• Oct 7th 2009 at 10:01AM
  • 30
Mitsubishi i MiEV on CarPool - Click above to watch video after the jump

We've seen the Mitsubishi i MiEV in action before and have even rolled about New York in it ourselves. However, we've never really seen it taken out onto a highway and driven like a regular car. The latest episode of CarPool changes that. In this edition of the super cool web series, Robert Llewellyn (he of Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge fame) is joined by Catherine Perrin of Mitsubishi for a chat about the car whilst the actor pilots it across town for a little photo shoot.

While regular ABG readers may not learn anything substantially new about the Japanese jellybean, the segment wonderfully illustrates the positives about driving electric. Llewellyn isn't shy about putting his foot into it and, once safely out of the garage and onto the motorway, quickly brings the i MiEV up to the legal limit. And then beyond. Interestingly, though the specs on this car say it has a top speed of 80 mph, the actor soon discovers it can actually slightly surpass that mark. Indeed, his co-pilot informs him its "top whack" is 87 mph. Maybe we'll have the chance to try that out for ourselves (on a track, of course) when the right left hand drive version comes to America. Hit the jump for an entertaining ride in the CarPool.

[Source: Llewtube via Tesla Motors Club]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Correct me if I'm wrong:

      1) The majority of the price of gas/diesel in Europe is taxes.

      2) The overall ownership / operating cost of this car will be no better than that of a comparable diesel or hybrid vehicle which is readily available in Europe.

      Therefore, all you've accomplished by operating an i miev in europe is to take money away from your government (which must surely need it to maintain the roads and fund national healthcare among other things) and given it to a company in Japan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Everything requires energy to make. The battery pack in the Tesla is not unusual in this regard.

        Yes, the iMiEV will have to last a few years to make back the energy cost of building it. But hell, SUVs take a lot of energy cost to make and you never get that energy back! Let's not get weird here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is true to some extent.

        Although the manufacture and shipping of the i-miev will probably consume significantly more fossil fuels than a comparable ICE powered car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not only burn less oil, but use less energy entirely. Electric cars are many times more energy efficient.

        As for your comment on taxes - I think you'll find that fuel taxes in the U.S. do not come even remotely close to covering the costs imposed by car use. I'm not even sure the fuel taxes in Europe are adequate to cover those costs. As for health care - just taking an example, the NHS in the U.K. has a budget on the order of 100 billion pounds per year. Call that $170 billion US. GOVERNMENT expenditure on health care in the United States is roughly $1000 billion, according to


        The population of the United States is about five times that of the UK. So, governments in the US spend more per capita on health care than the UK government does for the NHS.

        It is not, as you suggest, a question of whether to accept higher taxes in order to have universal health care coverage. I very much doubt that your assumption of a connection between higher fuel taxes and funding of national health care is valid.

        Your point regarding fuel taxes and funding for public roads is valid, however - if there is a shift (or more hopefully, as the world shifts) to more electric vehicles, some other cost-recovery mechanism will have to be put in place in order to offset the loss in income from fuel taxes. This might be a good opportunity to introduce congestion-based (free market!! supply and demand!!!) pricing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not keen on sending money to Japan either, but the introduction of a foreign EV like the iMiev does put pressure on local auto makers to speed up their EV programs and come up with alternatives.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The energy required to transport that extra weight for the vehicle's lifetime is also real and significant issue which BEV proponents tend to conveniently ignore."

        Who is ignoring this? Heavy battery pack or not an EV uses about half as much energy well-to-wheels as an ICE vehicle. Are YOU ignoring that?

