open at $27,990 while the upline SE will command $29,990 -- both plus a still-pending destination fee but before the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit and any other applicable state or local spiffs. At that level, Yokozawa expects it will be the lowest-cost EV available in the U.S.

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