Market surveys and test have consistently shown that the main consumer concern about electric vehicles is their range. Since heat from electricity is fairly inefficient, warming an electric vehicle can greatly affect an electric vehicles range – that’s why Mitsubishi is running a large trial of the Mitsubishi i-Miev in snowy cold Eastern Canada.
Last winter, tests on the Mitsubishi i-Miev showed that at temperatures of -7 degrees Celsius, the i-Miev’s range was decreased by up to 20%. At -18 degrees Celcius, the range would be reduced by 40%, with an additional loss of about 15% if the cabin heater was on the maximum setting. That would mean the Mitsubishi i-Miev electric vehicles range would be cut by more than half!
To be fair, those tests were conducted on European models and the i-Mievs were cold soaked overnight and the heaters set to maximum. Hydro-Quebec officials feel those tests were limited and don’t provide realistic results. That’s why Hydro-Quebec agreed to take part in the Mitsubishi i-Miev trial.
Last winter, as part of the first phase of the trial, 5 the European Spec Mitsubishi i-Mievs (with no cabin preheating or precooling) saw a cold weather driving range of about 90 kilometres – the 2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev range is supposed to be around 155kms. With the 2012 i-Miev having the ability to pre-heat the cabin while it’s plugged into the charger, Hydro-Quebec and Mitsubishi Motors Canada are hopeful they will see less affect on the range during this coming winter’s trial.