Mook
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2021 4:20 pm

Questions before buying

Sun Aug 08, 2021 4:30 pm

Hi! I just found this forum while looking for information on the iMiev. I've had the same old VW beetle since I started driving but it is finally reaching the end of its life 7 years later and im really interested in getting an electric car especially an iMiev.

I found a 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV ES being sold in my area that has 14,980 miles on it and they are asking 6,000. My main concerns after researching a lot on them are:

1. Where do I take them if I have an issue as it seems no Mitsubishi dealership supports them anymore (unless I'm mistaken)
2. Is this a fair asking price? It seems pretty good from the research ive done mainly due to the low miles.
3. Would the battery need to be changed since its from 2012 or should it still be good since it has such low miles.
4. Lastly since I'm completely new to electric in general are any charging stations good to use or does it have to be specific. There are a decent amount around the city I am in so I was planning on using those instead of the slower house charging option.

Thanks so much!!!

wmcbrine
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:26 am
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact: Website

Re: Questions before buying

Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:00 pm

Mook wrote:1. Where do I take them if I have an issue as it seems no Mitsubishi dealership supports them anymore (unless I'm mistaken)

I dunno... not selling != not supporting. They have to support old discontinued models for a long time, but I'm not sure exactly how long.

It used to be that Mitsubishi had a list of dealers on their site with little green "i" beans to indicate those that were certified on the i-MiEV. I doubt they still have that, though.

2. Is this a fair asking price?

Probably.

3. Would the battery need to be changed since its from 2012

Unlikely, but there may be some degradation. (The 12V battery, maybe.)

4. Lastly since I'm completely new to electric in general are any charging stations good to use or does it have to be specific.

Any Level 1 or Level 2 J1772, and any CHAdeMO DCFC. Not CCS or Tesla.

There are a decent amount around the city I am in so I was planning on using those instead of the slower house charging option.

That would be a mistake. Charging time at home is essentially zero, because you do it while your car is parked there anyway. (The only exception is if you really need fast turnaround... which you probably don't, or not nearly as much as you think. A less-than-overnight charge on L2 is enough to fully recharge the car.) It's also cheaper to charge at home (with some complicating factors that I shouldn't go into right now).

JoeS
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

Re: Questions before buying

Sun Aug 08, 2021 9:30 pm

Mook, welcome to the forum. Whereabouts are you located?

Good questions.

Great that you've researched the car and are comfortable with its original range and perhaps a 20% decrease simply due to aging. We have two i-MiEVs in the family and they admirably meet our daily driving needs which rarely exceed 50 miles in a day but occasionally go well over 100.

wmcbrine nicely answered your questions, but let me throw in a few comments as well, some of which duplicate his -

First of all, since you posted to the proper subforum I'm sure you've read some earlier posts on this subject. Here's another post that identifies the differences between the 2012 SE and ES:

http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3228#p29071

Of significance for your consideration is whether the ES i-MiEV you are looking at has the CHAdeMO dcfc port - the only way you can tell is whether there is a lever on the left side under the driver's seat. You can also find out by entering the car's VIN into the Mitsubishi database (just replace the VIN in the URL with the car you're looking at to see how it was originally equipped:
https://www.mitsubishicars.com/rs/file/monroney?vin=JA3215H16CU018997

CHAdeMO I found to be transformational for the i-MiEV, allowing much longer hassle-free daily trips than would otherwise be possible without this dcfc feature.

Regarding your particular car - low mileage is great as far as wear and tear on the drive components, but we don't know about the battery. For example, if it were kept fully charged and left out in the hot sun for months on end, it may well have degraded. One way to find out is to get an OBDLink LX or MX bluetooth adapter for the OBDII port and a free Android app called CaniOn and run your own test to see the Ampere-Hour reading of the battery. I would expect better than 35Ah, with 45Ah being the approximate max of a brand-new battery. Let us know whereabouts you are located as one of our members might be able to help you out.

Here's a rough check of battery capacity that is awfully dependent on how the car had been driven in its preceding 15 miles: the right gauge on the instrument panel has a number of different screens, selectable by the pushbutton under the display. Select the one with a left arrow at the bottom - that is Range Remaining (RR). Now, a rule of thumb that I use is that when the 'fuel gauge' (on the left side of the instrument panel) is at the halfway point (i.e., eight bars showing) then I would expect the RR reading to be somewhere around 32 miles. This presumes the car hasn't been leadfooted by the preceding driver(s).

To put my two cents' worth in answering your questions -

1. Mitsubishi dealer - what's that? The only time I went to a dealer was for either a recall or warranty repair way back when. Haven't been to one in years. Don't worry about it for now.

