NEWS from Mitsubishi Motors

Date: December 20, 1999

Mitsubishi EV Sets New World Record
Covers 2000km in 24 hours

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20 December 1999, Tokyo: Mitsubishi Motors Corporation announces that a Mitsubishi Electric Vehicle model recently became the first anywhere to cover 2000km in 24 hours.

Using manganese lithium-ion batteries developed jointly with Japan Storage Battery Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, a Mitsubishi FTO-EV prototype completed 899 laps over the 2.4 km track at the Mitsubishi Motors' Car Research & Development Center Proving Ground to cover a total distance of 2,142.3 km in the 24 hours between 8am 19 December and 8am 20 December.

The 24-hour record for an EV to date was 1,700 km (unofficial, set by a Saturn EV prototype in 1996). The Mitsubishi FTO-EV has bettered this by 442.3 km and the company will be applying to the Guinness Book of Records to have the new record officially recognized.

The record-breaking run by the Mitsubishi FTO-EV owes its success to the use of a newly developed manganese lithium-ion battery, which features much faster charging and a significant increase in cruising range per charge, and to exhaustive measures made to reduce the vehicle's air resistance.

Charging the batteries used to power an EV has traditionally been a very lengthy process, restricting both the number of hours the vehicle can operate, and its cruising range per charge to around 150 km per day. For this reason, great efforts are being made to speed up the charging process and to extend the cruising range (battery capacity) per charge.

The new manganese lithium-ion battery used in the Mitsubishi FTO-EV represents a major advance in EV operating efficiency, realizing a 65-percent reduction in charging time, and a 10-percent increase in cruising range over the nickel-hydrogen battery.

Batteries used to power EV's are also a component in hybrid vehicles powered by gasoline and electricity (HEV). Mitsubishi GDI-HEV's already exploit the superior fuel efficiency characteristics of GDI eco-engine technology. Used in HEV's - with their continual switching back and forth between expending power for acceleration and storing power during braking - the new battery technology will realize further improvements in fuel consumption and reductions in emissions to make Mitsubishi GDI-HEV's more environmentally friendly still.




FTO-EV battery performance comparison (boost charge)

Lithium ion

Nickel-MH

Lead-acid

Capacity (kWh)

27

26

17

Max. charging current (A)

240

100

240

Reference voltage

14.8 x 23

12 x 24

12 x 24

Charge time (mins)

20

55

25

Mass (kg)

360

440

490




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