After my experience with the Nissan Leaf, I was looking forward to experience the Mitsubishi iMiev. I had requested it for quite a long time, but not until now did I finally get a chance to try it out.
The iMiev falls in the category of the Japanese Kei cars, a segment that gets taxed lower with cars restricted in dimensions. It as to do with the limited parking spaces in Japan, and thus created a whole sub culture of small cars in, what like to call the rucksack category.
Just under 1,60 meter in width, it still offers 4 doors and seating for 4, maybe even5 if the people are rucksack sized too. Clearly I am not one of those, and thus was I not only unable to find a reasonable seating position for longer trips, I also too easily invaded the personal space of my 12 year old daughter, not only when trying to point something out on the right hand side, but also just with small movements. 1,60 meter width does work, but you have to compromise.
The more important thing was the charging and the range. I picked the car up in Torrance, and had to drive the 45 miles back home on a charge of 64 miles.. I had 1 mile left when I reached home.. 1 mile!!! Way too close for comfort.
I realize its a relatively flat stretch, so chance for regenerative braking to aid in this, but I had 9 mies range left when I left the i5 Freeway, and within the 2 miles that it takes to get home, 8 miles were gobbled up. Uphill is not the iMiev’s strong suit. Very much not.
The Mission Viejo area is very hilly, which worked wonderfully with the Nissan Leaf. Apparently less so with the iMiev. Sure, it recharges with regenerative braking, but not as much as it looses going uphill. That makes that every drive that is not exactly within a 10 mile radius, or has too any uphill sections, is a reason to worry, plan and hope. It turned out to be pure stress for me, and I hate that.
Take for instance Blink Network, where you can charge the car. There are only 3 near here, all in Irvine, one of which at a Carl’s Jr. and with 3 stations. That took e 9 miles in range to get to. You don’t pend a heck of a lot of time at a fast food place, so within the 30 minutes I was there, it only charged up 6 miles. Sadly Irvine is downhill from Mission Viejo, so when I returned, I lost 19 miles in range for the same stretch.
At the time of writing I am parked at a local Walgreens, where they ave a Chargepoint station. At $1 per hour it charges, as at a blink, using the small charger connection. There are no stations in my area that an accommodate the big and fast charger, the one that would recharge to full within 30 minutes. Nice advert, but nowhere to be found.
So I am due to spend a few more hours here this evening, since connecting the cable that came with car, connecting it to the main outlet in the garage, doesn’t seem to charge the car up as quickly as the set up that came with the Nissan Leaf. Overnight it manages about 20 mies in charge, and with the 24 I had, it would not be enough to allow me to drive the car back to Torrance tomorrow.
I will be so relieved to step back into my own car there, and just drive home…