Mitsubishi i-Miev By Zoran, Melbourne
Why did you choose this particular model?
Given that we already own the Outlander PHEV (designated family car) which rarely goes outside of its EV range thanks to our PV Hybrid system and Charge Stations, I wanted a runabout for traveling work. As the Outlander was the first step to transitioning away from oil dependency I had already decided that at the very least the car would have to be a PHEV if not completely electric. Was even considering building one by converting a 1991 Ford Laser hatch. The i-Miev had already been discontinued in Australia but there happened to be for sale in the classifieds.
How long have you owned the vehicle?
Just past 12 months and clocking up the kms at a rapid rate.
Which other models did you consider at the time of purchase?
Leading up I was happy with the PHEV, I had some thought into maybe getting a second Outlander so that way we could swap cars based on battery levels and potentially have one car collecting power while the other was being used. Price point also dictated this decision, a second hand i-Miev was more cost friendly.
Do you own any other vehicles? Do you have them for long trips or practical reasons?
The Outlander PHEV very comfortably handles this role, but very rarely exercise the option.
What do you enjoy the most about the car?
Both cars, not just the i-Miev costs us nothing to drive (excluding service costs as required). I’ve designed my behaviours and driving habits around the locations where I charge. I make a game of planning trip pushing the range limits of the car.
What niggles you about it?
Range, can always do with more but it isn’t a deal breaker. My pet peeve has more to do with the price gouging for the dealer service considering there is basically nothing to do to the car except basic checks. There’s only one dealership in the whole of Victoria who can service it with thanks to the model no longer being supported in Australia.
Has your style of driving changed since owning an EV?
Very much! You’ll find me in the left lane happily going well under the speed limit forever trying to beat previous total range records. That being said there’s the fun pulling away from the lights silently with the foot down and surprising a few with the acceleration as many don’t know what the i-Miev is.
What's the longest and shortest range you've experienced?
My best real world sits between 120~125kms, worst case is generally as of resultgoing at highway speeds which would be around 70~80kms
Where do you mostly charge? And do you make much use of public charging stations?
I made it a personal project to never charge at home because I can charge in the office carpark, Chargepoint Stations, shopping centres, my gym, carparks and the melbourne museum… my favourite is black mailing my friends (jokingly) that I won’t visit them unless I can steal their power.
How much longer do you intend to keep it for?
At this rate, perhaps a few years where from that point I’ll either get a longer range EV (model 3) if i can afford it, otherwise I’ll review upgrading the i-Miev batteries should it be necessary as I can repurpose the old ones to power the hybrid solar system at home. I have no desire to go backward when it comes my sustainability views/ecology. Looking at it in a practical way, as long as the car continues to function the ‘form’ doesn’t bother me - Porsche, Ford, Holden, Tesla, and the i-Miev all have to stop the same set of traffic lights.
Would you buy another one, if not what's your next car going to be?
If they were available, possibly, but I think my current arrangement suit me fine at this moment in time. Next step for me would be to completely transition off oil, would be nice to replace the PHEV for a long range (450+kms) Tesla.
How have the dealers been with regards to support?
I’m just glad I’m a technophile, yes the dealers have sat the manufacturer courseware and they are familiar with the service manuals but more times than not I find their in depth knowledge to be lacking. In my situation I can’t go to another dealership either so I feel somewhat ‘blackballed’ into visiting them - again this i only because of the model being discontinued.
Do you unashamedly consider yourself an EVangelist?
Not outright, but passively I’m sure - It’s kind of hard to hide the fact I drive an EV when I charge in public. I’m all about normalising EVs, as a society, and in 2017 no doubt we’re still locked into a system where there’s vested interests would much rather you go to the pump - I personally think we’re very, very far behind where we should be!. For me being an “EVangelist” is akin to trying to persuade another to do something - think that pushy sales person in the store when you're ‘just browsing’. But by making it a norm it hopefully encourages people to investigate by their own means - whether someone is convinced is not doesn’t affect my global view.
Anything else to add that might help prospective buyers?
“Range anxiety” is the most ill coined phrase you’ll ever hear with regards to EVs. If switching to an EV is going to be a big shift for a buyer then the mindset needs to be able to ’switch’ also… in 12 months I’ve travelled all over Melbourne and even Geelong without issue, in a car getting 100+kms per charge (mixed driving conditions) and have clocked well over 15,000kms…IT HASN'T COST ME (personally) A SINGLE KW FROM THE GRID!