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  • EEVblog #179 – Mitsubishi iMiEV Electric Car Test Drive

    Posted on June 17th, 2011 EEVblog 32 comments

    Malcolm Faed drives an Mitsubishi MiEV Electric Car into the EEVblog lab to give Dave a look and a test drive. And also talks about his electric ute conversion.

    Detailed iMiev technical specifications: http://www.autocrc.com/files/File/Mitsubishi%20i-MIEV%20Technical%20Highlights.pdf
    Australian electric vehicle association: http://aeva.asn.au
    EV Album: http://evalbum.com
    Mal’s blog: http://a4x4kiwi.blogspot.com/

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    • Jan

      interesting,

      why does it need an inverter? couldn’t you use DC motors? Also couldn’t you put a motors in each wheel hub and save weight for the differential?

      • http://www.digi-online.net masterburner

        He explained in the video that hub motors aren’t really useful.

        DC motors aren’t good because they need a lot more maintenance then brushless motors. They also have a much lower efficiency.

        • http://toolhacker.com Wartex

          Newsflash: there are brushless DC motors.

          • Martin

            Hmm, but brushless dc motors are really AC motors with a built in inverter :-)

    • Wonko The Sane

      I Like the number plate – If you get the car to 88 Mph does it travel in time, and just where do you fit the Flux-Capacitor ?

      • plasticbrain

        Wonko don’t mention flux capacitors … see episode 59! ;-)

    • Peter

      My brother, who works for AusGrid, uses one of these for work too. He’s gone from avoiding driving to really enjoying driving because of this little car.

      I understand AusGrid actually has some of the high-current DC charge stations- at their Zetland depot, I think?

    • FreeThinker

      I live quite close to the Nissan site in Sunderland that is building the new Leaf. Judging by the media reports it will leave the Mitsubishi iMiEV for dead.This is a full production vehicle and the build quality shows. Just makes me wonder how many people will get run over before these silent killers are made to play some sort of audio warning? I can see it now….and you thought personalised ring tones annoying!

    • Maik

      What a stupid name for a car. They should have done some research, the pronunciation sounds in German like “smelliness of an egg”.

    • Pjn

      Hydrogen cars will be the future, the infrastructure is much cheaper than having to charge batteries.

    • JoeLaBidouille

      Hi,

      I’m always impressed that we can deploy so much technology to do the following:
      burn petrol to…
      …produce electricity..
      … and bring it to your home…
      … to fill batteries….
      …and to finally drive a car

      Instead of burning petrol in my car directly.

      I can’t remenber the word…
      hmmm…
      …I found it : YIELD !

      Joe

      • RJSC

        Haven’t you heard of solar, wind, hydroelectric and nuclear power?
        In my country (Potugal, Europe) our electricity production is 60% renewable sources, 8% cola and the rest is from Natural Gas combined cylce plants with 60% efficiency: first you burn the gas on a turbine, then you use the hot exaust to boil water to deive a stem tubine. If you put the gas on a car you’d get a 25%-30% efficiency. You get beter efficiency burning the gas on a power plant and charging an electric car, than burning it directly on a piton engine. Not to mention that on a powerplant you can have huge polution filters that are imposible to pt on a moving car.

        • JoeLaBidouille

          Nuclear ? I think yes, I’m living in France :-) 80% of our electricity is provided by 58 nuclear reactors. I’m not really proud of this.

          Sorry to contradict you, but Portugal is producing electricity for more 60% of oil/gas:
          http://www.iea.org/stats/pdf_graphs/PTELEC.pdf

          Now, I’m septic to live in a country of ~30 million cars charging batteries every day (and night). Can you imagine to necessary power plant required (producing electricity) ?

          Now the message about electric car is dramatically deformed marketing: this is an environmental disaster and CO2 generator, and not “green”.

          Electric car is the wrong idea: we are trying to maintain a way of life, but it’s the way of life we have to change.

          • RJSC

            Well, that was up to 2008, before our massive investment on wind power. There are no recent graphs in English, but you’ve got an article on the New York Times here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/science/earth/10portugal.html

            On 2011 we’re touching 60% renewable, and the global 2010 mix.

            Also the are countries like Brazil, where 77% of electricity is from hydroelectric plants: http://globalvoicesonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Oferta-de-energia.jpg

            • JoeLaBidouille

              I found the number :

              http://www.iea.org/stats/surveys/mes.pdf
              (page 29)

              You’re right, it’s close to 55% for march’11.
              For a total of 52 TWh for 2010.
              As a comparison, we (in france) are producing 10 times more electrical energy.

              60% of this renewable energy is supported by hydroelectricity.
              It’s not alway possible to deploy renewable energy so easily. In France, hydroelectricity is widely used and there’s practically no other location for new power plant.
              If you look at Japan, solar/wind/hydro are harder to deploy than in Portugal, essentially because of the population density (3x time Portugal).

              Joe

        • JoeLaBidouille

          … and finally when you buy an electric car in Australia, you have car fueled with coal:

          http://www.iea.org/stats/pdf_graphs/AUELEC.pdf

          haa… not easy world in which we are living :-)

          • Greg B

            Remember that coal-fired power stations run right through the night, whether the power is utilised or not. It will take quite some time before these power stations actually have to ramp up at all to meet ev demand.

