Mitsubishi i-MiEV SE is an Electrifying Ride
My first item in the "Ride Me" category was an obituary for Seal Beach's Doug Korthof, an environmentalist and electric-car advocate I'd written about and who was later featured in the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?
I thought of Korthof while tooling around the beaches Seal and Huntington in a spiffy new Mitsubishi electric car.
|Photos by Matt Coker/OC Weekly|
|The Mitsubishi i-MiEV SE electric car is all fired up and ready to go.|
I'd driven the electric car the evening before to the Seal Beach Pier area, which was drying out from flooding caused by rains and pounding surf the day before. It's still a trip to me turning the key on an electric and not hearing a gas engine fire up. Instead, a light on the instrument panel indicates "ready." The Mitsubishi's silent running continues after plopping it into reverse gear and backing out of a driveway.
The MiEV zipped along nicely through city streets, powered by high-capacity 16-KW lithium-ion batteries that are under the center floor and a 49-KW synchronous electric motor and charging system toward the rear of the five-door hatchback. Braking actually generates more power for the batteries, and your air conditioner runs on an electrical system that's independent of the juice that runs the engine.
|The inside, viewed from the back, is plenty roomy for four people. Inside the black bag is the charger that can be used at home or a station.|
Speaking of savings, Mitsubishi bills the MiEV as the most affordable electric car on the market, as low as $21,265 after the tax credit. The price of the SE I was driving was $34,765 because it was loaded with such extras as a navigation system with real-time traffic information, audio controls on the steering wheel, a rear-view camera, a battery warming system and heated side-view mirrors, among other luxuries.
Safety options include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction management and a tire pressure monitoring system. Fog lights, floor mats, remote keyless entry, an eight-speaker deluxe audio system and power everything are standard on the SE.
|Baby, you can charge my car.|
When I was in Korthof's EV, he laughed as we passed gas stations, saying they would become obsolete once we all drove electric cars. I found this to be untrue while behind the wheel of the Mitsubishi MiEV, having to pull in one morning to wash my windshield before being on my way.
Ride: 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV SE 5-Door Hatchback
Likes: With no higher scores possible for smog and global warming scores, and an average EPA fuel economy rating of 112 MPGe, based on 126 MPG/city and 99 MPG/highway, leaving a smaller carbon footprint while enjoying a helluva fun ride.
Knocks: I know that this is going to sound weird, but as two of us were driving along PCH at the speed limit one night, the car started getting jerky, as one would if it needed new shocks. We weren't driving over potholes and neither passenger was morbidly obese. Hmmm . . .
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