Here’s a stoush to get a

Sparks to fly in first elec­tric ve­hi­cle test

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

FOR­GET those end­less Fal­con vs Com­modore com­par­isons; they’re just too passe.

Aus­tralia is about to see its first elec­tric ve­hi­cle (EV) ri­valry.

Mit­subishi’s i-MiEV city run­about will steal the hon­our of be­com­ing the first EV on sale to the pub­lic.

A few ex­am­ples al­ready have been placed with fleets (in­clud­ing that of News Lim­ited, pub­lisher of Cars­guide). A slightly up-specced ver­sion goes on gen­eral sale this year with an es­ti­mated sub-$50,000 pric­etag.

While Nis­san’s Leaf doesn’t go on sale for 12 months, the com­pany can claim the big five-door is the first fam­ily EV on sale.

But di­men­sions – the Leaf is a me­tre longer than the i-MiEV – is only one re­spect in which Nis­san says it will dwarf the Mit­subishi.

‘‘We’re talk­ing hun­dreds of cars (sold) per month, not tens,’’ says Nis­san Aus­tralia’s Leaf pro­ject man­ager Michael Hayes.

By the time the Leaf falls into Aus­tralian pri­vate buy­ers’ hands, the i-MiEV will have been on sale for nine months.

Hayes — who is tour­ing the coun­try demon­strat­ing the Leaf to press, deal­ers and gov­ern­ment — claims not to be both­ered by the i-MiEV claim­ing first-over-the-line hon­ours.

Pre­dictably, per­haps, Hayes claims to see it as no ri­val. More un­ex­pect­edly, he says that

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