lizking808
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:51 pm

got an app for that?

Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:45 pm

I just bought an IMiEV and am FLOORED that no app is available through the Apple App Store. I see that there is one for Android, but I live in iPhone country. The lack of an app is really a problem. The remote control that comes with the car isn't worth much. For example, if I am charging the car while shopping, you'd think I'd be able to estimate when the car would be finished charging, but no! The remote doesn't tell me that, and of course the nonexistent app doesn't either. The car is really bare-bones, with none of the luxuries that come standard in other cars (such as a hands-free phone system). An app is a little bling that will go a LONG way towards enhancing the "ownership experience."

alohart
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:15 am
Location: Honolulu, HI, and Uppsala, Sweden

Re: got an app for that?

Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:55 pm

The i-MiEV doesn't include an Internet connection that would allow communication with a smart phone app while away from the car as is possible with the Leaf, the Tesla Model S, and maybe a few other EV's. This requires a cellular data plan that is usually included for a couple of years in the purchase price of the car. After that, the owner must pay to continue the service.

The Android app that is available for the i-MiEV is used to display certain information about the battery pack and other systems. It connects to the i-MiEV via a data port dongle that communicates via BlueTooth, a short-distance communications protocol. So it doesn't communicate via the Internet and can't be used very far from the car.

Several i-MiEV owners have installed OVMS that supports communicating with the i-MiEV through an iOS or Android app over the Internet.
Aloha,
Art
Honolulu: 2014 BMW i3 BEV (formerly 2012 i-MiEV SE)
Uppsala, Sweden: 2000 Honda Insight

JoeS
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Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: got an app for that?

Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:11 pm

lizking808 wrote:... The lack of an app is really a problem. The remote control that comes with the car isn't worth much. For example, if I am charging the car while shopping, you'd think I'd be able to estimate when the car would be finished charging, but no! The remote doesn't tell me that, and of course the nonexistent app doesn't either.... An app is a little bling that will go a LONG way towards enhancing the "ownership experience."
Hmmm, as someone who has put almost 35,000 miles onto the i-MiEV, I was wondering what it is that I'm missing?

In the example you cited, a few comments -

1. L2 charging usually puts back about three bars/hour; figure that's good for another 12-15 miles per hour's worth of charging. What would the app tell me?

2. Unless you are really going to take a long trip, it is very rare that you will fully charge the vehicle, so why do you care when it finishes charging? If you want to guestimate it, take the three bars/hour and add another hour for the full balancing and you're there. No need for exactness in almost all cases. At shopping centers I usually DON'T plug the car in unless I really need the range to get to my destination, as it is common courtesy to leave EVSE's available for those who NEED it (don't get me started on plug-in hybrids…).

The Android app is a techie tool for use inside the car using Bluetooth that gives us a bunch of cool information about the state of our battery bank as well as recording our trip and showing things like our driving efficiency. It does nothing to tell us about our vehicle's state of charge over the Internet (either cellphone or wi-fi), nor does it have any control any over the car's functions.

I think, with winter approaching, that you may grow to love the Remote that came with the car as you step into a nice toasty warm vehicle on a cold morning.

Perhaps you can educate us (or at least, me, stuck in the Stone Age) what an app would do for me to further enhance the ownership experience of our great little workhorse?

BTW, lizking808, whereabouts are you located?
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

lizking808
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:51 pm

Re: got an app for that?

Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:15 pm

Thank you, Art and JoeS, for your replies! I really appreciate your help and insight.

Art, you are a wealth of knowledge and a valuable resource, I learned a lot in the past few minutes!

