The Electric Jellybean Sips ElectronsThe EPA keeps testing electric cars and giving them 'MPG-equivalent' ratings (more on why those don't mean that much below). The latest to be tested, after the Tesla Roadster (119 MPGe), Chevy Volt (93 MPGe when in electric mode) and Nissan LEAF (99 MPGe), is the "i" electric vehicle (as Mitsubishi now calls the i MiEV). So how did the electric jellybean do? It has earned an EPA rating of 126 MPGe in city driving and 99 MPGe out on the highway, which gives it 112 MPGe combined.
The EPA also tested range:
Additionally, the EPA has also awarded the stylish and fun-to-drive electric vehicle (EV) a "real world" driving range of 62 miles. The "real world" EPA driving evaluation incorporates battery-sapping segments of aggressive driving and operating the vehicle in higher ambient temperatures with the air conditioning on.
Additionally, the EPA has rated the vehicle's LA4 driving cycle range at 98 miles. The EPA LA4 driving cycle test covers a distance of approximately 7.5 miles and includes numerous brief stops along the route to mimic in-town driving and its accompanying start/stops for traffic signals. Mitsubishi has worked to improve the driving range of the 2012 Mitsubishi i: The 98 mile range is attributed to software upgrades and a revamped regenerative braking system.
What I previously wrote about the LEAF still applies:
"The problem with this approach is that while a gallon of gasoline is a gallon of gasoline (depending on the source, the impact can be higher or lower, but there's still a clear range), the electricity used to charge the LEAF's battery can come from a wide variety of sources with a HUGE range of environmental impacts. If the LEAF is charged from a coal plant, it might not be much better than a gasoline car (and maybe even worse if it's a very old and inefficient coal plant), but if it's charged from wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, etc, the impact from each mile driven could be extremely small.
This just highlights how it's important to electrify transportation and clean up the power grid at the same time. One without the other is good, but not sufficient. It's even better to walk, bike, or take transit, but as long as there are cars around, they might as well run on clean electricity rather than dirty fossil fuels."
More on the Mitsubishi i MiEV Electric Car
The i-MiEV Electric Car Goes on Sale in 15 European Countries
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Car Survives Crash Test (Video)
Mitsubishi Unveils U.S. Version of i-MiEV Electric Car