jray3
Posts: 1352
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Popular Mechanics Driving on i-Sunshine

Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:56 am

The November 2016 issue ("Space Drones" on the cover) does a very unscientific demonstration of a home PV array offsetting a driver's entire use in both an i-MiEV and a Model X. It's a decent introductory article.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 70,000 miles
i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
2000 Honda Odyssey
1987 F250 Diesel
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

Bonanzadriver
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:06 am
Location: Pinehurst, NC
Contact: YouTube

Re: Popular Mechanics Driving on i-Sunshine

Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:40 pm

As luck would have it, I actually had the good fortune of meeting Ezra, the author of the article you're referencing, at a guys night out Monday Night Football @ a local sports pub last month.

If you've had the opportunity to read much of his work, you'll probably guess that he's a fun and knowledgeable guy, and you'd be right. Having worked in the automotive world, in a previous life, for over 25 years, and being a gear-head for over 4 decades, we hit it off. Not only is he a "guy's guy"... He's a "Car guy's guy" :)

After talking about Lambo's, Ferrari's, Bentley's and the like, we found our way to EV's. It was almost as if Ezra and I were brain brothers. He shared his experience, that he wrote about in the November article, with his GEM, the X and i-Miev. The three EV's that I myself have been studying up on over the last several months. His experience and professional opinion confirmed my suspicions and quelled any concerns I had about taking the leap into the EV ownership world.

So, I've decided to start my search for both a GEM NEV and an i-Miev. I'll prolly pull the trigger on which ever one I can get the best deal on first.

I'm pretty familiar with the various mods and accessories out there for GEM's, but it seems as though there really isn't much out there in the way of things for the Mitsu.

jray3
Posts: 1352
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Popular Mechanics Driving on i-Sunshine

Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:33 pm

Welcome, Bonanzadriver! I enjoy Ezra's writing too, in Pop Mech, Automobile, and Car and Driver.
Here's a couple of good ones both by and about him. He also converted a Ford Bronco to biodiesel.
http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/ezr ... -me-column
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/ezra-dyer/

http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/i-b ... use-column


My other favorite automotive columnist is Aaron Robinson, especially due to his affliction for eclectic vehicles. Who has both a V12 Lamborghini Espada and an i-MiEV!?
http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/i-b ... use-column

Regarding your EV purchases, especially since you'll be getting the world-version 'skinny i', I wouldn't see much utility in a GEM, unless there are strict NEV lanes for you to use. GEMs don't have a great reputation for reliability, but it may just be because they are the first EV for many owners, and built to a price point...
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 70,000 miles
i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
2000 Honda Odyssey
1987 F250 Diesel
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

Bonanzadriver
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:06 am
Location: Pinehurst, NC
Contact: YouTube

Re: Popular Mechanics Driving on i-Sunshine

Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:07 pm

Thanks Jray.

I enjoy Aaron as well.

As for the GEM...

We live in a golf course community with over 40 courses in a 15 mile radius. Virtually every city street is 25mph speed limit with a few of the larger thoroughfares being 35mph and 45 mph. Very golf cart friendly and many NEV's on the road.

With both my wife and I commuting less than 4 miles to work, I'm thinkin that the NEV and the EV would serve us well. Funny enough, I'll probably spend almost as much for a good used GEM as I will for a decent little i-Miev. ;)

Bonanzadriver
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:06 am
Location: Pinehurst, NC
Contact: YouTube

Re: Popular Mechanics Driving on i-Sunshine

Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:21 am

Jray,

Upon re-reading your post I see you reference me getting the "skinny" world version I-miev. I must admit that I'm a bit confused.

I was of the understanding, possibly naively so, that the U.S. version of I's were a tad longer, with the DOT required front bumper, and widened by 2 to 4 inches, most certainly to accommodate the uber girth of the average American.

If this is not the case, please enlighten me.

Thanks

Dino

JoeS
Site Moderator
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Popular Mechanics Driving on i-Sunshine

Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:38 am

Bonanzadriver, thanks for your post. Ten years ago, with virtually no BEVs available, it made sense to consider NEVs for your situation. Nowadays, I wouldn't even think of it. There is a world of difference between a GEM and an i-MiEV - and throughout this website there are examples of us bristling at the occasional automotive 'reviewer' who dared refer to our beloved little i-MiEV as a golf-cart. Safety, handling, braking, heating, aircon, creature protection and comforts, highway speed capability, motor/drivetrain sophistication, did I say safety?, all come to mind. Perhaps the biggest distinction is the battery system - unless you opt for the expensive lithium option, the GEM's lead-acid battery pack provides neither the range nor anything close to the battery life of our i-MiEV. Sorry, but 25mph on 'normal' even 25mph roads makes you a road-boulder, as the Google cars in our neighborhood often demonstrate. Incidentally, at 25 mph our i-MiEV's range probably approaches 150 miles.

Yes, I'm trying to dissuade you - the versatility of owning two i-MiEVs purchased used makes MUCH more sense for the same price, IMO!
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

PV1
Site Moderator
Posts: 2864
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:22 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact: Website

Re: Popular Mechanics Driving on i-Sunshine

Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:40 am

Depends on where you're at.

