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Old 11-25-2015, 01:39 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Keep a cheap flashlight by the charger?

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Old 12-11-2015, 08:23 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Any updates Ben? How are you liking it?
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:55 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Overall, it's a very likable car.

Liking the iMiEV

The car is actually in the shop right now. There were a couple of open recalls on it that I wanted to take care of. Unfortunately, that work can only be done at "iMiEV Authorized" Mitsubishi dealers. The nearest one is 70 miles away. The 3-year, 36,000 mile warranty is also up in about two months, so I figured I wanted to get it in before then.

It was an adventure getting the car to the dealer. Public EV chargers are great.... when they work!
iMiEV: Recalls, Chargers, and an Electric Blanket

My only real complaint about the car is how much power the heater sucks. When I turn the heat on, the Range Remaining indicator drops by at least 1/4.
Seeing as how it's already a pretty short range car, that can be a big deal, depending on what your range needs are. Doing a long trip in the winter can be challenging.

The tablet that I bought for the CanIon app didn't work. The only requirement listed for the software was "Android operating system". I bought an inexpensive tablet (RCA 7 inch) and it was completely incompatible. Simply couldn't load the software from Google Store. I even tried to "root" the tablet, which was ALSO not able to be done. Spent a number of hours on it. Very frustrating.

Instead, I ordered an Android "pre-pay" phone for $18. (It's cheap because you spend money on the cell phone plan) only I won't use it as a phone, thus, don't need a plan. Instead, I just want the bluetooth feature and Android operating system. I plugged it in, and the canIon software loaded right up!

Too bad I don't have the car here to test it!
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:11 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Mad congrats.
I'm jealous of the number of ChaEMo chargers near you!
My nearest is 130 miles away.
Genuinely looking for a Leaf to suplament the TDI (replace for local trips) now.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:46 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Ben, you should wrap the heater with insulation, to make it more efficient. Apparently, it is exposed to outside air.

You only HAVE to use the heater to defrost the windshield. I would recommend either a plugin electric vest (used by motorcyclists) or a battery power electric vest.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:09 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Ben, you should wrap the heater with insulation, to make it more efficient.
Yep, I'm actually planning on doing that. There's a great thread on winter mods on the MyiMiEV forum. One guy even used a wool sock as insulation around the heater fluid reservoir. It actually looks pretty good, and is a clever way to match the odd shape!

I did buy a 12V electric blanket when I went to drop my car off at the dealer service center. It worked great! Toasty warm, while being low current and flexible.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:31 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Some thoughts:
Assuming that the heater is resistance and heats water, how about a Webasto coolant heater fuled by Bio Diesel? The 2KW runs 22 hours on 1 gallon of Diesel.

You could rip apart a junk yard seat and get a heating element out. Probably not as efficient as the blanket, but neater.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:52 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dremd View Post
...how about a Webasto coolant heater...
Yes, there was another long thread about using a heater like that in the iMiEV. It seemed like the general consensus was not that liquid fuels were "evil" or anything like that, just that gasoline engines aren't an efficient design. Many people seem to feel that using gasoline or diesel is a completely APPROPRIATE use - for heat! On guy installed an inexpensive no-name version of that same heater and has had very good results with it.

I think it's actually a very good HYBRID approach. Use an electric drive-train for the transportation, and liquid fuel for heat. Sort of like the early days of gas cars, when they didn't really catch on until gas cars borrowed the electric motor and invented the "starter".

E-85 is also cheap and readily available in my area and I have a friend who brews his own straight ethanol for transportation use. I'm sure that two gallons from him every winter would be no problem.

The car is still under warranty through this winter. I think I'm not going to immediately mess with it (as we are supposed to have a mild winter anyways) until the end of next summer, then go wild with winter prep.

I'd also like to insulate the doors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dremd View Post
...rip apart a junk yard seat and get a heating element out...
There's plenty of inexpensive aftermarket seat heaters available. I bought one for $25 for the passenger seat. I haven't installed it yet. I've been told that removing the seat sets off an airbag warning on the dashboard that can only be reset by the dealer. I'm trying to figure out a work-around, so I can still take the seat out to remove the upholstery and install the seat heater.
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:27 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Great writeups so far, bennelson, and that looks like a great find!

I'm considering an iMiEV, among other EV's. I wanted to ask you if you had a more complete range estimate shown/charge level shown list for your big trip from Chicago, how many miles between actual charging stops, how much heater used, how much charge put in, etc. My usage case is pretty close to ideal for an iMiEV, if it will do my once a week round trip of 48 miles without work charging/38 miles with work charging. I've a longer once/month trip that is ~68 miles with work charging, but there's a quick charger en route from which the remaining trip is 44 miles. My daily commute is 10.1 miles each way, so it would be trivial to do in an iMiEV.

Unfortunately, it looks like the "really good buy" one I was asking a dealer about (I think it was under $6K!) got sold - it is no longer listed. Was a one-owner with 44,500+ cold-climate (MN) miles on it. Now the cheapest ones are a hair under $8k - and there are 2012 Leaf SL's within $1k of that price. This is a bummer - I finally signed up for ecomodder to ask about your cheap high-mileage iMiEV because I was looking at a similar one, and now it is gone!

I'm in no hurry, so perhaps another cheap one will pop up - and I don't really want to buy another fuel-burner, so hybrids are pretty much out. At the current prices, though, the Leaf looks like a better deal than the iMiEV due to the slightly better range, cold climate making battery degradation less of a worry, much larger userbase, and (I think...) 3kw heater vs. the 5kw heater in the iMiEV. (Both are resistance heaters, until you pony up to a 2013 SL or SV Leaf, when they introduced the heat pump).

A note on your comment about adding a high-powered 120V heater for additional pre-heat capacity while charging - and the heating system in general. What does it look like under the "hood" in front? What's on what would be the "firewall" in a front-engine car? (The "i" in Japan is a rear-engine car). It would seem that if there is room on the "firewall" one could relocate the heater under the "hood" and get it out of the fast-moving cold air under the car. Might be easier to insulate it, too, and keep said insulation from trapping salt-slush. Adding a "tank type" coolant heater meant for an ICE would also help, though a pump-equipped one and a way to run the car's fan would also be nice. Apologies if that's all obvious already - I've not really done much of my own maintenance for too many years now, so I'm falling back on rather obsolete information plus googling.

Anyways, glad you like your car!
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:37 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Can it be towed with the front wheels on a dolly?

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