Video of Tour the Mitsubishi iMiev

by Ben N on November 24, 2017

One of our YouTube viewers asked for a video tour of the Mitsubishi iMiEV electric car. So, we pulled out the video camera, filmed it, and gave our honest review of the vehicle. Here’s that video!

We’ve been driving this car for two years now, and have put about 20,000 miles on it. In a car that got 25 MPG, that would have been 800 gallons of gasoline. Fuel prices in my area over that time have averaged very close to $2.40 per gallon. So, that 800 gallons would have cost $1,920 dollars. There’s also been at LEAST four oil changes that have been avoided, but would have been required by a gas car. (I only paid $7,000 for the car in the first place, as the second owner of the vehicle, so it’s already paying for a good chunk of itself.)

I already posted a few blog entries about likes and dislikes of this car. Please take a look at those if you are interested.

Overall, my general feeling about the car is that I like it. It’s a practical vehicle. It’s handy. It has plenty of cargo room and nice hatch access. I really like the upgraded stereo with the features included with it, such as the DVD ripping and the backup camera. The headlights are great, and it doesn’t use a single drop of gasoline.

IMG_7379The battery pack is definitely on the small side. That could be a deal-breaker depending on where you live. If you live way out in the country and expect to hop on the interstate, drive 50 miles, and then another 50 miles back home, it is NOT the vehicle for you! (Although perhaps a Chevy Volt, Bolt, or Tesla Model 3 would be!)

Recharging the car is very simple. Pop the port, plug in the charger cable. Done. Because the car has a smaller battery pack, it DOES recharge quickly. I have two different EVSEs in my garage, so that I can park on either side, reach out into the driveway, or have a friend stop by and charge while I’m charging. Recharging is usually only a few hours (maxing out at no more than 5 hours with a completely empty battery) so there have been plenty of days when I would go for a drive in the morning, put the car on charge when I’m home, and drive again later with a full battery. For a while there when my schedule accommodated it, I was regularly traveling over 100 miles per day, even thought he official range of the car is 62 miles. I also track my mileage for business use. The tax deduction is far more valuable when it’s not just displacing the cost of gasoline!

Free_Fuel_GoSolarI’m also very excited to charge DIRECTLY from SOLAR POWER! I installed my own solar array, specifically to power my house and car. I did the math so that the solar should produce the amount of electricity used by my house and car combined. I’ve only had the solar in for five months so far, but my estimates have been matching up pretty well with my actual production and use. The car has a 3300 watt charger in it and the solar can produce up to 5,000 watts. In the middle of a sunny day, I can charge my car, power my house, and still have a little juice left over to run back to the power company and out to my neighbors (while I get CREDITED for it!)

I’ve also liked having the CHAdeMO high-speed charging port. When I first got the car, there were THREE CHAdeMO stations in my area which were FREE to use! Since then, one of them has broken and never been repaired, one was converted to an overpriced “for pay” plan, and the third is still freely available, but is the most out of the way of the three. Recently, a few more CHAdeMO stations have come online, but they are all part of the same pricing plan, which would cost me almost $1 per hWh. Due to that, I’ve used the CHAdeMO port much less than I had previously, but it’s still a GREAT feature to have available! (Many of those DC Quick Chargers have been funded through companies like Nissan. If you buy a new LEAF, they have a “No Charge to Charge” program, where owners can charge FOR FREE at any of those DC Fast Chargers! Not much help for us used car buyers though!)

The car has great head-room and an excellent view of the road. Those are things that I do NOT like about our 2004 Prius. In that vehicle, I really have to slide and tilt the driver’s seat back to fit me, and even then the roofline, rear-view mirror, and passenger side A-pillar all block my view. Driving the iMiEV is like driving an aquarium by comparison. I’ve always enjoyed driving full size vans and pickup trucks because of the head-room and view I have in them, although I’ve hated the fuel economy! The iMiEV gives me the best of both worlds.

The iMiEV isn’t for everyone, but it’s been a very overlooked and underrated vehicle and I’ve been happy with my choice – affordable and practical. I really believe that there’s a plug-in vehicle out there for everyone! There’s GREAT deals to be had on used EVs, and the newest vehicles have continually increasing ranges and features. Extended range plug-in vehicles (like the Chevy Volt) also can save an incredible amount of fuel and maintenance.

I hope you enjoyed this video tour of the car, and that you get charged up over whichever plug in vehicle floats your boat!

-Ben

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