Representatives from Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., along with Neil Abercrombie, Governor of Hawaii, and personnel from Cutter Mitsubishi of Aiea, Hawaii, made the first customer retail delivery of the 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i featuring Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology in a formal ceremony today at the historic Hawaii State Capitol Building in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Bryson and Bridget Nishimura of Waipahu, Hawaii.
In San Francisco last week, representatives from Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA), along with San Rafael Mitsubishi, conducted the first fleet delivery of the all-new 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i to the California Bay Area's City CarShare. The fleet delivery was an important first step in getting consumers to accept the 2012 Mitsubishi i.
The Hawaii first-in-the-nation bucks the trend that most manufacturers seem to follow of starting in Southern California and then slowly working their way east across the lower half of the United States and up the Eastern Seaboard. Then, the rest of the country is filled in with Alaska and Hawaii hardly ever getting a car first.
However, the Hawaii delivery makes sense in terms of impact because of its high gasoline prices. It has the highest prices in the nation at an average of $4.05 a gallon and unlike other parts of the country, its prices are trending upward.
Those gas prices made Bryson Nishimura proclaim, "We purchased the 2012 Mitsubishi i primarily to save on gas – we currently spend about $70.00 a week on fuel. But it should cost us only around $3.00 for a full charge of electricity – that's going to be a great savings for us! Long-term, the Mitsubishi i should save us at least $3,000 a year," said Mr. Nishimura, retired from a career with Hawaiian Telephone.
As reported here at TorqueNews recently, the Mitsubishi i has been proclaimed the most fuel efficient vehicle in the United States. The 2012 Mitsubishi i earns the title thanks to its EPA-rated 112 combined/126 city/99 highway MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). According to Mitsubishi, its electric vehicle has a range of 62 miles.
Figure that Mr. Nishimura was spending $4 a gallon for gas, he was going through 17.5 gallons a week but Mitsubishi didn't outline in its press release sent to TorqueNews what kind of vehicle he used to drive.
One thing that could be suspect, though, is his claim of $3 in electricity to juice his vehicle because it takes up to 22 hours for a full charge. Even a 240-volt charger takes seven hours to top off the tank, so to speak. At the average per kilowatt hour charge in 2010 of 25.47 cents, that would mean roughly he was charging his new Mitsubishi about 12 hours per week, or roughly 111 miles. That means his old vehicle (maybe a Hummer 1?) was getting average fuel economy of 6.5 mpg. No wonder he wanted to get rid of the thing.
Regardless of those sketchy numbers, Mr. Nishimura may have done the right thing by switching to an electric vehicle in the expensive Hawaii marketplace and Mitsubishi may be on the right track with its decision to introduce the 2012 Mitsubishi i there to its first retail customer.