Project Journal

Is Vrooom Obsolete? Part 2
by Robert Fortunato on February 21st, 2013 6 Comments

As we reported in an earlier post, Mitsubishi is doing a long term loaner of their new i-miEV electric vehicle to help us make our carbon neutral lifestyle a reality.  In this mid-loan review, we wanted to give you a sense for the experience of driving all electric.

First off , we are still really impressed with the acceleration and handling of the car.  This vehicle maximizes the torque of the motor and the low center of gravity of the batteries.  It will take a Porsche off the line and corner at 40 mph.  That said, we wish it looked more like a sports car and less like an eco-car.  They would instantly sell more of them.

The car gets and astounding 112 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent) – among the best efficiency of any EV out there.  At about $20k it is also one of the most affordable fully electric cars out there.

It is rated to go 62 miles on a full charge.  We are certain it would go that far – but we like driving it like a sports car and so we get about 52 miles on a full charge.  Luckily, neither one of us has a long-range daily commute, so 95% of our driving needs are covered by this vehicle.  Because it is so fun to drive and we can power it for free from our solar panels or at the City’s free charging stations, we tend to drive it 95% of the time.  (In a future post we’ll describe the installation of our Eaton EV charging stations in our garage.)  Robert has had a client up in Carpenteria and we are planning to vacation at theGrand Canyon.  Those are really the only times we have contemplated rolling out the gas powered vehicles.

Because people are curious, we often give test drives of the i-miEV to friends and neighbors.  We are happy to demystify this great technology and recently gave a test drive to Dan Inskeep, an environmental advocate who is also very economically savvy.  Dan made some really good points during the test drive.  His current car, despite having a great MPG rating, likely never gets the rated mileage because the bulk of their family’s trips are too short to have the engine warm enough to be that efficient.  In addition, combustion engines are bigger polluters in that start up mode.  Electric vehicles don’t suffer from those problems and are therefore great for short trips – 95% of what most people do.  We think Dan will actually be buying one soon!

Monica in downtown Hermosa Beach at the FREE charging stations before breakfast and a walk out on the pier


6 Responses to “Is Vrooom Obsolete? Part 2”

  1. Joe Galliani says:

    So glad to see you driving a plug-in! Hope you love it as much as Deb and I love our new Tesla Toyota RAV4 EV. We too have taken advantage of Hermosa’s wonderful free charging stations on Upper Pier Ave and at the City Hall/Library parking lot. We’re excited to learn that Manhattan Beach will soon be installing public chargers at their underground City Hall parking complex too!

    We envy your ability to charge your EV from the renewable energy the Green Idea House produces.

    • Robert says:

      Hi Joe, Glad you are enjoying electric. It is the future. We do love the feel of the powertrain and don’t miss the trip to the pump. Hope to see you guys again soon!

  2. Anderlan says:

    Actually, I think it is basically a certain citycar model that Mitsu has in Japan. It’s still a very good implementation–none of the shoe-horned battery pushing into noticeably into the cargo space like in the Focus and Energi. Glad to hear it keeps its center of gravity low.

  3. Lucas says:

    I drive an i-Miev, had it for almost 9 months now and I like it very much. Couple of points, the i MiEV was not engineered soley as an EV – it started its life out as a Japanese Kei car with a gas engine in 2006. In 2009 it was converted to an electric model. There is a great video on YouTube about the i-MiEV called The Making of the i-Miev – check it out lots of good info about this car. Also, the car you drive is very different than the one the rest of the world drives. The North American i-Miev is 4 inches wider and 11 inches longer to meet our safety standards and um, our larger drivers. One way to see how much bigger our i’s are is by looking at the dash panel. The original smaller dash is still used, a filler was placed around the edges to save on engineering cost. It’s really a cool and unique vehicle with a lot of quirks like the hood release is on the right hand side – left over from the Japanese Kei car.

    • Robert says:

      Lucas, Glad to hear you are enjoying your i-Miev. Thanks for the clarification and the tip on the video: Very cool! a couple of questions: How many miles are you getting from a full charge and have you figured out how to set the remote for the charger so it automatically charges from 12 – 6am (super saver TOU rate time)?

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