Governor Abercrombie on hand as Hawaii customer takes keys to North America’s first Mitsubishi i
Governor Neil Abercrombie, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA), and Cutter Mitsubishi of Aiea hosted a ceremony today at the State Capitol whereby government and private sector leaders gathered as Bryson and Bridget Nishimura of Waipahu took delivery of Mitsubishi Motor’s first 100 percent electric vehicle made for North America, the 2012 Mitsubishi i. The ceremony was the culmination of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that Governor Abercrombie and MMNA President and CEO Yoichi Yokozawa signed on June 3, 2011 to formalize cooperation on statewide electric vehicle (EV) and EV infrastructure development and deployment. Delivery of the vehicle represents a critical leap forward as Hawaii works towards its goal of reducing petroleum use in ground vehicles by 70 percent within 19 years.
“With the cost of gas still on the rise, these vehicles offer our consumers an option that will be cost-effective in the long run, and at the same time allows our state to reach its energy independence goals,” Governor Neil Abercrombie stated. “In Hawaii, our climate and energy priorities make us best suited for these types of vehicles.”
As part of the agreement with MMNA, the State of Hawaii agreed to work towards improving its existing infrastructure in preparation for widespread conversion to EVs like the Japanese manufacturer’s all-electric Mitsubishi i. The state also agreed that it would pursue and implement strategies to support consumer incentives that aid in the purchase of EVs, and foster an ecosystem that includes deployment, marketing, promotion and sales of the vehicles.
“The State of Hawaii is definitely one of the leaders in North America when it comes to the acceptance of vehicles that are 100 percent electric,” stated MMNA Executive Vice President Masatoshi Hasegawa. “The state has taken its agreement with our company very seriously, and has made great strides in preparing its infrastructure so that businesses and consumers can enjoy these vehicles on a grand scale.”
Delivery of the first Mitsubishi i to a customer in Hawaii fulfills part of the company’s commitment to the state. Moving forward, Mitsubishi Motors will continue providing information and recommendations on strategies to support EV ownership in Hawaii, including standards for EV charging infrastructure.
“This day marks a significant milestone in our effort to attract emerging businesses and business models related to EV development and deployment,” said Richard Lim, Director, State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. “As electric vehicles become more mainstream, so will technologies that accompany them, including those that aid in the storage of energy generated through renewable sources such as wind turbines, bioenergy or solar photovoltaic systems. All viable options are needed as we work towards our goal of 70 percent clean energy by 2030.”