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Driving on sunshine: Mitsubishi and Solar City form partnership

Driving on sunshine: Mitsubishi and Solar City form partnership

According to Solar City’s chief executive Andrew Booth, in order to encourage the uptake of solar across the country, you need to have financing mechanisms in place to make it more accessible. And partnerships, he says, are key. Which is why it comes as no surprise the all-in-one solar power company has announced a key national partnership with Mitsubishi. The partnership means the two companies will be able to offer each new i-MiEV owner a high-efficiency rooftop solar system that will provide the car with enough solar power to offset the energy used for charging. In July, Solar City announced it had formed a partnerhsip with New Zealand’s only CarboNZero-certified power company, Meridian.

Booth said the aim is to give new i-MiEV owners the peace of mind that they never have to spend an additional dollar on energy for their car, in its lifetime.

The solar system will be specifically sized for recharging the i_MiEV and can provide enough power to travel 1250 km per month.

Mitsubishi New Zealand’s head of sales and marketing commented the partnership gives customers the right resources and technology to make powering the i-MiEV as efficient as possible.

“The energy the solar PV panels generate in a day exceeds what is needed to offset the energy used in the average daily commute, significantly reducing the total cost of ownership,” he said.

The partnership is initially being launched in Auckland where car ownership rates are high.

Currently, said Booth, 40 percent of New Zealand’s energy is provided by oil, with key industries like export and tourism reliant on it.

“According to The Transport Ministry's annual survey of New Zealand's vehicle fleet, published this month, New Zealanders own 3.3 million vehicles, which will become increasingly expensive to run as the price of oil peaks,” he said.

But the car’s don’t come cheap, retailing at around $60,000. The solar power system costs just under $9000.