JoeS, to answer your question, I am in Honolulu. As for the remote, I am sure the ability to moderate the car environment is a huge plus in other climes. Here, not so much. I appreciate the ability to turn on/off charging at a specific time, although why you have to enter hours/minutes and not time of day is a bit of a mystery. Even my water heater has a clock-based timer on it. I'd prefer to say, "turn on at 10 pm and off at 6 am" instead "turn on in 3 hours and off in 11 hours." Also, the SoC indicator on the remote only has 3 bars. The first time I plugged in the car, I kept checking the remote to see how the charging was going. One bar, one bar, one bar, one bar, one bar, I finally gave up. Still yet, I have no idea how many hours it takes to fill one of those bars when it's plugged in at home. When I first got the car, I didn't have a place to plug it in at my house. This is a very common phenomenon here in the Islands; lots of e-car drivers here rely heavily on public charging stations. (The estimate I got to run a dedicated circuit from a pre-existing outside circuit breaker was $1500. You can see why some people might not be able to buy the car and get the wiring done at the same time.) Without any idea of how fast those charging stations go, and with a critical need to charge, you can understand my frustration that the one function I really needed was not available via remote nor app.

I really enjoy the car, don't get me wrong. The driving experience is fine, really fine. I am happy with the car. However, before I bought the car, I'd seen the Leaf app and assumed that all electric cars would have some kind of similar tech. Buying the i-MiEV doesn't feel quite as 21st Century as I had hoped. The car can talk to the remote; surely it can talk to an app via bluetooth? I dunno, I'm not a techie, not a Silicon Valley type. Maybe it's not possible.

As you are a site moderator, I am assuming that you have some kind of official association with Mitsubishi and can perhaps influence their design decisions. With this in mind, here's a list of what an app to do that would make me a very happy owner:

-track my trips, calculate the rate at which I use energy, estimate how much energy a proposed trip would use
-find nearby charging stations (yup, I have that app, but the ideal app would do it all)
-report the status of the battery SoC to a greater level of precision than the remote does
-provide enhanced charging info and also estimate time until full
- tell me when charging is complete or alert me if charging is interrupted
-replace all the remote functions - turn on/off charging, set charging timer, turn on a/c or heater.

The remote up/down buttons are functional but not overly easy to use. An app would be better.

PV1
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Re: got an app for that?

Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:08 am

-track my trips, the rate at which I use energy, estimate how much energy a proposed trip would use 
-find nearby charging stations (yup, I have that app, but the ideal app would do it all)
-report the status of the battery SoC to a greater level of precision than the remote does
-provide enhanced charging info and also estimate time until full
- tell me when charging is complete or alert me if charging is interrupted
-replace all the remote functions - turn on/off charging, set charging timer, turn on a/c or heater.

OVMS (Open Vehicle Monitoring System) will relay information such as:

State of charge as a percentage.
Charging state with line voltage and amperage.
Temperatures from the high power electronics, motor, and battery.
Vehicle speed if it's moving.
Instant notification by app, SMS, or both, of charge complete or interruption.
Compatible with both Android and iOS.
GPS location.

Your list is contains a good set of features, though there isn't yet the capability to estimate a route's energy usage available to the public that I know of. I did hear of a university developing it based on speed and terrain, which would be cool to have if it was accurate. Also, OVMS does support OpenChargeMap in-app, but I prefer PlugShare as it is more accurate. (I hope) the OVMS team is working on adding climate functionality, though there may the issue of the car not accepting it.
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015

2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Driving electric since 2-21-2013.

Don
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Location: Biloxi MS

Re: got an app for that?

Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:43 am

lizking808 wrote:As you are a site moderator, I am assuming that you have some kind of official association with Mitsubishi and can perhaps influence their design decisions.
Golly, wouldn't THAT be nice!?

None of us here have any official capacity with Mitsu and they are not involved at all with the forum - We're all just end users figuring out things the best we can

As for the lack of an Apple app which you found an Android app for . . . . that's the big difference between Android and Apple . . . . anybody with a little programming knowledge can create an Android app . . . . it's much harder to do for Apple products

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

JoeS
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Re: got an app for that?

Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:20 pm

lizking808, thank you for your iPhone app wishlist. Yes, Don answered your question about us moderators not having any connection with Mitsubishi - sad, really, because this forum could be a great feedback vehicle for Mitsubishi.

I don't know how much you've been following the various threads on this forum, so perhaps a synopsis and a reiteration of some i—MiEV dashboard features might be in order.

