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Old 05-06-2016, 05:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Just bought a Mitsubishi I-MIEV to go with the I2

Just thought I would share a new purchase, a 2012 I-MIEV.

Was tinkering with the idea of changing the Celica as it's now 14 years old, and there is shortly going to be some ultra-low emissions legislative changes in central London which would mean the Celica could no longer travel in.

The Celica is fine, which is I suppose the reason why it was a good time to sell. I think the alternator is getting a bit weak and the tyres need a change in a few K, but other than that, perfect - I was just mulling over the idea of getting an EV.

So, the choice was between a Leaf, I-Miev and VW e-UP. The I3 is too costly, and the electric Smart was out as it's only a 2 seater. We never got the electric Fit/ Jazz in the UK, so that was out - otherwise I would have been very interested.

The e-up comes in at over twice the price of an I-MIEV for what is essentially identically utilitarian. The Leaf is very nice, and I drove one for about an hour, but most seem to come with a white interior, which is hugely impractical, and looks like it will get filthy really quickly - other than that, the Leaf is pretty similar in size to the Insight - so again not much point in having 2 cars the same size when I actually need a sub-compact city car with 4 doors now.

On to the I-MIEV; purely a city car, seemingly zero demand, therefore cheaper than an equivalent conventional car (just cant get this at all), and has the best seating position of the lot.

It's properly Japanese - though not had a Mitsubishi before, it's got the normal Japanese design features (very light doors/ plastic fantastic interior/ Kei car styling).

It drives like a go-cart, has a great turning circle, very comfortable loaded up, and has both Type 1 13A domestic charging and CHadeMo 50A fast charging as well.

Euro/ JDM spec (not sure what we get in the UK - likely JDM), 11,000 miles, and pretty much immaculate.

First impressions, if you can get over the looks after driving something like a Celica, it's actually better in almost every way in a large city like London.

I bought this in a place outside of it's range on the south coast, so I had to fast charge it on the way home once. It is true that it only takes 30 mins or so to get to 80% power, and due to the fast charging heating up the battery pack, it blows cooled A/C air through the battery to keep it cool when you connect up the CHAdeMo port.

On a UK 240v 13A domestic power supply it takes about 8 hours from flat, but about 6 hours from 25% full or so, which is vastly better than the 22 hours quoted for a 110v domestic charge, and one of the best benefits of 240V I have seen so far.

The battery is a 16KWh Li-ion Yuasa/ Mitsubishi Electric partnership unit, and the 425 lb of battery pack really helps the cars handling, being a narrow upright car. It looks a bit like a jelly bean actually. I think it costs about 1.80 to charge up from empty, which I make out to be (given UK gas prices) about 170MPG equivalent, which makes it twice the economy of my scooter.

Only issue i've found so far is that because the front tyres are so thin (145 65 R15), you do feel every imperfection in the road, and it doesnt like potholes or speed humps.

The only other thing I have noticed, is that there is seemingly no undersealing/ rust-proofing at all, which I will have to address.

So far a big thumbs up for what I will be using this for.

Oh, paid 5250 at 4 years old and 11K miles, with a fresh service and full Mitsubishi service history, which seems like bargain of the year.

Not the exact car, but an identical one:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/pExPDp0mhto/maxresdefault.jpg
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats! That does sound like a great deal.
The U.S. Only got about 3000 Honda Fit EVs and only on 8 states. Plus they were only 36 month lease only deals. I was on the wait list, but after 6 months I went with the Smart ED.
I bought a Leviton level 2 (220v) charger but I was able live with just the level 1 charging and spared the install expense.
Aisbel had the MiEv in Hawaii, but then he traded it for a BMW i3. He said it was pretty much trouble free, which has been my experience with my Smart.
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Old 05-07-2016, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by freezin4 View Post
Aisbel had the MiEv in Hawaii, but then he traded it for a BMW i3. He said it was pretty much trouble free, which has been my experience with my Smart.
That's correct. Our 2012 North American "Fat Boy" i-MiEV (~4" wider and somewhat longer than rest-of-world i-MiEV's) was trouble-free and fun to drive. Its De Dion tube rear suspension wasn't very sophisticated and didn't deal with speed bumps well. Its front suspension was subject to some pretty harsh bottoming out at times. But its rear wheel drive and resulting tight turning circle made it very maneuverable in urban driving. We almost always drove it with the rear seats folded flat so that a decent amount of cargo space was available.

I was able to get about 80 miles of range on a charge although that was in Honolulu's near perfect EV climate. Unfortunately, a relocation from nearer the center to the extreme edge of our island meant that our i-MiEV no longer was able to drive round-trip to anywhere on the island without stopping to charge for a few minutes assuming a public charging station was available and functioning. This inconvenience resulted in us not going places that we would have liked to have gone, so we needed to find an EV with ~20 miles greater range as similar to the i-MiEV as possible because we loved its compact size, relatively spacious interior for its size, light weight, and upright seating.

