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USA: Residents take Mitsubishi iMiEVs for a spin in Aptos

APTOS — A couple of new Mitsubishi iMiEV cars, juiced by batteries, went on a little road trip Saturday morning, taking off from a dealership in San Jose and hanging out for a couple hours in the parking lot behind the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.

Everybody likes a road-trip buddy, so they came down as a pair, one black $31,000 model with standard features and a blue-and-white $35,000 model with a navigation system and other bells and whistles.

For the most part, they stayed plugged in to the electric charging station in the parking lot. But some residents’ curiousity was piqued enough that they wanted to take them out for a spin.

Santa Cruz resident Mark Mesiti-Miller is looking to purchase an electric vehicle, but it has to be big enough to fit his golf clubs. The small, four-door iMiEV doesn’t appear to fit that criteria, but he was still game to take it out for a test drive.

Five minutes later, he pulled back in to the parking lot, not looking very impressed — but maybe that had more to do with having to fold his tall frame into such a compact space behind the steering wheel.

“It’s a small, little car, and the suspension’s a little stiff,” he said, but he added it’s also easy to steer and maneuver.

It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 22 hours to get the car fully charged, depending on the type of charging station it’s plugged into. But on a full charge, the iMiEV can go about 85 miles at speeds of up to 80 mph, averaging the equivalent of 112 miles per gallon.
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