PV1
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Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:19 am

As of late, taking the i-MiEV to Electric Car shows has garnered more interest than it used to. At the NDEW event I went to, it seemed that there were at least as many if not more people looking at the i-MiEV and LEAF than they were the Model S (of course, EVERYONE wanted to see the Model X, and I can't blame them). Is the public finally warming up to this little gem of a car and realizing they don't necessarily need 300+ miles of range?

What have others noticed? Could Mitsubishi push some more i-MiEVs out to the US, run a few TV ads, and be able to sell them now? Or will it continue to be neglected by the market, especially with the Bolt right around the corner?
:idea: :idea: :idea: :!: :!:

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kiev
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Re: Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:57 am

They have a gold mine sitting on top of the ground, but don't even try to advertise or sell them. It is the most practical commuter car--the best kept secret for some odd reason...
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mdbuilder
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Re: Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:40 am

Gold mine, really? :lol:

It attracts attention as a goofy looking odd ball yes. If they could get the range up to 100 miles at the same price maybe...
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Lithim
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Re: Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:30 am

With the recent acquisition(majority ownership) by Nissan of Mitsubishi I remain hopeful that the I-Miev will continue to be in the vision of Carlos Ghosn and the Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance. With the proposed upcoming range increase of the Leaf perhaps the I-Miev could be given a range boost as well.
One of my concerns is that the two cars might compete against each other at their current price points, particularly the model S Leaf.
Am I being too optimistic to think the I-Miev will exist after Nissan takes command?
Thoughts??
Stay charged my friend.
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JoeS
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Re: Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:59 am

Just a few snapshot comments -

The older I get and having shown my i-MiEV at EV and Earth Day events for the last four years, I've come to the sad conclusion that 'perception' is the dominant and perhaps overriding element in attracting interest - something marketing students pick up on but something us engineers don't give a damn about.

The perception that a 200-mile range is necessary (just as the perception that a 16-megapixel camera is 'necessary')

The perception that one doesn't want to be seen in a jellybean golf-cart-looking car like the i-MiEV

The perception that one DOES want to be seen in a beautiful-looking car like the TeslaS (even though it would be more efficient if it had rear fender skirts and solid wheels which are rejected by Tesla for 'aesthetic' reasons)

The perception that a small vehicle is cramped inside

The perception that one needs outlandish 0-60 acceleration

The perception that one needs a monster SUV to be 'safe'

I could go on and on - you get the picture.

Showing off the i-MiEV attracts two types of people -

1. The techie who is intrigued by it and wants to learn more
2. The female (sorry for being politically incorrect) who thinks it's 'cute'

The techie gets in, learns about the car, then spends time trying to convince his family that it should be considered. The other half of that family, after acknowledging that it's cute, then proceeds to be worried that 'it's not safe'.

Is there more interest in the i-MiEV now than there was four years ago? Other than a generally-increased interest in electric cars, I haven't seen it, I'm afraid.

I continue marching to the beat of my own drum knowing that I have the 'best' everyday-use electric vehicle out there, and laugh all the way to the bank.
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
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mdbuilder
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Re: Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:17 pm

Showing off the i-MiEV attracts two types of people -

1. The techie who is intrigued by it and wants to learn more
2. The female (sorry for being politically incorrect) who thinks it's 'cute'

The techie gets in, learns about the car, then spends time trying to convince his family that it should be considered. The other half of that family, after acknowledging that it's cute, then proceeds to be worried that 'it's not safe'.


Yes, I also get occasional interest from 2 other types:

The general public from all walks of life who realize the thing may be battery only and ask in amazement. I've had a guys call out to me at a traffic light a few times. Also college students comment positively as I drive around campus.

The red neck driving a 12 mpg pickup. Totally turned off when he hears the 62 mile range but somewhat intrigued none the less.


I bought mine for two reasons.

I realized the prices on the used market had sunk to very low levels. I was able to trade in my 11 year old Miata which I had driven for 4 or 5 years and put the balance on a credit card to be paid at month end :).

It meets about 80% of my needs, basically all of commuting and some of weekend running around. I have a second gas powered vehicle to fill in the holes.

Now, if I did not have the other cars in my fleet the 200 mile range really becomes a requirement. I might be able to justify renting another vehicle once or twice a year for long trips but there are many trips that come up say 10-12 times a year where I need to range out 50, 65 and occasionally 80 miles from home. The I's range is just not enough, even with quick charging the charges are always 20+ miles out of the way so the I is unusable. If it had 200 miles of range I could do the trips without charging, if it had 100 or so I could do the trip out and have enough left to reach a quick charger on the way back if I had to.
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kiev
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Re: Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:30 pm

i had a lady comment about how she liked my car, and that i must be saving money on gasoline with it being all little and stuff--i told her yes i save alot of money on gas...
kiev = kenny's innovative electric vehicle

PV1
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Re: Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:35 pm

The i-MiEV is still priced pretty well below the LEAF s. Remember, to get a LEAF with quick charge, that instantly takes the price above $30,000. The i-MiEV has it standard at $23,000. Increase US stock and run some ads, they could really sell as-is.

The question becomes, could the i-MiEV be re-packed with LEAF cells and charger to gain range and boost charging to 6.6 kW without increasing costs? Or, could it actually decrease costs by utilizing the LEAF cell's economies of scale while simultaneously increasing the appeal of the i-MiEV? Imagine it with an 80 mile EPA range and 3 hour recharge time. How many times would even just 18 extra miles make a difference, especially if it could make an inexpensive car even cheaper at the same time? Yuasa apparently is strapped in LEV50 production for the Outlander PHEV (at least that's been the excuse for slowing i-MiEV production), but Nissan still has some capacity to afford extra pack production.

Joe, most of those perceptions are smashed once you get someone to go for a ride. All I know is, had I been in a different vehicle, I would've taken that deer out a few months ago, and that BMW would've taken me out last year. The safest car is one that can avoid a collision altogether, which the i-MiEV does well.
:idea: :idea: :idea: :!: :!:

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Phximiev
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Re: Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:18 pm

PV1 wrote:How many times would even just 18 extra miles make a difference, especially if it could make an inexpensive car even cheaper at the same time?


Roughly the miles between Anthem and Black Canyon City. For me, it would significantly ease short "travel" plans. It would make no difference in our city driving as we only use on average 30 miles a day.
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mdbuilder
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Re: Re-surging interest in the i-MiEV?

Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:46 pm

18 would make a slight difference from time to time. Also, I could charge every third day fall/spring and every other day summer / maybe winter.
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