State to Test Mitsubishi “i” Electric Vehicles in Its State Fleet
NORMAL, IL – February 4, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn and Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the advancement of electric vehicle and renewable energy technologies in Illinois. As part of the agreement, Illinois will receive a limited number of Mitsubishi Motors “i” battery electric vehicles (i MiEV) on a temporary basis to evaluate the new electric vehicle (EV) technology on the state’s fleet.
“We are continuing to make strong investments in our green economy, which are putting people to work across Illinois. This partnership reflects our mutual commitment to the EV industry here in Illinois, and our common interest in bringing the jobs and environmental benefits these innovative technologies will deliver to our state. In Illinois, we are doing everything necessary to stabilize our economy, and this partnership is an important step toward securing our long-term economic growth.” Governor Pat Quinn said.
Under the agreement, the state will explore opportunities for joint research and industrial development among the parties and other Illinois-based research institutions to assist in the development, adoption and promotion of EVs and green technologies. The state will also work with Illinois community colleges and technical schools to develop curriculum and training programs to meet the demands of this growing sector.
“Mitsubishi Motors has a partnership of more than 25 years with the State of Illinois, and we are pleased that this partnership will now extend into Electrical Vehicles for the future,” said MMNA President & CEO Shin Kurihara. “We are impressed with the state’s commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, and we look forward to the initiatives outlined in this agreement.”
In addition to providing an inventory of test vehicles for the state’s fleet, Mitsubishi will provide information and recommendations on strategies to support EV adoption in Illinois. Mitsubishi will work with the state to share information on smart grid enabling strategies, and will also help EV adoption as well as charging infrastructure strategy by making the EV available to Illinois Mitsubishi dealers helping advance the EV cause.
“As we look to further enhance our competitiveness in the global economy, we know that our investments in the green industry will play a critical role in creating jobs and building a more sustainable economic future in Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley. “This partnership with Mitsubishi will not only help make Illinois a leader in electric vehicle infrastructure deployment, but will also advance our efforts in smart grid technologies and other high-growth sectors that will help attract investment and create even more jobs.”
Today, Mitsubishi also announced a partnership with the Bloomington-Normal EV Task Force to supply 1,000 of its new, fully electric Mitsubishi “i”s to the Bloomington-Normal community by 2014. This agreement further supports the task force’s EV Town initiative, an effort by the communities to further the local EV market. As part of the initiative, the town of Normal plans to lease two European market versions of the Mitsubishi “i,” due to arrive in March of 2011. The town is also working to implement charging infrastructure to support the increase in EVs throughout Normal in 2011.
Earlier today, Governor Quinn announced a business investment package for Mitsubishi that will save at least 1,200 jobs at the company’s Normal facility and bring production of the new Outlander Sport, which is currently produced in Japan, to Illinois. The Japanese Automaker began manufacturing vehicles in Normal, Illinois in 1988.
Illinois continues to see strong signs of economic growth and recovery. Illinois led the Midwest and ranked fourth in the nation for job growth in 2010, and December marked the ninth straight month of declining unemployment.
About Mitsubishi Motors North America:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, convertibles, sedans, sport utility vehicles, and light trucks through a network of approximately 400 dealers. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.