2. $6K would be an ok price IF the car has CHAdeMO. I'd still be leery until I found out what the real battery capacity is for a car this age. Price is also a function of location. Whereabouts are you?

3. Forget about the battery replacement due to degradation as Mitsu won't cover it and it will cost you much more than the car itself; however, if there is a serious battery defect such as a bad cell then Mitsubishi will still replace it for free under the 10-year warranty. As wmcbrine mentioned, do expect to replace the 12v battery if it's old as a weak 12v battery results in many mysterious issues with the car.

4. Forget about public charging stations as you may never use them unless you live in a multi-unit dwelling and don't have a cooperative landlord or HOA. Simply plan on overnight charging at home using a plain old 120vac outlet. Having a 'full tank' every morning and never going to a gas station is priceless! That said, the i-MiEV is equipped with the national-standard J1772 connector which means it can be charged at most all local charging stations.

Good luck and let us know how thing go for you.
EVs: Two '12 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 TeslaMS85, three 156v CorbinSparrowsLi(NMC), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
RIP(2021) ICE: Orig.Owner '67 Saab96V4, '88 IsuzuTrooper; '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

Mook
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2021 4:20 pm

Re: Questions before buying

Sun Aug 08, 2021 10:02 pm

Thanks so much for the replies wmcbrine and JoeS! I am located around Saint Louis Missouri though id be purchasing it around in Illinois. Ill definitely ask the seller about the CHAdeMO and the battery in general before I proceed thanks to the advice.

Also the main reason I was leaning more towards public charging is because the house I am at would be difficult to get a charging cord to my car. I live in the city and would need a long extension cord to make it and I'm unsure how practical it would be though if it is that much better it should be doable. I am also slightly worried about someone taking or messing with the cord since i live right off a fairly busy road though this is probably mostly anxiety.

Lastly im glad to hear that going to dealerships and repairs seem to be a rarer thing. Very different from my 2002 VW bug that seems to be in a shop constantly lmao

JoeS
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

Re: Questions before buying

Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:05 am

Mook, thank you for explaining your situation. Yes, living in cities without a garage or in multi-unit dwellings with no power access is, IMO, the single greatest deterrent to electric vehicle ownership in this country.

Problems with extension cords are not only that they present a tripping hazard (I carry a couple of dollar-store orange cones in each car and Harbor Freight has a nice collapsible one) and, as you mentioned, the possibility of theft. One trick I've used is to bring the power cord into the car, attach it to the EVSE (charging unit) inside the car, and then bring the J1772 cord back out to plug into the car (right rear). I usually do this through the back window (we go for many months without rain in California) but I suspect we can squish the wires going in/out the tailgate as well. If the car has a stock Mitsubishi (Panasonic) EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) - it's not called a 'charger' because the charger is in the car - then it only draws 8A so you should be fine with a #14AWG (or heavier) extension cord.

Since you are new to EVs, latch onto an app called PlugShare.com, as that will become your bible. Play with it (set the filter for J1772 for starters) and it will show you all the charging stations around you and, significantly, provide you with a rating as to their dependability based on crowdsourced inputs from users. If you join PlugShare (it's free), you can configure it for your car and you will be able to leave assessments and comments whenever you use a charging station. You can also configure it to show you only free charging sites! I use it on my computer to pre-plan longer trips with my i-MiEV.

Not needing to tell you about rust in your part of the country - be sure to check that out as well.

Have fun and let us know how it goes.
EVs: Two '12 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 TeslaMS85, three 156v CorbinSparrowsLi(NMC), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
RIP(2021) ICE: Orig.Owner '67 Saab96V4, '88 IsuzuTrooper; '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

iwatson
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:12 am
Location: Bartlett (Memphis), Tennessee

Re: Questions before buying

Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:05 am

There are numerous CHAdeMo Chargers in the St. Louis area. The key here is you must determine if the car your looking at has the CHAdeMo port. in 2012 it was an option on ES models, It was not available on SE models, except on the SE premium package it was standard. On all other MY's 2014, 2016, 2017 it was standard.

So you're considering a 2012 ES. As JoeS already said look for the handle under the driver's seat to open the CHAdeMo port. If you plan to charge other than at home, I would highly recommend that you get an I-miev that has the CHAdeMo port as you'll be able to recharge up to 80% in about 25 minutes. If you use a standard J1772 240V your car will take about 6 hours for a charge to 100%. That's great if there's a charger somewhere you go where you will spend 4-6 hours. But that doesn't fit most people's lifestyle. This is why JoeS recommended home charging. Even if it's only 120 VAC Most people spend quite a bit of their time at home. An EV works great for people who can charge at home, not so great for those who can't.

