Mitsubishi and SolarCity team-up to solar charge the new i-MiEV

Mitsubishi New Zealand and SolarCity New Zealand today announced that they have formed a key national partnership 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.

Daniel Cook, Mitsubishi NZ’s Head of Sales and Marketing says this partnership, launched today, is designed to give customers the right resources and technology to make powering the i-MiEV as efficient as possible.

“i-MiEV electric car owners are ahead of the curve, and want a greener and cleaner way to drive,” Cook says. “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.

The specially designed i-MiEV PV solar panel charging system is viewable today at the Auckland Home Show, and gives everyone in the city the first chance to see how solar power and electric cars work together to protect families and communities from the rising cost of power.

Andrew Booth, CEO of SolarCity, says 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 high-efficiency solar system we are using will be sized specifically for recharging the i-MiEV,” Booth says. “It is engineered to provide enough power for about 1250 km of travel per month, and comes with a power output guarantee, allowing each customer to lock in their energy costs for the next 25 years.

“Forty percent of New Zealand’s energy is provided by oil and our key export and tourism industries also rely on it,” he says. “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,” says Booth. “With this in mind, it is apt that this initiative is being launched in Auckland, New Zealand’s most populated city, where car ownership is high.”

Hugh Byrd, School of Architecture and Planning, The University of Auckland agrees.

“The combined technology of solar PV panels and electric cars used in a city like Auckland not only makes the cars more energy efficient but also dramatically reduces carbon emissions, other pollutants that impact on air quality, and also noise levels, ” Byrd says. “In main urban areas, 90% of New Zealand's vehicles travel less than 69km per day, which is well within the range of the current generation of electric cars.”


How the i-MiEV / PV solar system works

The 1.5 kilowatt SolarCity system is comprised of solar photovoltaic modules that produce an average of 1,900 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The power generated is distributed to the grid using the New Zealand-made Enasolar Inverter.

For i-MiEV car owners, the complete solar system starts from NZ$9,999 installed and is designed to be installed on the home or garage roof.  Included in the purchase is a residential monitoring system, which includes the ability to track the performance of the solar system on the web.

About the Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is New Zealand's first mass produced electric car, and was launched in New Zealand in July this year.  The i-MiEV is an all-electric vehicle that can be charged through your household power supply and creates zero drive-time emissions and is whisper quiet.

The i-MiEV's small, lightweight, highly efficient permanent magnet synchronous motor provides sportier and quieter driving. This means i-MiEV is able to reach a top speed of 130km/h with up to 150km (New European Driving Cycle) of range from a single charge, which is more than enough to cover all of your daily trips around town.

Information about Mitsubishi i-MiEV and solar panels is available from the following six approved dealers: Andrew Simms Mitsubishi, Newmarket; Auckland Motors, Manukau; Simon Lucas Mitsubishi, North Shore; Ingham Mitsubishi, Hamilton; Armstrong Mitsubishi, Wellington; and Donnithorne Simms, Christchurch.


About SolarCity New Zealand Ltd

SolarCity is the nation's leading all-in-one solar power company.  Across the past 30 years we have put more kiwi-made panels on homes and businesses than anyone else.  We are the first solar company in the world to gain CarboNZero accreditation. 

We have financial and strategic backing from Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 investment fund and a US-based VC fund.  Our board includes Keith Turner, former CEO of Meridian Energy, and Barrie Leay, former Executive Director of the Electricity Supply Association of New Zealand.

We are the architects of the nation’s largest solar incentive scheme, the $9million Nelson City Council SolarSaver Scheme fund, to put solar hot water systems onto over 1500 homes in Nelson across the next three years.


For more information please contact either:

Andrew Booth

Chief Executive Officer

SolarCity New Zealand

03 539 1761

027 294 3888


Daniel Cook

Head of Sales and Marketing

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand

021 368 841