2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Long Term Road Test

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: August and September Electricty Use Update

October 3, 2012

2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Our 2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV continues to be used by editors that live fairly close to the office and its 240V SAE charge station. The location of our charge equipment isn't all that unrealistic because most EV owners only have access to one 240V charger. Our commute is bass ackwards, is all, with the charging equipment on the work end instead of the home end.  

Here is how things stand with August and September added in.

2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV

Best

Worst

Average

EPA

Electricity (kWh/100 mi)

20.3

41.3

28.1

30

     Observed Range (miles)

57.8

 

 

62

Projected Range (miles)

(Observed range + DTE)

83.8

45.0

62.6

Because that's only 1,980 miles of driving. Clearly, no one is lining up to take this one home. 

The reluctance that certain editors have to driving this car boils down to a couple of issues: the utter bare bones-edness of the car itself and fear of its short range. 62 miles isn't exactly stellar and range anxiety kicks in big time as you approach 50 miles.

Sure, it can be topped up at home on 120V, but as I've said before the i MiEV is one slow charging EV. But that was speculative, based on manufacturer estimates. Since then I've timed it using the same 120V outlet at my house.

The new 2012 Honda Fit EV added 1.25 kWh to its battery for every hour it was plugged in. Factoring in its 29 kWh/100 EPA consumption rate we can say it charges at 4.3 miles per hour, as in miles of driving per hour of charging. Use our observed 24.8 kWh/100 consumption figure instead and the effective charge rate climbs to 5.0 miles per hour.

Similarly, the Focus Electric added 1.30 kWh to its battery during each hour on the plug. Its EPA rating of 32 kWh/100 miles translates that to 4.1 miles per hour of charging. In actuality it used only 28.4 kWh/100 miles during its time with us, so our actual 120V charge rate was 4.6 added battery miles per hour.

And the i MiEV? It can only add 0.75 kWh to its battery every hour it's plugged in. With an EPA consumption rating of 30 kWh/100 miles, the nominal charge rate is just 2.5 miles per hour. But as you see above we've averaged 28.1 kWh/100 miles, which bumps the observed charge rate to 2.7 miles per hour.

It all boils down to 5.0 and 4.6 compared to 2.7 battery miles per charging hour.

Meager range after you've filled at the preferred 240V charging station is one thing, but the fact that 120V top-ups take forever is something else entirely. I can't refill the battery overnight here at my place and still make it to back to the work charge station on time is another. Those that do their primary charging at home and top up with 120V at work or wherever they go during the day face the same issue in reverse. Slow top-up charging makes a small radius of operation that much smaller.

Even though it is not often discussed, charging speed, be it 240V primary charging or 120V top up charging, is an EV attribute that, to me, stands on equal footing with the range itself.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 1,980 miles

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