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Mitsubishi MiEV Tours Portland, Ore.

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Mitsubishi MiEV Tour in Portland, Oregon

Mitsubishi just happened to be touring in my neighborhood, the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon after eating lunch when I was asked to test drive the MiEV. I declined to test drive right then and there because I had to run home and get my camera and then rush back.

After snapping some photos of the beautiful MiEV, I handed over my driver’s license to prepare for the test drive. I was handed the keys as I hopped in, popped the keys into the ignition, and fired it up. With no gasoline engine I could barely tell the difference of whether the car was on or off, thankfully, I had the Mitsubishi folks pointing to the LED’s that showed me I was ready to roll.

The car has a rather large screen for a rearview camera in case of assistance needed in backing up. Needless to say, I just looked around my shoulder the good old fashion way which lead to my venture out of the parking lot. I drove the Mitsubishi i around the neighborhood for about 5 minutes and I couldn’t help but notice it runs whisper quiet. Driving around in that car just makes you feel special because you know that all that quiet is because of its eco status and zero emissions. Think back when everyone thought the Toyota Prius was hot stuff, and everyone you knew would make fun of how people could be such Prius snobs…well for a brief moment, I felt like a MiEV snob *snap*.

Now to the more serious stuff…

Nearly the first question that everyone asks about an electric vehicle is how far can it go on a single charge?
This eco bad boy has a driving range of 62 miles on a charge, but I was told if you drive it nicely that it could get up to 85 miles or so.

Another common question is how much does it cost in electricity to charge?
At the current national average of 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), it costs approximately $3.60 for every 100 miles traveled to “fill up” the Mitsubishi i. On a yearly basis (if you drive about 15,000 miles) you’ll end up spending approximately $541 on electricity. Your costs could be significantly lower if “off peak” electricity pricing is available in your area. Portland General Electric charges between 10 and 11 cents per kWh so for Oregonians it would be slightly cheaper.

The MiEV or Mitsubishi i has a MPGe of 112.
MPGe stands for “miles per gallon equivalent.” It’s a new ranking system developed by the EPA to measure the efficiency of electric/alternative energy vehicles, much like “miles per gallon” explains the efficiency of gas-powered vehicles with a simple number. It means that the energy present in one gallon of gasoline (if you converted that gallon into electricity) can send the Mitsubishi i a whopping 112 miles. I think I heard a Mitsubishi rep brag that it has a higher MPGe than the Nissan Leaf, which is true after I checked online, it has a mere 99 MPGe.

If you were curious about seating and storage…
You’d be surprised at how amazingly roomy it felt inside the car. It has four doors and some cargo space in the back for groceries, suitcases, or whatever.

There are a million benefits to buying an EV, even at this early stage of the EV industry. I’m not going to list them all out to you, but some of the major reasons are zero emissions (so super awesome for the environment), federal, state, and local tax credits that reduce the upfront costs (super awesome for your wallet), and less maintenance due to less hardware and less long term fuel costs (another long term wallet saver).

Seeing and test driving the Mitsubishi i, made me feel giddy inside. Why? Because I love electric cars…they are the future, and I can’t wait for them to be mainstream. Unfortunately, there are some hurdles to overcome in the meantime such as the build up of a public network of charging stations and advancements in battery technologies that are needed to help curb range anxiety.

To test drive the Mitsubishi i (MiEV) for yourself (while they’re still in the Pacific Northwest), check out their tour schedule for Oregon and Washington. Also, definitely check out the rest of the site for all the awesomeness that is the Mitsubishi i (MiEV).

About John Tarantino (356 Posts)

My name is John Tarantino ... and no, I am not related to Quinton Tarantino the movie director. I love writing about the environment, traveling, and capturing the world with my Lens as an amateur photographer. You can connect with me via Google+ or via Twitter: Follow @EnvironmentBlog


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