MalcolmReynolds
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:27 pm

Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:13 pm

I am toying with the idea of buying an electric car and the path keeps leading me back to look at the i-miev. However I have some concerns. I see some attractive prices on some 2012 models, but I am starting to get concerned about battery degradation at this point unless I guess i can find one with really low miles. There really aren't any cars in my local area so I would be forced to shop online and ship a car to me.

Is the 2012 model starting to become more risky as far as battery health? I see a few 2016 and 2014's have started to show up, but prices are still kind of steep. Or would a low miles 2012 still be a safe purchase? I realize at this point that once the battery will no longer provide enough charge to do daily use things that are required of it that the i-Miev or any EV just about becomes disposable at this point. I saw recently someone was quoted like 19k to replace a battery in one of these cars. I hope someone starts to do the service for these batteries and can drive the cost down. I know in my first gen Insight that it usually was a bad cell and not the entire pack that needed replaced so we really need people with that skill set to start to offer battery reconditioning services. The beauty of an EV is we should be able to put many many trouble free miles on these electric motors before any kind of real serious work would be needed on them. It is just these crazy batteries that are the question mark.

Is there anything specific that is different between the car years that I should look for over another?

My other concern is that I live in an area where there is some public charging, but not much and the price of using a charger is crazy. I guess I shouldn't complain because it should mean that if I really needed to do a trip in the nearby metro areas that I could probably find a way to limp from charging point to charging point to get where I needed to go as long as the car had a quick charger. So I don't really have a super big concern today as most of my driving is fairly close with the longest trip being about 16 miles one way across the city so it appears that should be very doable if what I am reading here on this forum is true and I can find a good healthy car.

But to add a wrinkle to this I am planning on moving to a rural area in the Ozarks and it is an EV desert there. So that leaves me worrying about the most common trips I would do to get into town for shopping, errands and returning without any ability to recharge. The most common trip would be 24 miles one way, and it is the Ozarks so hit is steep hills, curves, and lots of two lane highway to get there. So I am worried that the i-miev might not be able to make that trip in the winter months. I suspect that if I hypermile it that I should be able to do the trip during the summer months as long as I can find a car with a good solid battery. When I say there isn't any charging that is literally the case. I am hoping that by asking around to local businesses I might be able to get some interest in sharing some external outlets and posting them on plugshare and anyplace else that might help fellow EV owners. Until that happens I will have to find a way to do the round trip without recharging. Even if I get a car with a strong battery today how long before the battery degrades and could not make that trip? I guess I can only hope that some sort of charging becomes available before that happens.

I am considering the idea I may need to buy a generator an carry it with me so that I could connect the car up to the genny for a short time while I am in town to make sure I can get some charge to get me back. I just don't want to be sitting in a parking lot somewhere running a genny for 4 hours just so I can get home otherwise I will use the gas sucking truck if it appears these trips will become questionable. The rural lifestyle mandates having a truck so I will have that as a backup regardless. I would prefer however to keep the truck relegated to the dirty hard work that it is meant for on the farm and not doing errands into town if I can avoid it.

One thing that stands out to me here is that with zero public charging it becomes critical that owners of EV's be willing to share their chargers for fellow EV travelers. So since I see nothing in the area(in the Ozarks where I will be) on plugshare for EV charging I am strongly considering installing an external 240v charging station and posting it on plugshare so there will be something for people to use. I will have to see what it will cost for me to do something like that and weight it heavily. I hope the cost is reasonable as I think this would be a valuable public service.

Ok, I hope I have not bored you to tears. Any feedback and input on buying an i-Miev would be great. If you happen to have any experience with remote/rural situations like I am facing I would love to get your feedback. I am hoping that the EV can do the job that I am describing. With cars like the Bolt here now and Tesla coming these kinds of worries will hopefully be a thing of the past in a couple of years. But until the price of these vehicles falls to a price point that mear mortals can afford I am stuck looking for bargains in the EV space and hoping they will be able to do what I am asking of it. Thanks.

