Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited has confirmed it will release 110 i-MiEV electric vehicles into the Australian market by the end of 2010, 70 more than it was originally allocated.

MMAL CEO and President, Masahiko Takahashi, said the company had already received more than 300 applications for the i-MiEV.

“The interest displayed by Australian private consumers and organisations in the new electric vehicle technology has been overwhelming,” Mr Takahashi said.

He said the approval of 70 extra vehicles had been granted despite significant worldwide demand for the i-MiEV and initial limited production capacity.

Mr Takahashi made the announcement late last week at Melbourne’s East Webb Dock as the first 20 i-MiEVs rolled off an international container vessel, marking the first ever volume shipment of electric vehicles for the Australian market.

The i-MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) is a rear-wheel drive all-electric plug-in four-seater. The lithium-ion battery system produces 47kW and the maximum 180Nm of torque is available instantaneously. Range is 140km to 160km and top speed is 130km/h.

“More than 80 per cent of urban Australian commuters travel less than 100km per day, so the i-MiEV the perfect vehicle for most of our daily driving requirements,” Mr. Takahashi said.

A full charge from a standard domestic power supply currently takes seven hours, but Japan is currently developing a fast-charge system which aims to achieve 80 percent battery charge in 30 minutes.

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