Mitsubishi commences electric car trials in Ireland

The all-electric, zero emission Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle will be used throughout Ireland to support the planning and implementation of the ESB nationwide charging infrastructure.

Viewing Ireland as an ideal market for electric vehicles in Europe, Mitsubishi Motors has made available 15 all-electric i-MiEVs in advance of the start of European production in October 2010. The vehicle has been an enormous success since its introduction in Japan in July 2009.

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan, ESB, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, MC Automobile (Europe ), and Mitsubishi Motors Ireland have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the parties to further promote the e-car industry in Ireland. Additionally, Ireland’s first e-car trial-project, conducted by Trinity College Dublin’s School of Engineering on behalf of ESB, has been launched.

The customer behaviour and attitudes research to be undertaken by Trinity College Dublin will be crucially important in understanding how customers want to use their EVs. The parties intend to make the vehicles available to a wide range of users – both residential and pilot corporate customers - and to promote EVs in light of the recently announced enhanced Government incentives. The Government has set a target of 10 per cent for all vehicles on Irish roads to be electric by 2020.

A “Smart Home Charging” system will be trialled, which will allow the cars to maximise the amount of energy they get from renewable sources, while also facilitating the operation of the electricity system. This is a key requirement for a successful transition to carbon neutral sustainable travel and ESB has committed to installing 1,500 publicly accessible charging stations, 2,000 domestic charging points, and 30 fast charging units on a nationwide basis throughout Ireland by the end of 2011.

Mitsubishi Motors is at the forefront of EV development and plans to bring to market a range of full electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the coming years.

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