1 September 2011
Five years or so ago, I thought that my next car would be an electric. But now that a wave of them are about to come on to the market, I’m not so sure. Last week, I went down to our local motor association where a new 100% electric vehicle – the Mitsubishi i-MiEV pictured above – was on display.
From the outside, the i-MiEV – which is expected to retail for about $33,000 in Alberta, Canada – doesn’t look terribly big. But without a bulky engine taking up space and the wheels right out to the corners, the interior feels as big as some of the small to mid-sized conventional cars on the market.
The car is powered by a 330-volt lithium ion battery located under its floor. It can be charged either from a quick charge station or from a household outlet. It will take about six hours to charge from a 220-volt outlet, or 22.5 hours from a 110-volt outlet.
With a top speed of 130 km/h, it certainly goes as fast as I would want to go. The problem is it only goes for 135 kilometers on a single charge. When I expressed my dismay to the product demonstrator, he was quick to say that, for the time being, it was really only practical as an additional car to tootle around town to do the shopping. And I thought we were trying to cut down on the number of vehicles on the road! Also, if the extra electricity needed to power electric cars isn’t generated from renewable energy, then CO2 emissions will go up, not down.
Oh well, I love my VW anyway.