Having driven Corbin Sparrows for years, we're very used to being accosted by curious bystanders. The iMiEV engenders similar curiosity, with women (as TaosEV noted) usually thinking the car is soooo cute. We've had people ask us "Can I touch it?"
I keep catching myself forgetting to start the conversation by reminding people that this is a non-polluting zero emissions vehicle which uses no imported oil and then have a few quotable statistics to support even the worst-case coal-generated electricity scenario (helps that I have solar at home).
The pecking order of questions is usually first validating that the iMiEV is 100% electric, then concern over range (and ignorance that opportunity charging is possible - for some reason, many people have the misconception that you have to fully discharge the batteries before you can charge them again - a camcorder NiCd legacy? - helps to use the cellphone analogy), and I'm perplexed and bemused by the large number of people professing to be concerned over 'safety' - both from a vehicle size/crashworthiness standpoint as well as battery 'safety', so it helps to talk about six airbags, ABS and ASC, and good maneuverability/handling and small size to escape dangerous situations...
I have to throw in the top speed (~81mph) as many people wonder if it can go on the freeway…
Telling people that range is a 50-100 miles, depending on how you drive, results in looks of disbelief and perhaps a certain loss of credibility on my part. Not only that, but the concept of intermediate charging yielding a plausible daily mileage of over 150 miles somehow doesn't register. I like to counter by asking the person how far they can go on a tank of gas (invariably they don't know), then I try to educate people and tell them that a more useful metric is how far you can go on an hour's worth of charge (I use 10-15 miles/L2chargeHr).
That 150+mile day scenario I paint involves getting up early in the morning (car's fully charged) to take someone to the airport - 40 miles round trip, plug the car in. Take kids to school and come home, 10 miles, plug the car in. A few hours later, do a doctor's visit and some errands - another 20 miles, plug the car in. In the afternoon, pick up kids from school and do some errands, 10 miles, and plug the car in. In the early evening go visit some friends 40 miles one way and plug into their dryer outlet while spending the evening having dinner - three hours later the car is more than ready for the 40 mile trip home. That's a plausible 160-mile day. Recharge overnight and the 'tank' is full in the morning.
Now that I think about it, perhaps a better answer to the range
question is 150-200 miles/day
The question that is very rarely asked is the car's efficiency in terms of miles/kWh or kWh/mile or kWh/100miles or even MPGe - people just aren't used to thinking in those terms when it comes to electric cars. I do throw in a 2-3 cents/mile electricity cost vs. 20¢/mi gasoline cost.
We keep our iMiEV in station-wagon mode with the back seats down, so we like to show off the cavernous flat-floor interior. Touting its silence, good visibility, ease of getting in/out, seating position, turning radius, etc. is more readily understood than talking about its great regeneration. Dang, I start talking like a car salesman and have to point out that I'm just a happy private owner whose wife very reluctantly lets me drive it...
To the owner of the Dodge Ram 2500 pickup I would say that it's great for a construction job or towing a trailer but why on earth would someone want to take it to a supermarket?