April Fuel Economy Update - 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Long Term Road Test

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: April Fuel Economy Update

May 01, 2012

2012_mitsubishi_i-miev_1600_fuel_door.jpg 

Truth be told, we've only had our 2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV about 1.5 months. The following tally includes the latter half of March, so you're getting 50% more for free.

Such a deal.

First, a few relevant i MiEV stats: In a standard "combined" mix of city/highway driving, the EPA says the i MiEV will consume 30 kWh per 100 miles traveled. That breaks down to 27 kWh/100 city and 34 kWh/100 highway. As always, lower is better when it comes to comsuption in kWh/100.

And then there's this:

Long Term Vehicle

Weight

(lbs)

Battery

(kWh)

Range

(miles)

Consumption

(kWh/100)

2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV

2,579

16

62

30

2011 Nissan Leaf

3,375

24

73

34

2011 Chevrolet Volt

3,781

16

35

36

The i MiEV's official electricity consumption rating of 30 kWh per 100 miles comapres quite favorably to that of the Nissan Leaf and a fully-charged Chevrolet Volt.

And the EPA also says the i MiEV can manage 62 miles range from its 16 kWh battery, the same battery capacity that delivers just 35 miles in a Chevy Volt. Similarly, the i MiEV gives up just 11 miles of range to the Nissan despite a battery that's only two-thirds as big.

Simply put, the Mitsu pulls this off because it weighs 1,200 pounds less than a Volt and 800 pound less than a Leaf.

OK, fine. But how is the 2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV really doing?

   

Long-Term Vehicle

E-Consumption

(kWh/100)

E-Range

(miles)

EPA

Avg. Actual

EPA

Best Actual

2012 Mitsubishi i MiEV

30

29.2

62

49.8

2011 Nissan Leaf

34

33.7

73

89.9

2011 Chevrolet Volt

36

34.2

35

54.6

 

Our Mitsubishi i MiEV is starting off on the right foot from a consumption standpoint, beating the EPA rating just like the others did. Unlike gasoline EPA ratings, EV electricity consumption ratings are proving easy to beat.

On the range front we have some work to do. It's not that our i MiEV can't go farther than 49.8 miles, it's just that those that live far away, like me, haven't taken it home yet. So far it has mostly been in the hands of the locals, those that live close enough to make the round trip on the one charge it gets here at work.

This is the case because the iMiEV charges very s-l-o-w-l-y on 120V home current. Mitsubishi says it takes 22.5 hours to recharge an empty i MiEV battery on home current. A Volt with a same-sized battery takes just 12 hours to charge on 120V, something that is easily accomplished overnight. You don't really need a 240V charger if you own a Volt, but you do with the i MiEV. Rate of charge on home current is probably the Mitsu's biggest drawback.

As for the Volt, it's average range was 37 miles compared to a rating of 35. It's easy to squeeze every last kWh out of a Volt because, well, you can (and do) run it all the way down to zero as a matter of course.

Getting to 54.6 miles was simply a matter of optimum traffic conditons (bad, but always moving) and a who-cares attitude towards running out on the side of the freeway. But range anxiety will never allow true EVs to beat their range rating as soundly and as regularly as a Volt can.

Still, the i MiEV can and will do better. We'll determine the useful length of its leash in the coming weeks.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 784 miles

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