The i-MiEVs Have Landed

Mitsubishi Motors North America announces the arrival of i-MiEV to its national press fleet. Japanese Domestic market versions of this battery electric vehicle will be available for loan from seven STI Fleet Services locations (Detroit, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle).

This loan program seeks to acquaint a select number of media with the electric car experience by allowing them to live with the vehicle for several days. Acceleration, charging, range management, and the variable effect of vehicle climate controls on the car’s operation will all be tested and experienced during this loan.
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Electric Vehicle and Energy Efficiency Developments Drive $733 Million Venture Capital Investment in US Cleantech Market in Q1 2010

US venture capital (VC) investment in cleantech companies in Q1 2010 hit $733.3 million in 72 financing rounds, a 68% increase in capital and a 118% increase in deals compared to Q1 2009, according to an Ernst & Young LLP analysis based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource.  Compared to Q4 2009, these results represent a 6% decline in funding and 1% decline in financing activity.

Cleantech investment is recovering faster than overall venture capital investment, which increased 11% from Q1 2009 to $4.7 billion.  The total share of venture capital invested in cleantech reached 16% this quarter.
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Better Place Opens Battery-Swap Station in Tokyo for 90-Day Taxi Trial

Wherever electric-vehicle infrastructure company Better Place has planted its flag, withering vaporware accusations have followed. They were natural rejoinders to Shai Agassi, the chief executive’s, assured pledge at last fall’s Frankfurt motor show to put 100,000 E.V.’s on the world’s roads by 2016.

Disquieting data concerning the world’s supply of lithium, a critical component of the batteries that would power Better Place’s E.V.’s, cast doubt over the business model’s long-term viability. This week, however, the company delivered its sharpest rebuke yet to skeptics, introducing a fully functional E.V. battery-swap station in the Roppongi Hills section of Tokyo.
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Quirky, 3-wheeled Aptera EV edges closer to launch

* Company has applied for a $184 mln DOE loan

* Plans to start production next year

* Would likely face stiff competition from large automakers

The space-age Aptera might look like something straight out of a futuristic cartoon, but executives at the California start-up behind the electric vehicle say its time is now.
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