Don
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Posts: 2869
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:30 pm

Welcome! - Excellent first post. You've obviously given this lots of thought and you're asking very educated questions

No, I don't think getting a 2012 is very risky. Likely, most of the problems it may have would have already been addressed. Yes, all EV's will experience some amount of battery degradation over time, but the collective experience here is that it's not a great amount on most cars. There are drivers here who have upwards of 60,000 miles with very little loss of range. There is an EvBatMon Android app you can download which will give you a very good report on the health of the battery in any car you may be looking at - Probably a good idea to take that with you when you go car shopping

All things being equal, it's probably best to pay a little extra and get a car which has DCQC capability, though we have one with and one without and have never used it on the one and never missed not having it on the other. We also live in a place where there's next to no charging opportunities - In 5+ years we have charged exactly once away from home . . . . and that was more of a test of the free charger at the bus station downtown. You can use these cars and only recharge at home *if* you have sufficient range to get where you want to go

I would think if you lived in a rural area a questionable distance from the town you usually drive to, it would be easy enough to arrange for a place to recharge at a business or someone's home - So long as you made arrangements to pay for the small amount of electricity you'll use. Some car dealerships have charging capabilities and allow EV owners to recharge, often for free

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

MalcolmReynolds
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:27 pm

Re: Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:32 pm

Thanks for the fast reply Don. Cool, the DCQC is on the shopping list. :D What is a reasonable price to pay for a low miles 2012 with a DCQC? Can Kelly Blue Book be used to price the car? Or is the blue book still lower than I will likely see the street price on one of these cars?

Thanks again for the feedback.

sandange
Posts: 907
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 am
Location: Quebec, Canada
Contact: Website

Re: Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:21 am

Welcome to the forum Malcolm

Having driven my 2014 i Miev 72,000 miles, I agree with Don that the battery life and degradation don't seem to be an issue,

I believe there are other components to be more concerned with.
With my 2012 i Miev I drove 42,000 miles and had this experience...

Several reports of 2012 mode AC units failing, that are very costly and are necessary for fast charging application.
And at there were also several on board charging units replaced, also very costly to repair reported on 2012 models
Mostly these were caught and covered under warranty.
I was told that the 2014 Miev AC unit supplier has been changed, when I had my 2014 serviced at the dealer.

As for charging away from home
I was an early adaptor and there were very few charging stations available,
So as many here did the EVSE upgrade to my stock portable EVSE
to charge 220 volts as well and made up a variety of plug adaptors.
( stove, dryer, welder, etc)
My reasoning is
If there's a Plug available, there's a charge,
all you need is time


Some other small differences between the 2012 & 2014
2014
Charge port light
Both front seats are heated
Stereo had rear speakers as well

Good luck with your research
Tesla Model 3 SR+, 2019
Previous EVs
Puey Bluey 2014 Miev
200,000 km , 124.000 miles.
Blackie - 2012 ES Miev 2 years - 67,000 km / (41,630 miles)
http://thecordstead.blogspot.ca/

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3736
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

Re: Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:48 pm

Hi MalcolmReynolds, and again welcome to the forum. There are a number of us here who are former Gen1 Honda Insight owners.

Good for you for doing your homework ahead of time before purchasing a used i-MiEV..

Your 24-mile one-way drive would be pushing it if on a repetitive daily basis, especially in winter. The good news is that you wouldn't be roaring up an Interstate, so you can tailor your speed to meet your needs. Hypermiling works wonders on the i-MiEV. Hills are not a problem, as coming back down recovers a large percentage of what you had expended going up. Similarly, aircon doesn't have much of an effect, but running the heater takes a serious bite.

The closest to your situation here on this forum is pbui19 who has a daily 50-mile round-trip commute (much of it on either high-speed or rush-hour crawling Interstate), but it proved to be difficult as he ended each day with a 1600-ft climb. He has an unusual situation in that the government facility he works at does not permit plugging in an EV. He's subsequently supplanted his i-MiEV with both a Volt and BoltEV.

Agree that arranging for some destination/opportunity charging would help. Is there a welding shop close to your destination? - they've got logs of good 240vac outlets. A dryer outlet works just great also. Simply talking with prospective sources and explaining the situation and having numbers on hand (3kW/hr on 240vac or 1kW/hr (8A) or 1.4kW/hr (12A for upgraded Mitsu EVSE) at 120vac) showing just how little energy you actually consume and always offering to pay invariably works, as most people are usually fascinated by our cars and are quite accommodating. I daresay it should be relatively easy to make charging arrangements with someone, even if you'll be doing it on a regular basis.

