Long-time electric vehicle drivers get a crack at the i-MiEV

When you've been driving an all-electric car for years, is it still exciting when a new one pulls up in the driveway? For long-time Plug In America supporters Zan and Paul Scott, the answer is an easy "yes." The plug-in pair recently got the chance to spend some time with Mitsubishi's i-MiEV, and their history with other electric vehicles (EVs) gives them a special ability to put the i-MiEV's pros and cons in context. You can read Paul's and Zan's thoughts about the vehicle by clicking on their respective names.

Paul notes that Mitsubishi has mostly nailed the commuter EV vibe on the head, but there are a few places where this car isn't ready for prime time. For example, the car can't coast (freewheel), which makes hypermiling on the highway impossible. Also, having an analog battery state of charge gauge isn't the ideal way to tell the driver how much farther the car can go. Paul writes:
I want to see a digital readout of my state of charge (SOC), not some approximation from an analog bar. One of the great things about electric vehicles is their ability to travel a predictable distance per kWh. Zan and I don't hesitate to drive the RAV all the way down to the bottom if we need to, because we know precisely how far we can go given we have RAV Info, an after market Palm Pilot program that taps into the RAV's main CPU where all the car's info is. We can see to a tenth of a percent how much SOC we have. All of the EV companies need to adopt something similar, but make it part of the standard instrumentation, not an after market thing.
Electric vehicles are a new thing for almost everyone, but a lucky few have a lot of plug-in driving experience. Automakers should be listening to them; they know what they're talking about.

[Source: EVs And Energy]

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