        (Do you want to go through the math with me, or would you rather stick to unsubstantiated mud-slinging?)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just posted this on another thread, so I'm going to repeat it here for Snowdog's sake:

        "The battery pack in the Tesla is expensive because it requires energy to mine, transport, process, and manufacture its components. Just like it requires energy to manufacture hydrogen."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dave, take the amount of parts an ICE vehicle is made of - do the same with a BEV. You will find that the BEV has DRASTICALLY less parts than any ICE vehicle.
        Then take the amount energy used to produce, ship, load and unload those parts from the supplier to the car manufacturer where they get assembled and so on and so on. What you are talking is rubbish. I think you are totally into something else but EV's and use any argument that comes to your mind to justify this. Man, what's wrong with you guys? Of course, nothing is perfect but it's getting pretty close. And yes, I love the quietness of the EVs and this would be another great reason to buy one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Your argument has convinced me to cancel my plans to buy an iMiev in 2011 - no way I want to deny the British government any tax, sorry I'm being sarcastic. Hopefully I'll make a net saving over the lifetime of the car, and some of the money I saved on petrol I will probably spend on consumer goods so the poor government will get some tax off me in the form of 17.5% sales tax (VAT), the rest will be in savings and the UK government will probably welcome that too!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Operation costs in Europe will likely be lower than diesel because of the very high fuel taxes.

        The reason for the high taxes is because the government wants to lower the usage of fossil fuels because of environmental and import costs.

        So you have done exactly what the taxes are encouraging. Decrease burning of fossil fuels, decrease expensive oil imports.

        Why would it take more energy to ship/manufacture an i-Miev than a Honda fit? That's a red herring.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, that and burn less oil, which can make the air cleaner and divert money from groups in the Middle East who may harbor you or your country ill will.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quick thoughts on your questions

        Yes, majority of what we pay for gas in the UK is taxes, but we still send (it depends who you ask) between £10 and £15 billion a month overseas to pay for oil. We don't just use this in cars and trucks, we generate electricity with oil, and use it for shipping to. By the way, the US is sending well over $1 billion a day overseas to pay for oil.

        Your second point is the one I would disagree with. Having driven a 10 year old Toyota RAV E4 which had done over 85000 miles and had only needed new tires, not even new brake pads, the running costs are vastly reduced in comparison with an ICE powered car.

        The iMiev costs 95p to fill it's tank/battery and drive 80 miles, even the most dinky econobox diesel will cost £6 to do the same journey, anything bigger than that will cost £10 and up. So, close to zero maintenance, 1p per mile fuel costs, presently zero road tax/congestion charge, it will be hugely cheaper over 10 years.

        Finally, govt attitudes, currently most Western govts are giving some incentives to encourage people to change long entrenched petrol head habits. How long would this last once there is say 10 or 15% of road vehicles where EV's. I'd suggest about a nanosecond.

        One last thing, electric cars are more fun to drive.

        Robert Llewellyn, the bloke in the video

        Therefore, all you've accomplished by operating an i miev in europe is to take money away from your government (which must surely need it to maintain the roads and fund national healthcare among other things) and given it to a company in Japan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The battery pack in the Tesla is expensive because it requires energy to mine, transport, process, and manufacture its components."

        Iron has to be mined,transported, refined and melted in blast furnaces. You don't think that is energy intensive?

        I was reading about Bolivia's Lithium salt flats. One of the big steps solar evaporation ponds. Sounds better than blast furnaces on energy usage.

        Unless you can supply some hard numbers, I am going to assume all materials require an energy investment and simply go by the mass. The i-Miev weighs slightly less than a Honda Fit, so again. I see no reason why it would be significantly higher energy inputs to build it/transport it. In its usage cycle it will have a massively smaller energy/pollution footprint.

        Arguments against EVs like this one smack of the Bogus "Hummer is greener than a Prius nonsense". Driven more by political ideology than reason.

        I am not a blind EV advocate. I often argue with them because in most cases, I don't think they will save the consumer money and in fact will end up costing them more, but they will definitely save energy and pollute less and I am VERY HAPPY to have early adopters buy them and move the technology forward, whatever their reasons.

        But in Europe with very high fuel taxes, it might even save money.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Yes, the iMiEV will have to last a few years to make back the energy cost of building it. But hell, SUVs take a lot of energy cost to make and you never get that energy back! Let's not get weird here."