Both Canada and the US got the larger i-MiEV (did they sell in Mexico?), and is often referred to as the NA model. The smaller i-MiEV is usually called the world version (at least by me), with only minor aesthetic differences between Japan, EU, Russia, etc.
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015

2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Driving electric since 2-21-2013.

Bonanzadriver
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:06 am
Location: Pinehurst, NC
Contact: YouTube

Re: Popular Mechanics Driving on i-Sunshine

Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:54 pm

JoeS wrote:Bonanzadriver, thanks for your post. Ten years ago, with virtually no BEVs available, it made sense to consider NEVs for your situation. Nowadays, I wouldn't even think of it. There is a world of difference between a GEM and an i-MiEV - and throughout this website there are examples of us bristling at the occasional automotive 'reviewer' who dared refer to our beloved little i-MiEV as a golf-cart. Safety, handling, braking, heating, aircon, creature protection and comforts, highway speed capability, motor/drivetrain sophistication, did I say safety?, all come to mind. Perhaps the biggest distinction is the battery system - unless you opt for the expensive lithium option, the GEM's lead-acid battery pack provides neither the range nor anything close to the battery life of our i-MiEV. Sorry, but 25mph on 'normal' even 25mph roads makes you a road-boulder, as the Google cars in our neighborhood often demonstrate. Incidentally, at 25 mph our i-MiEV's range probably approaches 150 miles.

Yes, I'm trying to dissuade you - the versatility of owning two i-MiEVs purchased used makes MUCH more sense for the same price, IMO!



Joe,

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I realize now that I probably should have clarified my intentions more clearly.

As I had stated, on the introduction forum, my motivations for researching and eventually acquiring an EV are probably different than many here.

I'm not trying to save the world, reduce a carbon footprint or curry favor with the MSMers, Hollywooders or Groupthinkers de jour.

No, my motivations are primarily those of economics and practicality. I like the prospects of drivin around town for little to no $ outta my pocket. I like the prospects of not suffering though more "Pain @ the Pump" the next time gas approaches or exceeds 4$ per gal.

That being said, I also live in a Golf Community and find myself on the course 2 to 4 times a week. 90 some odd percent of the time I'm driving around within a 5 to 10 mile radius of my house. We've lived here for over 12 years now and I have had the opportunity to ride around our little village, in a golf cart, dozens if not hundreds of times.

Golf carts are a way of life here. Now, granted, not like "The Villages" down in FL or "Peach Tree City" in GA, but a lot of golf carts nonetheless.

For me, though, I want something a bit more. I like the GEM. My friends that live in Celebration FL have one and it's an absolute blast to buzz around in.

The Lithium upgrade you referenced is exactly what I'm reading up on and have found some guys out there that are doing everything from swapping in new lithium batteries to re-purposing battery packs out of Leafs, Volts and others.

If you've not experienced the "open cart" through the neighborhood, then you're missing out. It really seems to invite a sense of community. You're not locked inside your cocoon with the radio a blarin or on your cell phone. It's different even than driving around with the top down on your convertible. I know, because my daily driver is a convertible.

The open cart seems to encourage dialogue with other carters, walkers and folks out in their yards. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for a supplement to my social circle, just kinda like getting a little more connected with my community.

As for the wife? Nah, she's not a "drive the NEV every day" sorta gal. Hence, the i-Miev interest.


YMMV

Thanks again

Dino

jray3
Posts: 1352
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Driving on i-Sunshine

Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:34 pm

I know it's old hat for some members, but I'm super-stoked at setting a new personal PV best after completing my fourth solar project just in time for our very sunny Seattle summers. Yesterday's 45.2 kWh of solar production exceeded our average daily consumption, but the real kicker was watching as the meter spun backwards, then came to a quivering halt and stayed still after I plugged in the car and the central air conditioning kicked on. Yep, full sun completely fills our two largest loads and then some. My current solar stable includes 2160 Watts on a dual-axis tracker, 4320 Watts on a stationary frame at only 8 degree inclination, and 1850 Watts on a not-yet-functional dual axis tracker. Besides getting that second tracker in gear, I have another 1440 Watt expansion of the largest array to install.
More details at http://karmanneclectric.blogspot.com/search?q=solar+washington
For icing on the cake, the Washington Legislature just passed our 2017 Solar Jobs Bill, which reforms the solar incentive program that was to end completely in 2020 by stabilizing subsidy rates and ramping subsidies down to zero over the next eight years. That allows new installations to achieve a good payback before settling down to for just net metering benefits over the long term.
http://solarstrongwa.org/?link_id=1&can_id=3e206e01d3f4dae6e064d66fb9c4b32a&source=email-solar-jobs-bill-protects-wa-solar-owners-and-your-production-incentive-program-2-2-2-2-2-2-3-4-2-2-2-2-3-2-3-2-2-2-3-4-4-3&email_referrer=solar-jobs-bill-protects-wa-solar-owners-and-your-production-incentive-program-2-2-2-2-2-2-3-4-2-2-2-2-3-2-3-2-2-2-3-4-4-3&email_subject=what-does-the-new-solar-jobs-bill-mean-for-you
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 70,000 miles
i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
2000 Honda Odyssey
1987 F250 Diesel
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

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