Darell is one of the more active members of Plug In America and has the best EV site anywhere (www.evnut.com).
He was allowed to put a new Mitsubishi iMiEV (pronounced "imeev") through its paces and wrote a great report on his experience. I copied part of it below, but for all the photos and more info, go to http://evnut.com/iMiEV.html.
My only comment was his note about coasting. This is something all EV makers will want to incorporate in their cars. If you've never driven an EV, you might not know about the "freewheeling" aspect of coasting without the regenerative braking. This allows for superior efficiency if used properly. Both the Nissan of yesterday's post, and this iMiEV from Mitsubishi do not allow this option. I told the Nissan folks they should definitely build it in as it's easy to do and will be a competitive advantage over those who don't have it.
Check out Darell's site, lots of good info and funny in places.
Howdy EVerybody -
Last week (Thursday) I had the pleasure of taking the Mitsubishi iMiEV for a test drive. I love this little car! I made a page, and there is a short video embedded at the bottom (sorry for the quality - I had "issues.")
-= Darell =-
March 19, 2009. Vacaville, CA.
Today I got to drive a Japan-spec Mitsubishi iMiEV. And while this thing may look like a low-speed NEV, it most definitely is not. This car has a governed top speed of 81 mph, and a range of 76 miles. It seats four full-size adult males comfortably, and accelerates and handles smartly with that load on board. There is precious little cargo space - but as a people mover, I just can't see doing it any more efficiently. This is the ultimate commute vehicle. With the wheels placed at the extreme outboard edges of the vehicle, the passenger compartment is maximized (as well as handling and road feel). And what looks like a diminutive car on the outside suddenly becomes a comfortable pod for four adults on the inside. I had tons of headroom left over, and plenty of leg/hip/shoulder room all around. The car has all the normal amenities of power windows/mirrors/steering/brakes along with HVAC and stereo. The throttle and braking regeneration is seamlessly blended. This is a REAL car, folks, once you get over the outside dimensions. It has enough power to do anything that you need a freeway-capable car to do. With four large guys onboard, I was somewhat astonished at the acceleration. This is no Tesla Roadster, but it pulls away with every bit as much authority as the Rav4EV. When I think about carpooling in a vehicle like this, I almost get giddy. Shuttling a few guys to work in this instead of a solo driver in a Prius? Just no contest.
The faults I can find include a charge rate (from 120 V or 240 V) of just 9A. I see little reason for this low limit. The other issue I have is that there is no way to "coast." There is always some regen to mimic a gasoline car in compression. You can add a bit more regen with the shift lever, but there is no way to defeat it. To me this is an easy-to-rectify omission. The reasoning I was given is that they want the car to feel just like any other car. And that's fine! Just allow those of us who wish to have no regen a way to turn it off. A little button on the shift lever comes to mind!
Battery: Li-Ion, 330 V, 16 kWh
Motor: 47 kW, 180 n*m, permanent magnet
Weight: 1,080 kg