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Having An “i” To The Future

July 20, 2012

The “i’s” have it

Well, i took the personal plunge recently. i bought a plug-in electric vehicle for my own personal use. And, my family’s. One that runs only on electrons. One that runs my errands. Around town. Around traffic. To and fro. Everyday.

And, i like it. It’s quiet. It’s efficient. It’s electric. i do have one minor quibble: the turn signals. i hear them. i mean, i hear them in other cars, too. But i ignore them. Due to the engine noise. But, in this car, i notice them. Because it doesn’t have an engine. Not a major complaint – on the noise, not the lack of an engine. Just a quibble. And, the road noise? What road noise? Like i said: it’s quiet. i love that.

i get where i need to get. The range appears adequate. The price was, too. For an electric. i’m enjoying driving again. i wonder how long that will last. The driving, i mean. Not the car. i think i’ll like the car. For a long time. Because, it has a good warranty – 8 years. 100,000 miles. For the batteries.

It’s clean, too. It’s called The Greenest Vehicle of 2012 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. And, it’s efficient. 112 MPGe. That stands for “miles per gallon equivalent.”

What do i wish it had? Well, it doesn’t say electric on it. It does say, MiEV. And, it’s called the i. They’re not too big on long phrases – it seems to work for them. Of course, the EV is “electric vehicle.” But, who would know? Without driving it, i mean. Because, you won’t hear an engine. But, you will hear the turn signals. i do.

Oh, and, the i in MiEV? It stands for “innovative.” It certainly is. And, i hope other drivers will be, too.

Follow Mitch on Twitter here.


    MayLyn says:

    Wonderful information! I so enjoyed reading this! Thank you Mitch Jackson for posting!

    Ken says:

    According to what I saw online, this vehicle costs $30,000. I don’t know if there are tax incentives such as with the Chevrolet Volt.

    At least the Volt does have a gasoline engine, allowing it an unlimited range (at 35 mpg) when it’s 38 mile electric-only range is exhausted. The Volt has often been criticized, often motivated by politics, but I can see the merit in the Volt. It’s an innovative vehicle.

    This Mitsubishi really seems impractical. A well-off person’s toy. 62-mile range, probably less in cold weather. If you live in the city and never drive elsewhere, then this may be a great option for you. But the vast majority of people, even those who don’t really drive that much, want the option of being able to take a longer trip. Perhaps drive on a vacation. With this vehicle, you couldn’t even take a trip to a nice restaurant, or to visit a friend, that lived more than 31 miles away if you want to be able to drive back home (unless there is a charger at your destination).

    So while $30,000 may not be a bad price for an all-electric vehicle, the overall vehicle cost for a person becomes quite exhorbitant, as most people would want to have a second, more versatile vehicle. I think that the average transaction price of a new car is around $28,000 now. So owning this MIEV really is a lot more expensive when you add in the cost of owning a necessary second vehicle. And owning two vehicles when you could own one (perhaps very fuel-efficient) vehicle, is a negative for sustainability.

    To each his own. I love cars and am not suggesting that you shouldn’t own and enjoy this vehicle. But it’s less practical than a convertible roadster.

    Lee Colleton says:

    Hi Ken,

    There is currently a $7500 tax incentive for the i-MiEV in the US. On top of that, some states offer further discounts; I paid no sales tax on my EV purchase in Washington.

    On the subject of range, you’re underestimating this car’s capabilities. Today, I drove my two kids to a hoedown at a farm that was beyond the vehicle’s return range. They didn’t offer any charging at the farm, I parked in a lot with the rest of the attendees (including a Volt!). We stopped for 30 minutes at a fire station where I paid $1 to add a few kilowatt hours of power so that I could reach the nearest quick charger. I made it with 5 miles to spare and boosted the battery up to 80 percent of it’s capacity while I went grocery shopping. Now it’s parked on the street by my home with enough energy in the batteries to do all the driving I plan to do tomorrow. I live in a city but I often drive my EV beyond it’s boundaries.

    I also happen to own a diesel and occasionally take it on long trips. However, it usually sits in front of my house for weeks at a time. Nearly all of the driving I do is handled by the i-MiEV (including my favourite hiking spots). If I didn’t have such a vehicle, the money I usually save on gas would cover the cost of renting a car if I wanted to go on a distant vacation.

    I’m open to answering any questions you have about the practicalities of EV ownership.


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