Mitsubishi Hopes to Expand EV Utility

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV boasts absolutely zero tailpipe emissions and an EPA-estimated 112 MPGe. But it might be worth more than helping you eliminate trips to the gas station. At least, according to a new research study being conducted by Mitsubishi in Japan, in which the automaker aims to show that the EV could help stabilize the power grid.

It's named "M-Tech Labo," and Mitsubishi is working with the Tokyo Institute of Technology in an effort to show that the batteries of cars like the i can be used to balance out power fluctuations from an increased use of the power grid. The theory of course, is based on the idea that you can store energy that's not currently being used to even out the flow when energy use surges. Trouble with this is, in places like Japan, there's not a lot of space for energy storage places and warehouses. But a compact, mobile battery? A whole fleet of them? That could work.

So here's how it would work: electric vehicles could hook up to the power grid as extra power storage. At peak demand times, the grid would tap into this stored energy. The initial problem being utilizing this solution without sacrificing the functionality of the vehicles for drivers.

Research at the M-Tech Labo has only just begun, and the automaker has plans to continue working for the next year to understand the benefits and drawbacks of the plan. So by next spring, we should know if this is a feasible solution to the potential overuse of the power grid with the popularity growth of EVs.

The i-MiEV certainly is a versatile little car - stop by and see it for yourself at Sport Mitsubishi in Orlando. We invite you to drop us a line via our website or stop by our showroom at 3772 West Colonial Drive during our regular business hours. A member of our team is always happy to answer your questions about the i or any of the other fuel-efficient new Mitsubishi models currently available.

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