Mitsubishi said that the extensive testing using the i MiEV has taken place over the past two years with seven major utility companies in Japan. The success of these programs prompted Mitsubishi to begin selling the electric vehicle in the Japanese market in summer 2009.

Through daily use, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will gauge the viability of utilizing all-electric vehicles in its operations and further understand the impact of charging electric vehicles on the electric grid.

The tests will provide PG&E and Mitsubishi with vehicle usage data, which will be used to publicly demonstrate and validate the benefits of dedicated electric vehicles within the California market.

Tohru Hashimoto, corporate general manager of the i MiEV business promotion office of Mitsubishi, said: We are hoping to introduce the small, four-passenger Mitsubishi i MiEV to PG&E’s fleet in the fourth quarter of 2008, so that we can begin real-world US testing. The joint partnership will yield valuable data and a greater appreciation of the practicality of an all-electric vehicle in California.