2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Long Term Road Test

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: I Don't Read

April 11, 2012

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It turns out I didn't read the long-term introduction for our 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV very carefully. Otherwise, I would have heeded this passage penned by Mike Magrath:

The feds give the i MiEV a driving range of only 62 miles. Our long-term Nissan Leaf had an EPA rating of 99 MPGe but managed 73 miles of range on the feds' test. During our year with that EV, we found that the Leaf had a realistic range of 86 miles with our driving habits. Your guess is as good as ours as to what we'll get with the Mitsubishi.

Last night I set out for Monterey Park, California, which is a 48-mile round trip. No problem, I thought, our Mini E used to make that trip so easily. This expedition was preceded by a 1.5-mile round trip to the grocery store.

Traffic was light, meaning I had to go about 65-70 mph on the drive out to the San Gabriel Valley. On the way back, it rained, reducing speeds but necessitating use of potentially battery-draining accessories like the windshield wipers.

After about 39 miles, the low battery light (aka, low fuel light) began flashing. And about 45 miles into the trip, the dreaded amber turtle illuminated.

 

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Fortunately, the Mitsubishi is capable of adequately protecting itself from garden-variety driver stupidity. Nothing horrible happened. I drove a half-mile farther on the freeway at about 60 mph (sensing no reduction in power), then exited and drove the remaining 4 miles on familiar surface streets, which would provide a safer place to pull over if need be.

I parked the Mitsu overnight, then drove it a short distance to the office in the morning where it's now charging normally. Total trip distance was 49.8 miles (above photo was taken before the final 0.8).

So it would seem that range will be far more of a factor with the i than with the Mini E or Nissan Leaf -- but the Mitsu has another tool at its disposal: a Level 3 charger. And there just so happens to be a quick-charge station (capable of restoring 80-percent charge in under 30 minutes) on the way to Orange County.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 636 miles

 

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