The following news was issued by Mitsubishi via newswire yesterday and at a news conference today in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES, California – Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is proud to announce that the nation’s largest electronics retailer and tech services provider, Best Buy Co., Inc., and power management company, Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN), will collaborate with Mitsubishi Motors to help facilitate and enhance electric vehicle ownership for the automotive consumer.
For residential electric vehicle customers, Best Buy’s Geek Squad will provide site analysis and work to manage electrical home infrastructural upgrading and installation by licensed electrical contractors of Eaton’s advanced Level 2 (220V) charging hardware for Mitsubishi’s “i” powered by MiEV electric vehicle, which goes on sale in fall of 2011.
In addition, Eaton will provide both the electrical infrastructural support and Level 2 chargers to MMNA’s dealerships. These 220V (15A) charging stations can be installed in a home’s garage and help reduce the charging time of Mitsubishi’s lithium-ion battery-powered vehicle by 50% versus a standard 110V electrical outlet. Given its battery size, Mitsubishi “i” customers can have the choice of only applying existing Level 1 (110V outlet) equipment, or the faster Level 2 charging which can affect a complete charge in about 7 hours.
“This rounds out our pre launch plans for the new Mitsubishi “i” model. It represents the best of both worlds combining Eaton quality and reliance, with Best Buy service and customer care for both dealers and our customers. We are happy that they have joined us in our efforts,” said Shinichi Kurihara, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Best Buy, through the company’s Geek Squad - a nationwide 24-hour task force of more than 20,000 highly skilled technicians - will perform site analysis and is working to install the Level 2 Charging Station equipment designed and manufactured by Eaton Corporation. Along with the Charging Station analysis, Geek Squad can also offer consumers a home energy survey to determine current power consumption and potential areas where savings may be found. Through Best Buy’s retail and web expertise, MMNA hopes to offer the customer a smooth, reliable process to help resolve potential home infrastructure challenges that could present obstacles to EV ownership. Best Buy will be a face of Mitsubishi Motors for “i” customers in situations requiring residential infrastructure enhancement or charger installation.
“We’re delighted to join Mitsubishi and Eaton to deliver a convenient solution for consumers who may have hesitated to purchase an electric vehicle simply because of recharging concerns,” said Chad Bell, director of the New Business Solutions Group at Best Buy. “As more people gravitate toward electric-powered transportation, home energy management becomes an important consideration, and Best Buy intends to be actively engaged in delivering the convenient, easy-to-access solutions.”
Best Buy’s Geek Squad is already familiar with the Mitsubishi “i” as its task force has been utilizing several of the efficient and roomy all-electric vehicles in its mobile fleet since November 2009 in a test run with the Japanese automobile manufacturer.
Eaton, a provider of innovative power management solutions to a global customer base, will design and manufacture the Level 2 Charging Station equipment that will be sold and distributed by Best Buy retailers to support Mitsubishi Motors customers. This Level 2 (220V) charger is the first Mitsubishi Motors endorsed charger for the electric-powered “i” model in North America. During development, such charging hardware is thoroughly tested to verify communication with the “i” model’s complex computer controls that monitor charging, charge rate and battery temperature, among other variables, that determine effective charging.
Eaton will be the sole supplier and installer of Level 2 charging stations required at Mitsubishi Motors’ dealers that will be supporting the “i” retail effort. With its long history of providing industrial power management solutions, Eaton is well qualified in this capacity since it has been developing innovative hybrid and electrical power systems (including electric vehicle charging infrastructure) for commercial vehicles for more than 20 years. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit eaton.com/plugin.
“Eaton, Mitsubishi and Best Buy are leading the way to create innovative and affordable technologies that help customers reduce their impact on the environment,” said Rich Stinson, president, Power Distribution Operations – Americas, Eaton’s Electrical Sector. “This collaboration highlights Eaton’s ability to support the electrical vehicle charging infrastructure necessary to assist electric vehicle drivers to confidently go about their daily business, without being worried about where and when they will charge their vehicles.”
About Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, convertibles, sedans, sport utility vehicles, and light trucks through a network of approximately 420 dealers. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.
Maurice (Moe) Durand
Manager, Product Communications
Senior Manager, Global Communications, Eaton’s Electrical Sector
Best Buy Public Relations
Best Buy Public Relations