Mitsubishi's diminutive i (it stands for "innovative") electric vehicle may not be the most attractive option for the average American family looking to save on trips to the pump, but the State of Hawaii is using it as a way to test and demonstrate plug-in electric car charging infrastructure.
The state on Monday entered an agreement with Mitsubishi Motors North America to be one of the launch states for the car with the hope that doing so will help it reach its clean energy goal of 70 percent by 2030.
Under the terms of the agreement, Mitsubishi will:
- Sell and service the vehicle through a local dealership.
- Deploy Level 3 DC quick charging stations that use the CHAdeMO protocol.
- Create activities "designed to educate and engage Hawaiian residents" about the viability of EVs as a convenient form of transportation.
- Support startups and new business models around EV development and workforce deployment. (Example: electricians trained for EV infrastructure installation.)
- Develop and deploy of EV infrastructure-related training programs at tech schools and community colleges.
Test drives for the $27.990 vehicle start this fall.
Hawaii's hope: that Mitsubishi can convince residents that all-electric cars are accessible, possible and affordable. At no more than 93 miles across for the state's largest island, it might just be the right place to start.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com