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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Illinois town aims to make electric cars … Normal

From an article by Kari Lydersenin Midwest Energy News:

Normal, Illinois, is home to Mitsubishi’s only U.S. manufacturing plant, and residents of the town 130 miles southwest of Chicago are known for embracing sustainability and renewable energy. Many families have two incomes and two cars, and “are very educated and early adopters of technology,” in the words of Mayor Chris Koos.

So about a year ago, Koos and other civic leaders decided to dub Normal and its adjacent “sister city,” Bloomington, “EVTown” and ask Mitsubishi to make it among the early destinations for its new all-electric car, the i-MiEV.

As typically happens with electric and hybrid cars, Mistubishi will roll out the i-MiEV in larger coastal markets first. Drivers in smaller towns, especially in the Midwest, will have to wait many months longer than urbanites to buy an electric vehicle or hybrid from their local dealer. Normal town planner Mercy Davison said locals were disappointed in how long they had to wait for the Nissan Leaf.

So Mitsubishi agreed to dedicate up to 1,000 i-MiEVs for Bloomington-Normal drivers. With a combined population of about 130,000, that would mean a considerably high proportion of families buying new i-MiEVs.

“It’s a big goal, but we think it’s doable,” said Koos.

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