You ONLY have a 30km return commute??? That's nothing and easily handled by an i-MiEV, even if you travel at 130kphh for 15km on your motorway.
100kph is not a bad speed for the i-MiEV, giving you a range of about 75km if you were to drive at that speed continuously.http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=208&start=40#p17565
Once you start driving you will realize that you adjust your driving to meet your needed range and that most of the time it is a complete non-issue. I'm a leadfoot and only resort to hypermiling when I'm pushing the car's range limits on long trips; also, I very rarely fully charge my car, usually only putting in ~3/4 of a "tank" on a daily basis, and I drive the i-MiEV about 1000 miles/month.
Hypermiling really works and we have quite a number of threads on efficient driving in this subforum:http://myimiev.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=28
Hypermiling does not mean driving like a little-old-lady, as much of the time the cars around you don't even realize you are doing it; e.g., coasting in neutral down every little downhill without affecting speed.
a/c use has a minimal effect on range - you simply don't even notice the 10% reduction in range in normal everyday driving. I'm pretty sure we all use it to stay comfortable and the heck with range loss (unless you're really pushing the limits on a long trip).
Given 50,000km, what's the usual full-charge RR number the owner is claiming? 150km would be a stretch (but demonstratable) whereas I would expect a number around100km. I defy anyone to predict what that number will be exactly, as, I mentioned before, it simply reflects how the car was driven for the preceding 24km. I forgot to mention before that really cold weather also affects this number.
Regarding door armrests - depending on the model, Mitsubishi applied some sort of a coating which sometimes peels a little after a few years. These are daily beater working cars, so I just shrug that off. The rest of the car's interior is holding up very well, as evidenced by both of my 2012 i-MiEVs.
Does this car have CHAdeMO? I just looked at Auckland on PlugShare and you have loads of DCFC! Heck, you can now travel around your entire country easily in a BEV (although the west coast of the South Island still has some gaps) - next time I'm in NZ I'll rent an electric car, which is something I couldn't have done five years ago.
Anyhoo, any more comments you'd like to make about the car you saw? Don't suppose you found out what the build date was to confirm that the cells are LEV50N?