• Kyodo

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More than 40 Australian companies and government departments have applied for the initial shipment of i-MiEV electric cars, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd. said Thursday.

Banks, energy companies, the Department of Environment and Google are among some of the organizations that will be the first to get the electric car.

“Each of these organizations will receive an i-MiEV electric vehicle for use on their company fleet, with employees and staff among the first Australians to experience the ground-breaking zero drive-time emissions technology on a daily basis,” the company said in a statement.

An initial shipment of 40 i-MiEVs will arrive in Australia later this month, though the company received applications for more than 100.

“With the arrival of the vehicles, MMAL will officially become the first volume-production manufacturer to market electric vehicle technology in this country,” Mitsubishi Motors Australia said.

Masahiko Takahashi, the company’s CEO and president, issued a statement saying the company has received an overwhelming response.

“The proof of Australia’s acceptance of the electric vehicle comes down to whether people are ready to purchase the vehicle — and there is no doubt that they are,” Takahashi said. “We have three times as many applicants as vehicles at this point.”

Initially, the company will retain ownership of the cars, with organizations and bodies signing a lease for 1,740 Australian dollars (around ¥135,000) per month.

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