The carmaker says it's signed a letter of agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) to test the four-seat iMiev beginning in the fourth quarter of this year. The cars will be used in the power company fleets to give Mitsubishi an idea of the practicality of selling EVs in the United States.
Earlier this year, at the New York auto show, Mitsubishi showed off the iMiev and announced its plans to work on an electric version. The iMiev uses lithium-ion batteries mounted under the vehicle floor; its electric motor puts out 47 kilowatts of power, which Mitsubishi says gives it superior performance to the gas-powered equivalent in Japan, which turns in just 64 horsepower.
The electric version will go on sale in Japan in 2009, Mitsubishi confirms.