mievsolar
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:58 pm

Update after 9 months and a winter

Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:33 am

After driving the MiEV for almost one year here s my report and wish list:

1. I have had to have the whole battery pack replaced a few months ago. It was self discharging on its own, noticed a considerable from in range plus it would not charge to 100%. It took about two weeks to get the battery pack replaced after they ran a diagnostic test on the car. Now it runs like it did originally.
2. I love just not having to go to gas stations to stand in the cold and fill up a car. Nice to come home, take less than 15 seconds to plug in the car and the next morning while I sleep my car is fully charged. People don't know what they are missing. I truly do not miss going to a gas station
3. I have been using the EV charges mostly at Walgreens (TY Walgreens) and love it. The other day I went to charge and some idiot who owned a Jeep was parked in the spot. What was he thinking? That boy needs to reading lesson or needs new glasses.
4. Looks like BETTER PLACE is falling apart. The battery swap idea is to idealist . I figured they would fail for many reasons.
a. I could never see standardization of battery packs. Fare all look at the cordless tool marker . EVERY manufacture has a different design.
B.. 99% of people who own EV charge at home so why swap a battery? That is like gong to a gas station and who wants to do that anymore? NOT ME!
C. To few car companies where willing to make cars according to Better place specs.
D. With charging EV charging stations spring up like mushrooms "range anxiety" will be a thing or the past
E. Battery energy density is coming along much faster that I think people thought thus making range become less and less of an issue.
F. Swapping stations cost 1/2 to a million dollars. A supercharging station with a PV array costs far less to say the least.
G. There battery pack sucks. It should attach to the bottom of the car to give your EV a great ride. Lets have a BETTER experience and not the same as a ICE vehicle. Hard to design a car around a brick.

Improvements:

1. I have the "cold weather package" which is almost worthless. The battery pack should be heated when it is in the garage as soon as the temp falls below 32F. That should be an upgrade in the near future and I am almost 100% sure this could just be a software upgrade. How about it?
2. A little more robust heater for the winter. It just barely keeps up when it is below freezing. I am on the plains of Colorado and it can get pretty cold. Brrrrrr...
the4. A soar panel on the top o far which charges the Aux battery. Even the Leaf has a small PV panel. Gezzz...
5. Change the Aux battery to LiOH . Lighter the car and will last maybe 10 years?

Over all we love this car. I just hope that they do not discontinue it, but I fear that is going to happen. I would like to keep this car and just replace the battery pack every 5-8 years and hopefully double the milage on the next battery swap. I am putting away $1200 (and investing 1/2 in Tesla stock LOL) a year and when the time comes to replace the battery pack I will have the money already.

I charge the car for FREE off solar PV array. No better way to charge a car than to charge with SUNSHINE. That is the crown jewel for charging ANY EV. Years from now we ALL be charging our EV with sunshine as coal and all other type of fossil fuel plants rot in hell.

I love it when I see the gas prices going now towards $4.00 a gallon. I predict by the end of this year national average for gas will be$4.00 or more. And $5.00 gas will be around the corner and also predict we will invade Iran because ether are not towing the line.

sandange
Posts: 893
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 am
Location: Quebec, Canada
Contact: Website

Re: Update after 9 months and a winter

Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:58 am

Thanks for sharing your experience
A little disappointing to hear about the battery failure, This is the first I've heard about any such failure.

At what mileage did you experience the failure?

Were these the only symptoms or were there others prior to the failure.
Was there any cost to you to correct this situation?

mievsolar wrote: It was self discharging on its own, noticed a considerable from in range plus it would not charge to 100%. It took about two weeks to get the battery pack replaced after they ran a diagnostic test on the car. Now it runs like it did originally.
Puey Bluey 2014 Miev
103.768 miles, 167,000 km
Previous EVs
Blackie - 2012 ES Miev 2 years - 67,000 km / (41,630 miles)
Total Electric miles driven 145,400 miles (234,000 km)
http://thecordstead.blogspot.ca/

iDriver
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:01 pm

Re: Update after 9 months and a winter

Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:27 pm

Great Post. Thanks for sharing this. I'm also hopeful they don't discontinue the car.

I'm thinking positive about 2012 as simply a "testing" year for our car. Now they can actually figure out how to properly market it. Even if they don't, I'm pretty happy being somewhat unique. I just hope the support will be there in 8-10 years for a new battery pack. I imagine it will be. Even if the car doesn't take off here in America, it's certainly doing just fine elsewhere, so I'm sure I'll be able to get my hands on a new Pack when the time comes, it just might have to be shipped in.

Vike
Posts: 400
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:25 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Re: Update after 9 months and a winter

Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:20 pm

iDriver wrote:I'm also hopeful they don't discontinue the car. I'm thinking positive about 2012 as simply a "testing" year for our car.
I'd like to think that too, but won't until we actually see a 2013 i-MiEV for the U.S. market, preferably without the price bump they got in Canada, which was a pretty defeatist move (as in "Sure, we'll sell you one if you hugely over-pay, but we've given up trying to compete.").
iDriver wrote:Now they can actually figure out how to properly market it.
More to the point, they need to figure out whether to market it. So far the answer's been "not."
2012 Silver ES w/QuickCharge+DRL/foglights, Eaton Level 2 EVSE, since 9/9/2012

peterdambier
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:26 am
Location: Bergstrasse, Germany

Re: Update after 9 months and a winter

Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:43 pm

The car is doing great everywhere in the world except here. I am afraid that is what most of us think.

The battery - exchanged by Mitsu - all in one piece, all 88 cells plus the BMU. So we'll never know what really happened.

