Soo, I'm close to committing to an i, but being a card-carrying National Electric Drag Racing Association member, am eager to squeeze a little more out of this jellybean. Hotrodding the i may be more challenging than with a dc-motored car, but extending the range should be easier, via two options. First would be a supplemental battery pack in the cargo area to drop in either for those long(er) trips or shallower daily cycling. I'm envisioning a lightweight pack such as under 100 lbs of 10 Ah Headway cells with hardware, adding another 16 miles worth of range, or even a LiPo pack that could blister the meats on a friday night dragster, while also propping up the i on occasion. The 330V pack matches my DC EV voltage, so I'm hoping for some synergies between the two cars, while giving the wife something more civilized to run errands in than raw Zilla power!
Beyond a supplemental 'suitcase pack', serious range extension would require a trailer.
Of course, Mitsu doesn't recommend pulling a trailer, but the rear suspension mounts are easily accessible, and it looks like designing a trailer hitch might not be too hard, enabling one to pull a larger pack, or just mount a jellybean genset on a hitch receiver. I'd expect that a hitch for the JDM iMiev CARGO might follow it's introduction, and that van supposedly has the same rear suspension and underbody.
Anybody penciled on a trailer hitch yet- perhaps one of you lucky Japanese or New Zealanders?
I'd expect some software to prevent charging and driving at the same time, but it mightn't be too hard to make a supplemental charge look like regen to the controller.
btw, the first shipments arrived at Seattle-area dealers today, and my test drive is scheduled for Thursday. I drove a JDM version this summer, but am curious about the driving feel of the fattened-up US version. The widened track improved the looks, in my book.