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ADR approval for i-car

Sydney-slicker: Mitsubishi's i-MiEV is now ADR-certified.

Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV becomes the first mass-production electric car approved for Oz

13 Apr 2009

MITSUBISHI has received federal government approval for its i-MiEV city-car, which now appears likely to become Australia’s first electric vehicle.

The diminutive Japanese EV made headlines last week when federal transport minister Anthony Albanese drove the electric version of Mitsubishi’s i-car after announcing it had received Australian Design Rule compliance.

In fact, the i-MiEV received official ADR approval back on March 13, following a process that began on November 20 last year. The plug-in i-car is currently undergoing real-world testing by a number of potential private and government fleet organisations around the nation.

Mr Albanese said Australia’s first ADR-homologated EV, which will be built in Japan from June and can be driven 160km at speeds of up to 130km/h when fully charged, was a significant step towards emissions-free driving.

“If powered by 100 per cent green energy, (the car) would result in no emissions,” he said on April 8.

Although Mitsubishi’s EV is yet to be officially confirmed for sale in Australia, it is expected to beat a number of electric models to be sold here. Nissan has committed to selling its first EV here in 2012, the same year Chevrolet’s plug-in Volt hybrid has been earmarked for sales here as a Holden. At least two fully electric vehicles are already produced in Australia in low volumes.

At this stage no EV recharging infrastructure exists in Australia, where i-car operators will rely on home or workplace power supplies. Mitsubishi says that although that makes it unsuitable for long-distance or country travel, the 3.4-metre i-car will be targeted almost exclusively at city dwellers.

“Given that 85 per cent of Australians drive less than 100km a day, this vehicle would suit the lifestyles of most in our community,” said Mr Albanese. “Australia is the most urbanised country on earth - most of our citizens live in our cities around the coast.

“In terms of dealing with issues of reducing carbon pollution... but also the effect of smog in our cities, the effect of noise pollution, all of those are advantaged by this vehicle,” he said, adding that the federal government had not been asked by Mitsubishi to provide purchasing incentives for its EV.

If sold here, the i-MiEV will be more expensive than other cars its size, but owners are expected to make long-term savings by eliminating petrol bills.

Official Federal Office of Road Safety (FORS) documents show the i-MiEV measures 3395mm long, 1475mm wide and 1600mm high. The 1080kg four-seater EV rides on a 2550mm wheelbase and has 130mm of ground clearance.

According to Mitsubishi’s ADR documents, our version of the i-MiEV should come standard with twin front airbags, anti-lock brakes, air-conditioning, power windows/mirrors, central locking and 15-inch steel wheels, while alloy wheels will be optional.

Read more:

Mitsubishi shares spike on higher i-MiEV forecast

First Oz drive: Electric i-MiEV coming, ready or not

NSW to trial i-MiEV

Australia ‘ideal for plug-in cars’

Mitsubishi calls for EV support

EV subsidies needed, says Mitsubishi

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