LOS ANGELES - The State of California will evaluate two zero-emission, new-generation, i-MiEVs in its test fleet, on loan from Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA).

Both the Governor's office and the Department of General Services expressed interest in the inclusion of electric vehicles (EVs), such as the i-MiEV, into the State's support vehicle fleet, according to MMNA.

During a May 24th press event, Governor Schwarzenegger sat in the i-MiEV, and later spoke to a panel of reporters about the battery electric vehicle being representative of the technology necessary to tackle the sustainable transportation challenges facing California.

Key committees within the California State Legislature seek to gain experience with battery electric transportation to help better understand and resolve the challenges facing the development of EV infrastructure. Lawmakers and officials will have these vehicles available for extended test-drives to learn the nuances of driving an EV and experience the recharging process.

The i-MiEV went on sale in Japan in July of 2009. The battery-electric sub-compact vehicle seats four adults and can be recharged from a standard wall-socket, according to the manufacturer. The State of California will be evaluating production model RHD Japanese Domestic Market versions of the i-MiEV. Mitsubishi Motors plans to introduce an EV for U.S. consumers in 2011.