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Say what you will about the EPA, but when it comes to measuring single-charge ranges of the Mitsubishi i and Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicles, they seemed to get it right.

Consumer Reports, whose editors have been driving both an i and a Leaf since the beginning of the year, says it's been getting an average of 59 miles on a full recharge of the Mitsubishi – three miles less than the EPA's estimates – and 75 miles on average in the Leaf, one fewer two more than the EPA's 76 73-mile rating.

While the Mitsubishi topped out at one driving session that provided 77 miles on a charge and uses about three cents per mile in electricity, the 59-mile average made it less enjoyable to drive than the Leaf. While the Nissan is priced at about $4,500 more than the i, the Leaf is a "much better car," CR said. The i, on the other hand, "is fairly crude and uncomfortable just as a car, we've been disappointed by how far it goes, or doesn't go, on a full charge."

Mitsubishi has boosted U.S. sales of the i every month this year and hit a monthly-record 85 in May. The i was rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as being the country's most fuel-efficient production vehicle, in terms of its miles-per-gallon-equivalent rating. Mitsubishi debuted its electric car as the i-MiEV in Japan in 2009.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mitsubishi just pushed it too far with just 16KWH in a 4 person vehicle.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        That 59-mile range is enough for my daily commute plus lunch, without needing to top off on 110V at work. I don't see the problem.
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Well the neat side of this is that the small battery can be charged overnight with just a standard outlet... the range is more than enough for my needs... just not into the design. The Honda fit looks way better IMO... just too bad its a lease only deal.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        But you two are people that sit around and post on a green car web site. You are the early adopters that accept such a low range. Most people won't
          SVX pearlie
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Spec
          I'm pragmatic. I know that current gas consumption is not indefinitely sustainable. So I'm OK to look at fact-based alternatives. The dogmatic and evangelical stuff on the "green" site irritates me to no end, tho.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Spec
          I would classify "people who sit around all day on the computer" as MOST people.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      'and 75 miles on average in the Leaf, one fewer than the EPA's 76-mile rating.' Danny, please substantiate. My understanding is that: 'the EPA projected range of 73 miles for the Leaf,' http://blog.caranddriver.com/2011-nissan-leaf-epa-ratings-released/ I'm getting pretty fed up with a supposed journalist purveying unmitigated crap. when the least research would have showed it to be nonsense. What is your reading comprehension level? Where do you get your figures from? Naturally if you can show that the EPA range of the Leaf is 76 miles, I will unreservedly apologise. OTOH, if you are a journalist with supposed expertise on the subject, how bad is it that you apparently invent figures? This if far from the first time. IMO you are utterly incompetant.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        The EPA sticker also shows 73 miles. http://www.blogcdn.com/green.autoblog.com/media/2010/11/nissan-leaf-fe-label.jpg
          Domenick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Thanks for the catch guys, fixed.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Thanks. I knew there was more authoritative data around, but couldn't be bothered to dig is out to refute the unending stream of incomprehension of his sources and downright miss-statements which is the oeuvre of Mr King.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Apologies for my ungracious tone. I have recently found egregious errors by Mr King tiresome. Some minimal level of fact-checking and sub-editing would be appreciated. Many thanks.
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      I believe the i was probably intended as an urban vehicle, and it's probably fine for that purpose. However, the best spot for EVs is really for the commuter with a known distance that maximizes the benfit of lower cost of fuel, but is well within the capabilities of the battery so that when heating or cooling the range is still sufficient (plus partial discharges are less detrimental to battery life). This combination occurs in a car with about a hundred mile range, driven by a person with a 40-50 mile round trip commute. Having battery in excess of the hundred mile range is spending more for what you typically don't use. Of course, that is what most people do anyway when buying cars.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Having a little extra is fine - sometimes you need to run an errand. The problem is being a little short, especially on an EV, where charging is measured in hours, not minutes.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Exactly. There will be various niche markets for EVs (such as the high-end eco-toys for the green wealthy). But the only volume market will be designing a good BEV or PHEV that is relatively inexpensive and allows a commuter that drives 40 or 50 miles every workday to do so without using any gasoline since that will allow savings in gasoline to be recognized which will cover the higher up-front cost of the EV. And even that car will not sell until the current battery & gasoline price ratio changes.