At this point in time, how a battery was treated in the i-MiEV's previous life is beginning to matter when it comes to capacity. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing unless we're able to talk directly with the previous owners to assess their environment and charging regimen.

I agree that the simplest way to measure capacity is to get EVBatMon for Android, and you might want to install CaniOn as well to see how the individual cells are faring. If you buy the car remotely from a dealer (especially a Mitsu dealer), it doesn't hurt to ask for a battery capacity readout. If you find a car you're interested in, you might post here to see if someone on this forum might be able to pop over and make the check.

So, keep checking things out - it may be that a BEV with even a slighttly better range might might better suit your needs - wish you all the best!
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

MalcolmReynolds
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:27 pm

Re: Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:10 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies! I had not connected the dots with the failing AC units and the fact that the battery uses the AC to keep them cool. So that is a great point. Of the cars I have been looking at online none of the Carfax have mentioned replacement of the AC unit so that would be a concern.

I also just double checked the distance I would need to travel on the weekends for groceries and errands. It would be most likely just be a Saturday and Sunday run into town as I need things from the local hardware store, home improvement, and grocery store etc. It would not be a daily drive thankfully. At least that isn't the plan at the moment to be doing it daily. So I checked and I think the most common destination area I would be going is actually 19 miles one way from my house in the Ozarks. So that is making me feel a little more comfortable about the distance. Probably the last 3 or 4 miles of that is in town driving so some opportunity to maybe get some juice back on regen. And since most of the drive is 2 lane highway there will be opportunities for me to slow down and just enjoy the drive. Maybe I should paint it black or buy a black i-Miev and put a reflective triangle on the back and try to disguise it as an Amish buggy! LOL

I loved my Gen 1 Insight, and would still have it if not for a severe hail storm last year took it from me. That really is a good car for efficiency once you learn how to drive it. I do miss my Insight! So I have been car-less for a bit now. Been using my truck for the weekend runs which are really close distance wise where I live presently, but not a good replacement for the Insight.

There is just so much I like about the i-Miev simplicity and design really speak to me. Not sure why that is, but I like it. So I am hoping that it will be a fit for what I need. I have looked at the Leaf and it is a nice car, but honestly the older I get the more I treasure "simple". The Leaf has all those bells and whistles that the consumer has become used to, but that really isn't what I need. All of the new cars really are just a cluttered mess of needless complexity, buttons and gadgets that just don't add much value to my driving experience. Not to say there aren't good implementations and features that add value to the experience, but sometimes less really is more.

There are a few bells and whistles that are nice value added, but for the most part the more basic the better in my book. I am just an oddball that way I guess. I find it is really hard to make something technical and complicated "simple". To me it looks like Mitsubishi did a good job simplifying these cars and I really like that a lot. It looks like the i-Miev will be fun to hypermile. :D

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2869
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:58 pm

Only cars equipped with DCQC use the A/C for battery cooling and only then when you're using the L3 fast charge protocol - Other iMiEV's without it don't use battery cooling while charging

Joe had a couple Honda Insights - One he lost when he was run over by a drunk driver. Think he said they averaged better than 77 mpg for the life of that car! Truly remarkable!!

For us, a 60 mile round trip is nothing and we do it all the time, even using the A/C, but it's fairly flat around here so we don't have the losses that driving in the hills would give you

You sound like a perfect candidate to become an iMiEV driver - Pretty sure you'd be impressed owning one, as most of us here are. Several of us had to buy a second one to go with the first! :lol:

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3736
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

Re: Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:40 am

Don wrote:Joe had a couple Honda Insights - One he lost when he was run over by a drunk driver. Think he said they averaged better than 77 mpg for the life of that car! Truly remarkable!!
Snapped this photo when I had all sevens showing - traffic was too heavy to get up to 77mph :cry:

Image

For those not familiar with the Gen1 Insight display, what it shows is a lifetime 77.7mpg over 77,777 miles!