            By then, I hope there will be other solutions.

      • http://talkingelectronics.com Colin Mitchell

        That’s exactly right.
        Buying an electric car is equivalent to going back the 20′s and buying a steam car.
        Generating electricity via coal is 25% efficient. Transmission losses account for another 10%. Charging a battery is 95% efficient and then you have the absurdity of carrying around a ton of batteries to get a mere 10HP out of them.
        We are lucky the batteries have been so reliable. Otherwise the electric car would have died years ago.
        The only new improvement to the standard internal combustion engine has been from Ralf Sarich where the exhaust is cleaner than the air intake.

        • Worf

          Coal power plants are around 33% efficient, or over 50% if you use a combined-cycle plant. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot easier to scrub one power plant for emissions than many tailpipes. You may not believe in AGW, but I’m sure you appreciate smog-free air.

          (An ICE is typically well under 20% at the flywheel).

          That’s what it’s all about. All those emissions control stuff? The power plant can do a heck of a lot to make its emissions cleaner at very little cost. Do it for cars and you’ll have owners griping about having to get their cars checked for emissions, tuning, etc. And not have to have idiot neighbours whose cars all seem to belch the rainbow in smoke.

        • http://a4x4kiwi.blogspot.com Malcolm Faed

          @Colin et al.,

          I wrote a blog post a while ago http://a4x4kiwi.blogspot.com/2008/12/co2-output-and-charging-using-coal.html detailing CO2 output. In NSW inefficient EVs are on a par with petrol. Coal power stations are more efficient that you mention. (33%-53%)

          I have not accounted in this equation for how much it costs $ or CO2 to extract oil, transport it, refine it, transport it again. Not have I accounted for extraction costs for coal, but I would bet coal is cheaper on both counts.

          Nissan says it takes 7.5kWh just to refine a gallon of gasoline. see http://musingsofamadman.net/2010/03/07/the-truth-about-oil/. That doesn’t count extraction and transport.

          Or 2kWh per Litre. We can drive an additional 10km on that alone.

          But enough on the CO2 and efficiency. There are other significant factors that come into play here, cost and environment aside.

          We can produce our own electricity to power cars, and do not have to be dependant on foreign oil and the associated price vulnerabilities. The point of pollution is out of the cities. A Coal fired power station is more efficient than a petrol engine, and easier to scrub the output from one power station than 50,000 or whatever number of cars.

      • John

        Power stations don’t burn petrol…

    • Mief

      yeah
      Miev is really worst name ever

      Mief = What it smells like in your house when you did not open any windows for days… :-P

      Or the smell at University when 50 students in a tiny room (in hot summertime) were thinking about Math quite hard ;-)

    • RJSC

      Dave, you really got to drive the Nisan LEAF, the difference is astonishing, much bigger car, much better acceleration, better range (150 km on a charge). I’ve tested both, its just a shame I don’t have money to buy a new car.

      • TopherTheME

        The Nissan Leaf is a much nicer car, but thats not to say its a GOOD car. It handles very well and the acceleration is pretty good but its battery design is absolute garbage. Nissan built that car to a price point and did it very quickly. The result is a vehicle with some major design flaws that yield short battery life.

    • Michael K.

      You can buy the i-MIEV here in Germany for 35.000+ EUR!
      (http://www.imiev.de/daten.html)
      That’s to much I think.

      On the dark side:
      - How much is a complete new Li-Ion pack?
      - How long (far) lives the Li-Ion pack.
      - Could you change single dead cells?

      We have a 7.5 kWpeak solar power on our roof. In the last 2 years we earn around 7000 kWh/year from it. I hope that sometimes I can put a part of it in my car. ;-)

      • Karl (not that Karl, the other Karl)

        Renault and Citroen each will sell the i-MiEV under their own names in Europe (a bad case of automobile badge engineering). Maybe they will be a bit cheaper.

      • http://talkingelectronics.com Colin Mitchell

        7000 kWh/year is 20kWh per day. This is just enough for a single person to cover heating, lighting, hot water and cooking. But how much does a 7.5kW set of solar panels cost? And how many years will it take to recoup the outlay? And don’t forget to include credit-card charges of 20%.
        And don’t forget to include the pollution created when making the panels and metal-work.
        You will find the net result of saving-the-planet is zero.
        All the rest of us are paying $60 a year to support those with solar panels.

        • Greg B

          There are these costs and this pollution.

          In the meantime, what else would you be doing with your money? Going on trips, driving through the countryside?

          So, from the moment you pollute and spend on an ev or solar panels, you have lowered your costs for a long time, with less pollution over that long time.
          Spend that same money on other things and I reckon you may pollute to the same amount but save nothing, on and on (for 30 years with panels, maybe), for 7 years with an ev. After 7 years, the batteries will be better, cheaper, lighter and you can probably retrofit them into your already produced ev.

          Some people just don’t want to spend the money

    • http://www.evric.kestar.com.au Eric

      There is a DC Fast Charge unit suitable for the i-MiEV in Australia. It is situated at the Mitsubishi Motors Aust. headquarters at Tonsley Park just out of Adelaide in South Australia.

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