Our i-MiEV has a higher-resolution charge-state display on our dashboard than the Nissan Leaf. We have 16 segments on the 'fuel' gauge (compared to the Leaf's 12), and usually refer to them as 'bars'. Even though some of us would prefer a SoC numeric, the i-MiEV's display is sufficient for virtually all practical needs. The Android CaniOn app does have a numeric SoC, and keeps those of us who like numbers happy.

The Range Remaining (RR) display on the i-MiEV uses a 15-mile rolling average algorithm for estimating the number of miles remaining on that charge. I normally keep this dashboard gauge set to RR all the time. I much prefer this algorithm to the one used in the Nissan Leaf's GOM (Guess-O-Meter). Once you recognize that it accurately reflects your last 15-mile driving experience, it proves to be a very reliable and useful range predictor, IMO.

L1 (120vac) 8A charging using Mitsubishi's EVSE (that's the portable charging station) recharges the car at a rate of 4 bars for every 5 hours of charge. If you have this EVSE upgraded to provide 12A, the recharge rate increases to about 6-7 bars for every 5 hours of charge

L2 (240vac) charging using maximum power available at just about any L2 EVSE recharges the car at a rate of 3 bars for every one hour of charge. Some public stations use one leg of a 3-phase circuit and thus their voltage is 208vac, and thus that recharge rate is a little less.

Quick Charge (CHAdeMO) replenishes the pack so quickly that you barely have time to take bathroom break and get a cup of coffee by the time it's done replenishing the pack to 80%.

Regarding the i-MiEV Remote - I keep mine in a designated spot by my kitchen, and never use it to enquire about the car's state of charge (SoC), but simply use it to time my overnight charge and to pre-heat the car on cold mornings. I KNOW exactly what the charge level of my car is at the time I plug it in as the fuel gauge display lights up when the car is plugged in and charging, prior to programming the Remote.

Some of us are overly obsessed about our batteries and, having purchased our cars, are intent on having the batteries last a long long time. The worst thing you can do for the i-MiEV's battery is to fully charge it and then let the car sit in the hot sun for an extended period of time. For this reason, many of us routinely only charge the car to about 13-14 bars, and only fully-charge just before taking off on a longer trip. Think about it - how often do you need to drive 70 miles on that one charge? That said, many people on this forum just plug the car in and fully charge it every night to make sure they have a 'full tank' in the morning.

The other bad thing for batteries is to run the battery pack fully down to below zero ('turtle') - if you ever have the misfortune of being in that region, then remember to be a featherfoot on the accelerator.

Now, lizking808, let me address each of the points on your iPhone app wishlist -
lizking808 wrote:-track my trips, calculate the rate at which I use energy, estimate how much energy a proposed trip would use
The dashboard RR display does an excellent job of this, converting 'energy' into usable miles. I have a small Garmin 165 GPS that shows the miles to destination in a large numeric, and which I use for my longer trips - bouncing this off the RR display gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. You wouldn't want to be looking at your iPhone for this information while you are driving, anyway.
lizking808 wrote:-find nearby charging stations (yup, I have that app, but the ideal app would do it all)
Many special-purpose apps already do this very well, and the ever-changing information would be very difficult to keep up with a catch-all app. My favorite EVSE locator apps are PlugShare and ChargePoint.
lizking808 wrote:-report the status of the battery SoC to a greater level of precision than the remote does
The dashboard display does this, and it would be nice to see when sitting in a restaurant and the car was charging. I never look at my Remote's three-segment gauge (besides, it stays at home most of the time). Not to squash this, but, for example, when using a public EVSE, I find that I'm able to very accurately predict the time that it's charged sufficiently for me to get home - which is all I care about.
lizking808 wrote:-provide enhanced charging info and also estimate time until full
I don't know what you mean by enhanced charging info, but estimating time until full is so easy using the above rates that I don't need a computer to tell me.
lizking808 wrote:- tell me when charging is complete or alert me if charging is interrupted
Two different needs. If you are trying to get every last watt-hour of energy into your i-MiEV (because you are readying for long trip) then I agree it would be nice to know the exact instant that the car is 'full'. In practice, you develop a knack for predicting this quite easily.