Don wrote:You sound like a perfect candidate to become an iMiEV driver - Pretty sure you'd be impressed owning one, as most of us here are...
Stongly agree! With a 38-mile non-time-imperative round trip, it'll be a piece of cake!

Now to find you a nice one... Differences between ES and SE
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

Phximiev
Posts: 1213
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:06 pm

JoeS wrote:Hi MalcolmReynolds, and again welcome to the forum. There are a number of us here who are former Gen1 Honda Insight owners.

Good for you for doing your homework ahead of time before purchasing a used i-MiEV..

Your 24-mile one-way drive would be pushing it if on a repetitive daily basis, especially in winter. The good news is that you wouldn't be roaring up an Interstate, so you can tailor your speed to meet your needs. Hypermiling works wonders on the i-MiEV. Hills are not a problem, as coming back down recovers a large percentage of what you had expended going up. Similarly, aircon doesn't have much of an effect, but running the heater takes a serious bite.

The closest to your situation here on this forum is pbui19 who has a daily 50-mile round-trip commute (much of it on either high-speed or rush-hour crawling Interstate), but it proved to be difficult as he ended each day with a 1600-ft climb. He has an unusual situation in that the government facility he works at does not permit plugging in an EV. He's subsequently supplanted his i-MiEV with both a Volt and BoltEV.

Agree that arranging for some destination/opportunity charging would help. Is there a welding shop close to your destination? - they've got logs of good 240vac outlets. A dryer outlet works just great also. Simply talking with prospective sources and explaining the situation and having numbers on hand (3kW/hr on 240vac or 1kW/hr (8A) or 1.4kW/hr (12A for upgraded Mitsu EVSE) at 120vac) showing just how little energy you actually consume and always offering to pay invariably works, as most people are usually fascinated by our cars and are quite accommodating. I daresay it should be relatively easy to make charging arrangements with someone, even if you'll be doing it on a regular basis.

At this point in time, how a battery was treated in the i-MiEV's previous life is beginning to matter when it comes to capacity. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing unless we're able to talk directly with the previous owners to assess their environment and charging regimen.

I agree that the simplest way to measure capacity is to get EVBatMon for Android, and you might want to install CaniOn as well to see how the individual cells are faring. If you buy the car remotely from a dealer (especially a Mitsu dealer), it doesn't hurt to ask for a battery capacity readout. If you find a car you're interested in, you might post here to see if someone on this forum might be able to pop over and make the check.

So, keep checking things out - it may be that a BEV with even a slighttly better range might might better suit your needs - wish you all the best!


I couldn't agree more. In fact, I wouldn't buy an iMiev of any year without first buying EVBatMon and a compatible OBD and first testing the vehicle to make sure that the batter degradation is within the limits set forth on page 1-5 of the owner's manual. Then I would inquire of the dealer to make sure that the LEV50N is the cell type in the battery pack. If neither criteria are met, then I wouldn't buy the vehicle unless the dealer or seller agrees to both (1) a residual battery capacity check, and (2) a new battery pack with LEV50N cells.
2012 iMIEV ES
2014 Chevy Volt

MalcolmReynolds
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:27 pm

Re: Are the 2012 models getting too risky?

Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:23 pm

I used to play that video game! Sure do miss it! Loved the Insight. Hoping the i-Miev will be as much fun.

So I found a couple of reasonably priced cars. I texted them on the 2014 and it sounds good other than I was hoping to get him to come down on the price a little, but he wouldn't budge. On the 2012 they contacted me and I told them what I was needing to know and they said they would get back to me. A case of reading deficiency as I wrote out the questions I had regarding the car. I haven't heard anything back yet.

I have been looking for the 2012 with the SE premium package, or the 2014's with the DCQC.

I asked them:
How many bars does the fuel gauge show when fully charged?
How many miles does the range remaining show when fully charged?
Does it come with the charger?
Does it come with the remote?
What kind of condition is it? Signs of wear, tear, chips, rust etc?
Can you ship to my location?

I have sent messages from several car buying sites to a handful of dealers who have cars that seem reasonable. So far only responses from a few.

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