July 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: July Fuel Economy Update

August 04, 2012


The miles are not piling up very quickly on our 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV. After 4.5 months we're still below the 2,000-mile mark, mainly because mediocre range and slow at-home charging on the included Level 1 cordset have kept the driver pool down to those that live in there-and-back range of the 240V Level 2 charger at the office.

Phil Reed has 240V charging equipment at home, but like most other at-home Level 2 charge stations it has no readout to indicate how much electricity was just dispensed. It's like having a gas pump with no gallons readout. I've talked to many manufacturers of at-home Level 2 chargers recently, and they all say no one is asking for that feature. Really? Does that make sense to you?

I have to think the well-heeled early adopters they've polled so far, the kind of folks that can afford to overspend for an electric car, don't mind in an "I don't care so long as I'm not buying gasoline," kind of way. But knowing how much fuel is being consumed (and, by extension, how much it costs) is going to matter at SOME future point, isn't it?

Anyway, here's what we know after the July data is baked in -- minus two Phil Reed Level 2 home charges of unknown quantity and the miles he drove. Sorry, Phil, I'm sure you hypermiled the heck out of the i MiEV, but without kWh data we have no idea how efficient you were.


2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV





Electricity (kWh/100 mi)





     Observed Range (miles)





Projected Range (miles)

(Observed Range + DTE)




For the most part, this was a good month for the i MiEV. It's thriftiest consumption dropped from 22.0 to 20.3 kWh per 100 miles. If you want to recast those figures in MPGe terms our best "tank" was 166 MPGe, up from 153 last month. But since gasoline isn't even remotely involved (no gas is, after all, the whole point here) I prefer not to cloud the issue. I'll stick with kWh/100 miles, the direct measure of electricity consumption.

On that note our average electricity consumption fell from 29.2 to 28.4 kWh/100 miles, and that compares very favorably to the 30 kWh/100 mile rating issued by the EPA.

Meanwhile, on the range front, our best observed range shot up a full 8 miles to 57.8 miles. I don't report worst and average range numbers because they have little meaning in the typical scenario where EV drivers plug in every day even if they only drove 4 miles to lunch and back.

Instead I like to keep track of projected range, the sum of the driven range on the trip odomenter and the remaining miles shown on the DTE gauge at each plug-in. On that basis the average projected range of 64.2 miles matches up well with the 62-mile range rating. The best projected range of 83.8 miles came on the day I drove 57.8 miles, the best observed range, with something like a third of a charge still left in the battery.

The bad news has to do with charge time on 120 V Level 1 charge equipment. This month I confirmed this EV isn't remotely livable without a 240V charger at home. Refilling those empty two-thirds took an eternity.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 1,622 miles

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