As to price, I live just to your south in Memphis, TN. I know used car prices are up but I think for our part of the country that's a bit high. I have sold three i-miev's and they are not an easy sell in this part of the country. Any seller with this vehicle will know that buyer's for this vehicle are a rare breed. It's just not for everyone.

I sold an SE in 2016 for $5000, an ES in 2018 for $4750 and an SE premium in 2021 for $5000. Of course I'm not a dealer but I think you might offer $5000 and take it home. If not you could negotiate off of asking price, unless it's at a dealer that doesn't negotiate. If it doesn't have CHAdeMo though my advice would be to pass on this car.
2012 Raspberry imiev SE Premium
2017 Cajun Red Chevrolet Bolt EV
2011 Viridian Joule Chevrolet Volt
2008 Cadillac SRX
2002 Forest River Sunseeker 3100
2001 Buick LeSabre
1997 Chrysler Town & Country

Don
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Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Questions before buying

Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:13 am

I'll add my 2 cents worth (maybe even 50 cents worth) here too. We have three iMiEV's and in almost 10 years, there's never been any need to visit a dealership except for factory recalls, which have all been handled at no cost. It's not at all unusual to drive an iMiEV for several years and thousands of miles and need nothing more than a new set of tires and wiper blades

Unless you have free charging at your place of work, charging at pay for service sites will very likely be more expensive than buying gasoline for a regular car - At home charging is where it's at if at all possible. As a comparison, driving an ICE which gets 30 mpg and paying $3 per gallon gives you a 'fuel' cost of ten cents per gallon. Driving an iMiEV and recharging at home with a home electricity rate of 11 or 12 cents per Kwh, your fuel costs would be around 2.5 cents per mile. Paying to recharge could cost several times that

Many iMiEV's listed for sale are erroneously labeled as 'ES' models when they're actually not - All True ES models came with steel wheels and plastic hubcaps. If the car you're looking at is actually an ES model, it will NOT have alloy wheels - All other models, both the SE and the SE Premium came with alloy wheels. As for ChaDeMo, whether or not you need it really depends on how you will use the car, as DC fast charging (ChaDeMo) is the most expensive way to recharge of all, so you would only use it if you really needed it - Usually on longer trips than the car could make it back home without recharging. If most all of your miles can be done in your local area, regular overnight recharging (hopefully at home) might be all you would ever need. Two of our 3 cars have ChaDeMo and in 10 years we've never, ever used it - Not even a single time

If you're not parking on the street, with a sidewalk involved, there may be a way to run power to an outlet near where you park the car, so you could use home power to recharge - If not, it might be time to rethink buying any electric car, because driving an EV using only pay for service charging might not be very practical. If you were looking at an EV with 200 miles of range, maybe you could drive for a week on those miles and only need to recharge infrequently. In many cases, paying to recharge a car with 200 miles of range would be less expensive than paying to recharge one with only 60 miles of range because charging stations have all sorts of 'plans' for the rates they charge, so slower charging cars with less range actually pay more per Kwh than faster charging cars with more range. Paying every day to recharge an iMiEV might prove both expensive and impractical

Bloomington/Normal Illinois is a virtual 'hotbed' for iMiEV's - There are more of them in that area than anywhere, including California, which is really something. Finding a nice one there should be pretty easy. If it were me, knowing what I know now, I would investigate the history of any low mileage car you find, because many of the low mileage examples turn out to be cars which did not sell when they were new and a year or 18 months later they ended up on a super lease arrangement for $99 a month. That was a super deal, but almost all of those cars sat around on dealer lots for a year or more fully charged hoping someone would come by to take a test drive. The worst thing you can to to a lithium high voltage traction battery is to let it sit fully charged for extended periods of time - That really harms the battery, and can cause it to lose 15 or 20% or maybe even more of the battery capacity. We own 2 of those former lease cars and neither of them can come close to going as far on a charge as the car we bought brand new, even though it has many more miles than either of the used ones. If the CarFax shows the one you're looking at was a leased car, that should be a bit of a red flag, IMO

Good luck with your purchase - Really hope an iMiEV turns out to be a practical car for you! Both my wife and I love them better than any other cars we've ever owned and we drive them every day and hope to still be doing so for another ten years or more

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, Raspberry Metallic
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Glacier White Metallic
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon
2006 Itasca Navion Sprinter Motor Home

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