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Mitsubishi i-MiEV - long term report

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Written on: 29 October 2010 [10:53]
Topic creator
registered since: 16.01.2010
Posts: 31
We've had our Mitsubishi i-MiEV now for over ten months. It was one of the first batch of i-MiEV's in Europe that were provided to 25 lucky owners as part of a government-sponsored trial, and it is the second electric car we now have in our family.

We managed to get the car a year before the official launch of the car, thanks to the UK Government who are running a number of electric vehicle trials in different parts of the UK. Around 500 cars of different makes and models (Mitsubishi, SMART, Mini-e, Nissan and a few others) have been made available for the general public to lease for a one year period in order to ascertain what is needed at a national level to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles. Based on the outcome of these trials, the government will then put together a strategy for a nationwide charging network and ensuring the infrastructure is in place to support wider take up of electric vehicles.

Our car is used as our main family transport. I have two young children and the car is used for pretty much all our travelling needs. The car is big enough to comfortably seat four people with a decent amount of luggage space for such a small car. Seating position is fairly high up, making visibility excellent, especially when driving in towns.

We got the car because we wanted the opportunity to have an electric car that could be used as a practical family car. Our G-Wiz is great for very short trips, commuting into work and the like, but is too small and too slow to be used as a family runabout. We live in a small village close to Coventry in the UK and we really needed a more powerful car for travelling longer distances.

The Mitsubishi has fulfilled this task superbly well. The motor is smooth and powerful, giving great performance with instant power on tap whenever we need it. Range varies between 50-80 miles depending on how we're driving it and where we are going: fast trips on freeways drain the battery much quicker than driving through town.

Since getting the car, we've clocked up around 6,000 miles. It is fair to say that we have had some reliability issues, but these have all been down to the tracking device that was fitted to the car as part of the government trial, rather than with the base car itself.

Both my wife and I far prefer driving the Mitsubishi to a conventional gasoline powered car. We both like the smoothness of the electric motor and the instant power. Noise levels are considerably lower as well. As a result, the car is much easier to drive than a gasoline car and neither of us are looking forward to having to give the car back at the end of the year long trial.


Written on: 11 May 2011 [17:18]
registered since: 08.09.2007
Posts: 88
Hello everybody,

I can second the report - but not the "longterm" part, as I drive my i-MiEV for 1 1/2 months now.

But it is a great car, very well adjusted (acceleration, regenerative braking in different strengths etc.) and with nice little luxury goodies that other small cars don't have (auto headlights on/off, adjustable wiper speed for intervall setting, motorized "fold in" mirrors).

The only problem is, that the heating is all electric and reduces the range considerably (according to an i-MiEV presentation I downloaded from here: http://www.sae.org/events/aars/presentations/2010/W2.pdf).

And there is no battery heating available - so driving the i-MiEV in winter (below -10 degress celsius) without an (underground) garage available will not be any fun and from -20 degress onward almost impossible... (according to this German language thread and this graph). So I'm thinking about having a little gasoline heater installed (Webasto or similar) because heating with electricity is as bad as driving with gasoline. icon_wink.gif

Apart from those little glitches, it is a wonderful little car for our family of four (we use trains for long distance travel and car sharing for the odd occasion when we need a bigger car).



Written on: 13 May 2011 [09:46]
registered since: 13.05.2011
Posts: 3

I am new to this forum but well known on the G-wiz forums (Hi Mike!). I have driven a G-wiz for the past three years but am now considering buying an i-miEV. I had one on loan from Mitsubishi for four days last week and really liked the car. I am going to try a Leaf as well but the i-miEV would actually suit us well as we are looking for a small car anyway.

I am interested in your comment regarding temperatures. I live in Scotland and only have an outside 'car port' to put the i-miEV in. The G-wiz has battery heaters and one of the firt things I did was improve the battery insulation. Last winter we had nearly 8 weeks of below -6C which although fairly unusual historically but the last two winters have been similarly cold.

So - any comments on how this affects the i-miEV? Is it going to limit our use in the winter?

Written on: 15 May 2011 [19:11]
registered since: 08.09.2007
Posts: 88
Tornado wrote:

So - any comments on how this affects the i-miEV? Is it going to limit our use in the winter?

Hi Tornado,

sorry - I can't help you there. The Links I gave above state that the i-MiEV should be OK up to -10 Celsius with no noticeable range loss.

But still, that's only theoretical and I only owned the i-MiEV for a short time with spring temperatures. But from my experiences with my Citysax (has battery heating) I wouldn't get an i-MiEV without having a garage to park it in.

On the other hand:
If you have daily drives of about 50-60 km, these should be long enough to keep the battery at a temperature that afterwards allows a full charge without any noticeable range loss (one post in the thread mentioned above says, that charging a battery that is at -10 Celsius is the problem - not driving a cold battery that has been charged once it still was warmer).



Written on: 20 July 2011 [11:33]
registered since: 20.07.2011
Posts: 1
Hi there. I took delivery of what I was informed was the first iMiev on general sale in the UK, in January this year. I love it and am a complete convert.

I have a question, and a couple of observations.

My question relates to my commute. I moved a month ago out of London. My commute is now 42 miles each way, which the iMiev handles with ease. I charge overnight at home, and plug in when I get to the office. I'm doing this 1 to 3 times per week. What impact will this have on the battery? Will I start to suffer degradation? Right now, 42 miles is easy, with or without air con/heating.

My observations:

- even after having done the Carbon Trust's eco driving course, 80 miles range is the absolute best I can get. The stated 93 miles range is not achievable for me.
- Best economy achieved at a steady 40 - 50 mph
- Heating uses much more energy than cooling
- Every time I have really, really needed to charge up on a public charging point in London, they have been in use or out of order
- When the sat nav says you have more miles to go than the iMiev says are left in the tank, it's bad for blood pressure
Written on: 23 July 2011 [09:36]
registered since: 13.05.2011
Posts: 3

well done for getting the first i-Miev! I would encourage you to monitor the car carefully and use it as much as you like. There is a 5 year (I believe) battery warranty. You should not notice the battery performace changing much over that time.

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