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Long Term Review: 10,000 Miles In My Mitsubishi iMiEV

As a long-term EV hobbyist and card-carrying National Electric Drag Racing Association member, I hesitated to jump on the LEAF bandwagon in 2010/11. The LEAF just didn’t seem like a car that would lend itself to simple modification, and I agreed with published concerns about the battery’s thermal management. Additionally, my wife has a talent for personifying vehicles, and noticing the chrome strip above a LEAF’s front intake, she exclaimed “That’s why the LEAF looks dorky- it’s wearing braces!”. The waste of rear space with that concave-looking hatch wasn’t appealing either.

I Took Delivery Of A 2012 Mitsubishi iMiEV On 12/29/2011, An SE Model In Cool Silver

Now, the i may have a certain cuteness, especially in profile, but it’s definitely not a sexy machine either. (Did Mitsu really have to produce a Hello Kitty version right off the bat!) Having driven a Euro-spec iMiEV at the 2011 Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington in June 2011, I was impressed with the MiEV’s multiple driving modes and much stronger regen.

At 330 Volts, the battery pack and other DC components were in the same range as my 240V nicad-powered conversion, which peaks out at exactly 330V. This was appealing to my tinkering tendencies, as I could see several iMiEV parts that would be an upgrade for my conversion. (I even have aims on being able to shuttle charge between the two vehicles as a form of DIY quick charging, but of course only after the battery warranty expires in eight years 😉 .


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