The BMW i3 met these requirements exactly, but we could have bought 2 i-MiEV's for the price of 1 i3 BEV. However, we got much more sophisticated front and rear suspensions, rust-proof aluminum/CFRP/thermoplastic frame/passenger cabin/body panels, a much nicer interior, true one-pedal driving with no automatic transmission creep, a sophisticated adaptive cruise control that allows driving without touching the accelerator or brake pedals except for red traffic lights and stop signs when no car is ahead, automatic braking for accident avoidance, backup camera, parallel parking assist, a full-featured entertainment/navigation system, and much more power that I really don't care about.

We're happy with our 21st century i3, but we've returned to Sweden for 6 months where I'll be driving our 20th century G1 Insight. It seems pretty crude by comparison, but we can drive it long distances much more conveniently than we could our i3. It's great for us here with its 3.3 l/100 mile fuel consumption rate which makes filling up with expensive gasoline not so painful.
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The U.S. Only got about 3000 Honda Fit EVs and only on 8 states. Plus they were only 36 month lease only deals. I was on the wait list, but after 6 months I went with the Smart ED.
Actually only 1,100 were leased. I've got one in my driveway right now, but we decided to not renew the lease in August and bought a used 2012 leaf instead. Enjoy the new ride. Any pictures? What is the average miles/kWh typically?

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Old 05-10-2016, 01:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Check out this thread from a fellow Insight Central member who also owns and regularly drives several of these Mits electric vehicles.

Mitsubishi I-Miev Forum ? View topic - Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Actually only 1,100 were leased. I've got one in my driveway right now, but we decided to not renew the lease in August and bought a used 2012 leaf instead. Enjoy the new ride. Any pictures? What is the average miles/kWh typically?

Tim
Just realised Ive posted twice. Forgot about this post, but its more useful, so I'll ditch the other one...

Ive charged it three times, and the average I would say is 50-60 miles, driven normally. I have had 75 out of it with a very light foot on my journey back when I bought it.

This is at the moment, with about 20 centigrade, and no auxiliary heating or AC. Turn on the AC and range is zapped by 10 miles. Heater caused about a 15 mile drop.

Ive charged it to 80% via fast DC to via the CHadeMo port, and that gives about 55 miles at 80%.

Battery is 16KWh (compare to Tesla S, which is between 65 and 90 depending on spec). So battery is small, but the car is also tiny.

No pics yet, but I will post up some soon.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bazzetta View Post
Check out this thread from a fellow Insight Central member who also owns and regularly drives several of these Mits electric vehicles.

Mitsubishi I-Miev Forum ? View topic - Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!
I agree with the post. You buy a sub-compact EV city car knowing that you won't be able to drive between cities, you know if you have a reading of 70 miles, you'll get 50 comfortably. You don't swap a V8 SUV for a small EV and expect a comparison - in fact, you font go to full EV and expect what gas gives you period. You buy these things at the moment as a test, to fulfill a certain utility.

London is huge, and I can get to and back from anywhere in the place, and that's good enough for me. There are a raft of tax breaks this car gives me, and if you put utility ahead of range, speed (and dare I say comfort), then what you have is a very quick urban vehicle, that parks easily, and is totally smooth and quiet.

Even without the green credentials stated, the 100% smooth drive, and ultra low running costs make sense. If I need a conventional vehicle, I'll use the Insight or my scooter or bike.

It would necessitate the public transport network to be down, sub-zero temperature or significant rain, the Insight to be used by my wife and a destination more than 35 miles away for me to be stuck up, and I cant remember that being the case ever, and even if it did happen, I could borrow one of my parents cars.

The range anxiety issue is a non-starter for me, because you just need to forward plan and understand the range variation. What I would describe range anxiety to more accurately be is 'limited range acceptance' - which is the crux of the issue.

Do I accept limited range, well actually I do not, so I couldn't have an EV without having the Insight to hand, but as a second car for 98% of journeys, range falls into the back end of importance.

There is another issue, which I would term 'sensible SOC range', and that's the SOC you should maintain to extract maximum battery life, which is 80% maximum, so that translates to 55-60 miles, which is still OK actually.

However, and this is a tough prediction: the speed of technological change would implicate that long before the batteries degrade to below my minimum limits, the number of EVs and the range they will do will render my car worthless. I would say that will be within 5-8 years, and with the mileage I do these days, would mean the car will have less than 35K miles at 12 years old, and it would be at under 600 charges, which is well below the 2500 cycle duty to 20% degradation.

My main anxiety is actually component failure on the high voltage side, implicating a large bill - thats it really.
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