          Spec
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Spec
          I think a strange reversal may happen with those people living close to work. Although they would make excellent candidates for an EV since they don't need much range, they also burn very little gasoline so they have no incentive to switch to an EV. They are not paying 100s of bucks each month on gasoline.
          skierpage
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Spec
          You describe a big market but it's not the "only volume market". 20M people in the USA have a 10-15 minute commute to work (according to US Census "Commuting in the United States: 2009") and the majority of those live in a multi-car household with a garage. Yes, so much depends on your last sentence.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't like the Mitsubishi i. It would make me feel like a soccer mom to drive it and that is terrible millage for a light EV. Get yourself 12 4V batteries and you could probably double that millage. I don't like the hatchback neither, and it seems like every EV is a stupid hatchback. I'll wait for the VW eBeetle and see what it's like. A123 is coming out with a battery in the spring that can probably get that Mitsubishi i a 120 miles. I need at least 150 MPC though to feel comfortable.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        There is no eBeetle on the way. VW is working electric Polos and electric Golfs. 2014 they say. It is very easy to get 120 miles per charge . . . it just makes the cars very expensive. You need to either deal with paying more and doing with less. Hopefully the battery prices drop and you can get a 100+ mile EV for a reasonable price.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some people just don't understand the iMiev at all. The iMiev feels like a cheap car because Mitsubishi wanted to make the most affordable electric vehicle possible while maintaining descent range and owning an iMiev myself since December 2011, first one in Canada, it has served me very well and I love it. However, the North American version of the iMiev is ruined, slightly, because, due to safety, it is noticeably larger than the original and therefore heavier which has compromised the driving feel, range (Japanese version 180km), and practicality (being less maneuverable due to larger size). Nonetheless, the idea's still there and still a pretty good competitor for the Nissan Leaf. P.S.- Have people forgotten about the Th!nk City? At $22,500, it's also a descent competitor.
        Spec
        • 1 Month Ago
        Yeah I think I might pick up one of those Th!nk City cars. At that price plus the rebates, it will pay for itself.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      There has been this whole school of thinking that slightly-weird look of the Prius helped its sales because some people buying the hybrid cars wanted to look different with their energy saving car. I'm sure that is true with some people. Perhaps they were trying to do that but went a bit too far. I don't mind goofy looks if it is functional but I don't think the Mitz-i is particularly aerodynamic.
      Andy Smith
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really like the i-miev, I wish it had a lower price point and slightly more range. Are they getting New batteries next year?
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would love to see someone make a tubed out drag car with a 454 Chevy . That would be the ultimate sleeper!
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Spec, The iMev is too ugly ? Their will always be a reason people like you will find to not actually buy an EV. The Fiskers too flashy, Volts not a 'pure' EV, iMev to ugly, etc etc, and in the end, even if the vehicle was perfect, it would be ....too expensive, wait for the next model, etc etc..! For people like you, their will never be the right EV ! I hate non-rural SUV's, but I need 4WD capacity. I love EV technology, so I bought an LEVRR ! Yes it cost twice as much as the ICE version, but that's the sacrifice to indulge my principles.
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ Spiffster, and SVX pearlie, So, what colour iMev's do you drive ? Surely, you are one of those 85 iMev buyers ?
      throwback
      • 1 Month Ago
      Exactly, that is the sole reason why they went with that battery size.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Three and one does not seem unreasonable. Not like 5% and 10% we hear of on some ICE cars. If we start hitting 5 and 10 miles, then that could be a problem...
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        The Leaf actually did 2 miles better than its 73 mile rating, ABG just reported it wrong.
          EZEE
          • 1 Month Ago
          @JakeY
          I just don't know what to believe in anymore....!
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