Over the last several months, as Mitsubishi and other automakers have made their electric vehicles (EVs) available to more drivers for extended evaluations, some of that EV shine has been coming off. Last winter, a Consumer Reports editor experienced some heavy range anxiety in a Mini E while driving in cold weather.

The hot bed of electric vehicle enthusiasm is in Southern California, a place that is, of course, immune to winter weather (at least close to the coast). On the flip side, the greater Los Angeles area is huge and the dense traffic means that driving at a constant speed is often nearly impossible. Then there is the problem of trying to accurately measure the state of charge of a lithium ion battery.

Put all of this together and it can be hard not to end up stuck on the side of the freeway, as a Southern California Public Radio reporter found out recently. Mitsubishi quotes a 100 mile range for the iMiEV under the Japanese 10-15 cycle which is notoriously optimistic. In the real world, 70 miles is a more reasonable limit. On her way home, the reporter had to stop for her third charge of the day, hoping to grab just enough juice to finish the trip from an outlet shared with a vending machine beside a gas station. Even then, an hour at the 110-volt plug was not enough to finish the 14-mile journey. Another cautionary tale showing that early EV drivers will have to plan their drips very, very carefully. Unless they are driving a Volt.

[Source: KPCC.com]

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