Friday, March 30, 2012

Mitsubishi and Eaton Move Forward with EV Charging Stations in Hawaii

Published March 30, 2012

By Huw Evans

With a limited product portfolio in North America, Mitsubishi has been pushing its new electric vehicle, the i, pretty hard of late.

Recently, the company announced that in the state of Hawaii, it has fostered a partnership with Eaton Corp. to develop a plan for rapid expansion of Level 2 quick charging stations in the Pacific island chain. The move is considered a logical step since the i was first made available to retail customers in Hawaii.

Initially at least, that expansion is centered around Oahu, with one location being installed at the prestigious Ko Olina resort on the western side of the island, and four others due to follow at the Pearlridge and Kahala Malls, located in the metro Honolulu area.

The stations will be installed by Volta Industries, tasked as the official supplier/installer in Hawaii. They are part of a wider plan for the Aloha State to reduce the importation and use of fossil fuels and achieve 70 percent clean energy use by the year 2030.

At present, those driving pure electric vehicles are faced with the same range challenges as their counterparts on the mainland. But, the promoters of the new Mitsubishi-Eaton charging infrastructure plan expect to make EVs viable as a sole means of transportation in Hawaii within the next few years.

Mitsubishi says that the Eaton DC quick charger is able to replenish the Mitsubishi i’s lithium ion battery pack to 80 percent in around 30 minutes, though at a press conference for the car last year, which attended, Mitsubishi stressed that over reliance on quick charging can significantly shorten the life of the battery pack.

Under normal use, the car’s battery pack is rated to last approximately eight years.


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