Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mitsubishi MiEV

Mitsubishi MiEV 

The Mitsubishi MiEV is based on the Mitsubishi i kei-car which is only available currently in other countries. Being a kei car, it measures 1475mm wide, 1600mm tall, 3395mm long and a staggering 2550mm long wheelbase (compared to Myvi's 2440mm!). These figures translate a cabin which is bigger than normal kei car like Perodua Viva!

The exterior and interior of the MiEV looks ordinary and almost similar to Mitsubishi i. However, the instrument panel is changed to accomodate information about the electric powertrain. There's a meter which will move from charge to eco depending on your driving condition, almost similar concept like Honda's eco lighting in the instrument panel which will turn from green to blue when you drive aggressively.

As an electric car, the MiEV is utter silence when it's not moving on the outside. When you turn the ignition on, the MiEV only vibrated with an unapparent frequency. You can only listen the sound of the air-cond blasting when it's stationary. It is quiet on the move at low speed, but the electric motor noise will intrude when you floor the pedal, so it is not as pin drop silence as I imagined an electric car is.

The performance of the MiEV surprised me! I was flabbergasted when I floor the pedal on a minor slope and the MiEV thrust itself to the front forcefully, thanks to the 180Nm torque in the 47kW electric motor. Top speed of 130km/h can be achieved, so it is possible to drive it on our national highway.

We will usually put the gear at 'D' for normal driving condition, right? Same goes to the MiEV, but 'B' and 'C' serve slightly different purposes. MiEV comes with regenerative braking where energy is generated when the brake is applied, and regenrative braking will work on all 3 modes of gear. However, 'B' is best used in downhill condition like when you are going down Genting Highlands, where regenerative braking happen most of the time.

'C' on the other hand, is a comfort mode. Using 'C' drives a little bit smoother compared to 'D' and 'B'. This is because more power is used for output, but the battery will be drained a little quicker.

Above is the spec sheet of the Mitsubishi MiEV. As you can see, the charging time is located at the bottom left corner. Malaysia has to build some charging stations first before selling electric car to the public. Or else, we can only depend on household electricity which will take some long 8 hours to charge the battery to its brim. It will be, I would say, ridiculous to travel for 160km (MiEV's max distance per full charge) and have to charge another 8 hours before we can run the next 160km.

There's a turtle indicator if you are running low on electric, Mitsubishi does have a sense of humour! The Mitsubishi MiEV is an interesting car and should be brought over to Malaysia when the sales of EV starts.

+ Nippy performance, ample cabin, zero emission.
- Ride and handling, cabin plastic

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