        The amount of energy used to manufacture the battery pack is a real and significant issue. And it's one that BEV advocates like to conveniently overlook. The energy required to transport that extra weight for the vehicle's lifetime is also real and significant issue which BEV proponents tend to conveniently ignore.

        In fact, if you want an acceptable range in all climates, A BEV will weigh double the weight of a conventional ICE vehicle.

        I drive a Miata. I'm not advocating SUVs. Nor am I getting weird. (I suppose thats a judgement call, actually ;) )
        • 5 Years Ago
        High purchase price = increased insurance costs, the increase will be more than the total annual fuel bill of similar size ICE cars, even in Europe. Not counting cost of E-infrastructure, unless slow loading is acceptable. CO2 can be more effectively reduced.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In case anyone was straining to see what website address is plastered onto the vehicle's exterior, here's the British website for the i MiEV:
      • 5 Years Ago
      No competition for the Aygo/C1/107 A-segment cars.
      • 5 Years Ago

      UK police are apparently happy to use the Mitsubishi iMiEV as patrol cars. http://www.thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/blog/index.php/2009/10/08/electric-force-for-the-west-midlands-police/
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dave, you're not wrong, and herein lies the core of the world's problems:

      The simple fact that we CAN take away money from the government like that shows that the government is not in control of it's own currency, that it's just a corporate entity like Nike (who rule our shoes, presumably) or Coca Cola (who may rule diabetes, who knows?).

      This because we are all on a fractional reserve money as debt model where everyone, government included, is in debt to the banking system, which in turn is in internal debt, and if you untangle the mess far enough you reach aristocracy. It's a bloody mess and the reason that, despite all this technology and goodwill, we can't seem to do anything right as a species. It's all about the money, not about reality.

      That you try to invalidate such obviously positive technology with the money argument shows one of two things, that you're part of the status quo and and have a vested interest somewhere or, more likely, you're as fooled as the rest of the population into how the world works and have been brainwashed into thinking in monetary terms (thus endebting, enslaving, yourself to the world elite) instead of practical real world application terms.

      Sorry, that's just how it is. Let's keep breathing carbon monoxide and particulates but balance that budget! Or, perhaps, we get wise and change the system so we can actually do what has to be done. It's all a matter of which computers we decide to put the 0's in.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Interesting post. I wonder what you think of this video:


        Have you already seen it? I ask because of the concepts you write might indicate that you have.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a well known video, I was aware of these concepts way before seeing it a couple of years ago though. Money as debt is basically a form of Usury, and it's been on the human sociopolitical landscape since biblical times and probably beyond. It's an expression of psychopathocracy, or the rule of society by psychopathic individuals who are manipulative, pathological liars, narcissistic and have zero empathy for anything beyond their own ego. The keyword is ponerology.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I drove this car in march in Monaco , it made pretty light work
      of all the steep inclines around the town . Great to see it at speed
      though , and yes that sound is just so exciting !

      Hurry up Mitsubishi, and bring it over here to Europe !
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've seen the MiEV being road tested on the 405 in Irvine, California. The last time was about a month ago at about 11:00pm. Speed: just over 70 mph. The driver and I shared a moment. Me: a knowing nod; and him, a big thumbs up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Green with envy! Loved the segment, but hated seeing the ad on the side of the iMiEV: "Order me now - arriving in November 2009." Lucky Brits. C'mon, Mitsu: start taking orders here!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yup. People will line up for miles.

        (Until they hear the price - then there'll be no takers)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow...I wonder; once the right-hand-drive version makes it to America, will a left-hand-drive version follow?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks. Confused traffic with car. Must remember "stage left".
      • 5 Years Ago
      The hand break (or emergency brake) noise at the very end of the video when parking the car seems very low tech!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow! So much fun. I like the part where the car makes this slight jet engine noise at high speed. The CarPool episodes with Chelsea Sexton & Leo Laporte are pretty good too.

      Great job Mr. Llewellyn.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Another vote for the Chelsea Sexton segment. Never knew who she was before, but she is awesome ...
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X