The alert for charging interruption is a very valid need, although I can't recall my charging ever being interrupted at a public EVSE. Around here, ChargePoint is very prevalent and their app sends out an alert if the car is disconnected, and you can always interrogate your car's charging status using their app.
lizking808 wrote:-replace all the remote functions - turn on/off charging, set charging timer, turn on a/c or heater.
Yep, that would be a nicety. In my case, since I mostly use these functions at home, the small Remote does all this quite well, thank you.

lizking808, I hope the above provided you with a little food for thought. I ask you to view the i-MiEV as a straightforward very practical low-cost vehicle that will hopefully satisfy well over 90% of your own driving needs, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

Edited once 11/3 0030hrs
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

alohart
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:15 am
Location: Honolulu, HI, and Uppsala, Sweden

Re: got an app for that?

Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:10 am

Don wrote:As for the lack of an Apple app which you found an Android app for . . . . that's the big difference between Android and Apple . . . . anybody with a little programming knowledge can create an Android app . . . . it's much harder to do for Apple products

Don, I'm afraid you're incorrect about the relative programming ease between iOS and Android. Apple's development environments are renown in the industry for their ease of use and high productivity. This is one reason why the vast majority of apps that run on both iOS and Android were initially developed for iOS.

There has been no iOS version of CANIon because Apple does not allow unapproved BlueTooth Classic devices access to iOS due to inherent security problems with BlueTooth Classic. None of the OBDII BlueTooth Classic dongles have been submitted to Apple for testing, so there is a security risk in using them with any device. Google does not enforce the same level of security with Android apps.

However, there is now a OBDII WiFi dongle that works with either iOS or Android. I have communicated briefly with the CANIon developers about the possibility of my writing an iOS version of CANIon (I retired from Apple as a software engineer). I am quite busy with other things at the moment, so I have no progress to report.
Aloha,
Art
Honolulu: 2014 BMW i3 BEV (formerly 2012 i-MiEV SE)
Uppsala, Sweden: 2000 Honda Insight

lizking808
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:51 pm

Re: got an app for that?

Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:39 am

Many thanks, JoeS, for your detailed reply! There is only one Mitsu dealer here that carries the MiEV, and they didn't seem to know a whole lot about the car. So, I was kindof feeling my way along in the dark, but you've shone a very bright light on the situation. I realize now that owning an EV might be more like owning a pet than owning a device, which is fine by me. Pets don't come with apps, either; you just have to get to know them. Your advice about care and feeding of the battery was an eye-opener, thanks for that! Like you, I am very keen to keep my battery going to a very old age, for both economic and environmental reasons.

Art, I wish you well with the iOS app project!

Don
Site Moderator
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: got an app for that?

Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:56 pm

alohart wrote:
Don wrote:As for the lack of an Apple app which you found an Android app for . . . . that's the big difference between Android and Apple . . . . anybody with a little programming knowledge can create an Android app . . . . it's much harder to do for Apple products

Don, I'm afraid you're incorrect about the relative programming ease between iOS and Android. Apple's development environments are renown in the industry for their ease of use and high productivity. This is one reason why the vast majority of apps that run on both iOS and Android were initially developed for iOS.
If developers are intent on making money, iOS is usually where they aim their efforts because the ratio of paid apps to free ones is much higher for iOS. But the 'little guy' who is usually the one writing apps for off the wall users (like iMiEV drivers :lol: ) frequently work in Android and don't expect to get rich for their efforts

A brief synopsis I found on-line "Apple only just bestowed multitasking to its development community, something programmers have been working with on Android for a couple of years. Also, iPhones don't run widgets — an extension of an app that appears on an Android phone's home screen. When it comes to music and social networking, widgets mean a huge advantage.

Another developer concern is the overwhelming number of free apps in Google's disorganized Android Market. According to the mobile apps tracking firm Distino, free downloads account for well over half the apps, including nice ones made by Google itself. If you're trying to convince people to pay actual money for your apps, it's better to flaunt wares in the iPhone App Store, where freebies only account for just over a quarter of listed apps.

I think there are more individuals, especially DIY'ers playing in Android than in iOS, but maybe this is just my perception. There sure seem to be more unique offerings in Android

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

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