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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:25 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:28 pm

Benjamin Nead wrote:Good to talk to you again as well, Vike. I think we last ran into each other last year, when there was a particularly (rare) well-written appraisal of the i-MiEV over on Green Car Reports. Glad to hear you're still driving your "Jellybean," as I seem to remember then that your considering moving on to something else. As you can see, I finally stopped dreaming/wishing and I'm now driving one of my own.
Yes, I remember, though rest assured I am keeping my silver Weeble for as long as it's running and affordably reparable (I don't recall, you might have caught me in a funk of concern over parts & repairs, but I'm pretty much over that, though the specter of having it totaled in a fender bender does linger). For my current needs I'd be comfortable with even 45mi range, and I expect it should have that much until parts are falling off. I was quite serious in writing earlier comments - I genuinely love driving this car. I'd noticed a comment on one of your earlier links from a Tesla owner who prefers to drive his i-MiEV whenever he can (presumably saving his Model S for road trips or making an impression 8-)), and I don't doubt him for a minute. Frankly, I wouldn't dream of letting the Weeble go for the pittance it would fetch in today's market.

Benjamin Nead wrote:Quick change of topics: If anyone here wants to read some interesting i-MiEV history, it should be mentioned that there is a chapter devoted to Mitsubishi's development of the car and other Japanese EV developments in the volume The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future by Levi Tillemann . . .

One of the things I discovered from reading the i-MiEV history presented there was that the car's debut coincided with the Fukashima disaster of early 2011 and, because of the close association between Mitsubishi and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO,) much of what would have been a grander public rollout was subdued and muddled. This could go a long way in explaining the rather lopsided US debut.

The other piece of historical trivia I wasn't previously aware of but learned from the book was that Subaru was developing a small EV of its own, the R1e . . .
GREAT recommendation! I grabbed the e-book sample at B&N right away, will likely buy it. I look forward to any insights on the i-MiEV, of course, but the whole EV story is one that has fascinated me for years, and this looks like a particularly compelling rendition.

I learned of Subaru's R1e during the launch of CCS quick-charging, when I was reading materials from the CHAdeMO Association. I was aware of TEPCO's involvement, but didn't realize the car had never gotten past prototypes, just figured it was some low-volume JDM critter. I can see where battery supplies would have been a dealbreaker. It's interesting to note that the only Japanese manufacturers who have offered BEVs throughout the U.S. (Nissan and Mitsubishi) had their own stakes in battery manufacturing. The i-MiEV's batteries, recall, came not exactly from GS Yuasa, but from their joint venture with Mitsubishi, Lithium Energy Japan. Similarly, the LEAF's batteries come from AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation), a joint venture of NEC and Nissan. I guess when you're playing for these kinds of stakes, it pays to be master of your own destiny.

For the sake of completeness, I'll note that no profile shot of the R1e does it justice. One giving that a quick glance might mistake it for a Fiat 500, but head on, the poor dear is undeniably a Subaru. ;)

2012 Silver ES w/QuickCharge+DRL/foglights, Eaton Level 2 EVSE, since 9/9/2012

Posts: 1715
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:23 am

Benjamin, I've heard a lot of terms for oil, but "ISIS hair tonic" takes the cake! That one is going into my "Is an EV for Me?" presentation at the South Sound Sustainability Expo this weekend!
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

Benjamin Nead
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:21 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA
Contact: Website

Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:35 am

Thanks, Jray3 . . .

Not exactly sure what inspired me to coin that phrase on that particular day, but it does sum up one of the things that's concerning about oil, beyond the obvious tailpipe emission issues: when gasoline is purchased at the local corner store, we have to remember that it's an internationally traded commodity. A certain percentage of it is bound to be refined from oil that was smuggled out of Iraq and Syria, from fields occupied by ISIS and with payment going into their coffers . . .

Bringing this back to Consumer Report's awful i-MiEV writeup: when any publication that reviews cars gets down on an electric car simply because it isn't a stylish or luxurious as the gasoline-powered one parked next to it, it's basically - however indirectly - telling potential car buyers to ignore where the consumable products that power these vehicles comes from and not factor that into the ownership equation.

Enjoy your upcoming sustainability expo. Our club brings out our EVs to these sort of events and it's important to spread the word.
Benjamin Nead / Tucson, Arizona, USA
Secretary: Tucson Electric Vehicle Association (EAA chapter)

North American 2012 i-MiEV SE / Pearl White /CHAdeMO
Aka: "The Vanilla Jellybean"
Purchased used in Nov. 2015 @ ~18,000 miles

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