My personal guess is the BMU developed a leak. Suppose a sandwich, a piece of bread, a bacon and another piece of bread. That is what a lithium iron phosphate cell looks like. I is actually a plate of aluminum, a plate of copper and a blob of mud. The mud is graphene with some lithium ions in it. There is nothing that can go wrong and there is little that can deteriorate. The BMU is 88 modules connected to a central unit. Each of those 88 modules is a lot more complicated and likely to fail than the cell it is made to protect.

As long as garantie lasts I would not disconnect the BMU and seperate the cells and test each of them. Even when garantie was over I would not reconnect the BMU but that is a different story.

So Mitsu replacing the whole thing in one piece is not a big deal as long as we dont have to pay for it. I is easer and more interesting for them to find out how its parts function after use.
Peter and Karin Dambier, DL2FBA, www.piraten-fraktion-bergstrasse.de

Applewins
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:16 am
Location: Grand Rapids, MI.

Re: Update after 9 months and a winter

Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:00 am

I charge the car for FREE off solar PV array. No better way to charge a car than to charge with SUNSHINE. That is the crown jewel for charging ANY EV. Years from now we ALL be charging our EV with sunshine as coal and all other type of fossil fuel plants rot in hell.

I'm most interested in you solar array. Would you provide additional info as to manufacturer and other specifics?
2002 Buick Park Ave average 23 MPG
2010 BMW GT 1300 K 47 MPG
2012 Mitsubishi I-MiEV ...$1.00 per recharge between 11PM-7AM and weekends

RedbirdDive
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 10:45 am

Re: Update after 9 months and a winter

Wed May 29, 2013 11:34 am

Just buying mine in the next few days and would LOVE to learn more about charging with a Solar PV array set-up.. could you explain?

danpatgal
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:21 am
Location: Ephrata, PA

Re: Update after 9 months and a winter

Wed May 29, 2013 1:18 pm

I, like many EV owners, have a solar PV array on my home. Depending on how you long you calculate you'll keep your panels, how much they degrade in time, the costs for any damage/failures not covered by warranties, any purchase incentives, and your net metering setup (how/if your utility pays you for generation you don't immediately use) the calculated "cost" of your PV generated electricity could vary widely. We're in Pennsylvania, which is not in a great place for PV net metering, but our initial incentives were pretty good (like 40% off). So, I've calculated 8 cents to fuel my EV vs. the 13 cents from our electric utility (I assume a 25 year lifetime of the panels, which is the warranty period).

So, it's not free. But it is, basically, pollutant free.

So, to RedbirdDive, what people normally mean when they say they're driving off of solar for free is that the electricity required to run their EV can be supplied by the electricity generated by the solar panels. Normally we don't squabble over the fact that in most cases the car isn't actually charging while the panels are generating and we take for granted that the grid can be our slush source/basin for electrons: as long as we put more in than we take out, we're not incurring a utility load that is from a dirty fossil fuel. (There are further discussions on this you can read about "off-peak" utility loads and how EV charging is basically making the grid MORE efficient because it makes the load more consistent over a 24 hour period.)

There are a few hearty EV souls who are either off-grid with a battery bank back-up or others who may actually hook up solar directly to their EV using some kind of voltage regulating device so that the batteries can charge effectively. But, those are typically people with home conversions not a vehicle like the iMiev or Leaf. Doing such a modification to charge directly would mean a lot of modifications and void your warranty - if you could even make it work (and it can never work with panels just on the car -- there's only enough space to generate about 5% of the power the charger needs to charge the car). Better is to have a grid-tied array on your home and simply count the PV generated electricity as going into your EV.

aarond12
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:21 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Update after 9 months and a winter

Wed May 29, 2013 1:33 pm

You can sign up with Solar City (yes, another Elon Musk company!) and lease your solar array! No huge outlay of cash; instead, you lease the array and pay the lease, which is less than your electric bill.

As soon as I get a new house (3 years?), I'm going to do just that. I don't expect to stay at my current house for that much longer.
2015 Nissan LEAF S

acensor
Posts: 340
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:17 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Update after 9 months and a winter

Thu May 30, 2013 10:29 am

"....
D. With charging EV charging stations spring up like mushrooms "range anxiety" will be a thing or the past ...."

There are routes with good distributions of chargers, such as the I-5 which are touted to make range worry a non-issue.

http://www.westcoastgreenhighway.com/el ... ghways.htm

I don't see that as realistic.

If I wanted to drive from Ashland Oregon (home) the 380 miles to Portland, even if I had the level3 charging option, to would in a best case type analysis take 6 stops at 30 minutes each on what via my ICE is a 4 hour drive.
(Let's not get off topic to what a sin it is that there's no high speed, or even usable conventional rail, transport on the whole route between LA and Seattle :roll: ) )
I don't even seriously consider used the EV for my twice a year driving up the freeway the 50 miles to Grants pass and back.

What's more...The irony on this much touted green highway is that as more people use it the less practical it will become. Because if I pull in to my planned charging stop and you have just plugged in I will have two wait an hour just to begin charging.
It's nominally "working" right now because there are so few EVs and even fewer trying to drive more than one full charge trips with their EVs.
......
Breakthroughs or evolution in battery capacity or charging rate may lay range anxiety to rest but this green highway in Preston form won't
Alex
{this message posted with 100% post consumer recycled electrons}
SE 2012 white with blue trim, powered by PV plus hydro
2001 Subaru Forester L
Two Trek street/trail bicycles optimized for mild around town use

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