2012 I-MiEV in Western PA.

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Aug 28, 2023
My wife and I have been car nuts most of our lives. Well, i was first but she soon caught the bug. We have owned over 100 vehicles over the years. She really loves smaller and unusual vehicles. We have had several smart's, which were wonderful trouble free cars and a ball to drive. I bought her a used BMW I3 early in the pandemic. It was a 2017 Rex with 30K miles. Got it from California for $17K shipped to us here in PA. We only drove it a few thousand miles and it was mostly sitting as she was retired and i was working from home. Carvana offered me $23K so i sold it to them. I bought her a 1995 Suzuki Alto Works turbo, which is a RHD JDM Kei car. I got it more aS A "FUN" car, but she was using it whever she needed to go anywhere. We were at a fathers day car cruise this year, she took her Alto and I took my 1996 BMW Z3 Roadster. Walking around looking at all the cars, she spotted an I-MiEV. The owner allowed her to sit inside and check it out and she fell in love with it. I promised i would find her one. It took a few months but i found this one in Ohio with 27K miles. Previous owner really took great car of it. Battery seems pretty solid, range is in the low 60's. It's very clean and everything works. She loves her "EEVE". It's completely stock. It won't see a ton of miles since we are both now retired and have 4 other vehicles, but we always seem to grab the Mitsu whenever we are running around town.


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Welcome to the club, and local to me in SW PA?

While I don’t really take mine out in the winter anymore because of salt, these cars handle the snow and slush astoundingly well, even on the stock all season tires.
Welcome to the club, and local to me in SW PA?

While I don’t really take mine out in the winter anymore because of salt, these cars handle the snow and slush astoundingly well, even on the stock all season tires.
Thank you! We are really north of Pittsburgh, close to Saxonburg. We won't be using the I much in the winter, because we have a 4wd Jeep for that purpose. But if the roads are clear we will use it. Can these cars survive outside when it gets really cold? I am a little worried about that. My 2 car garage is holding the wifes JDM Alto and my Z3 roadster currently, while our DD's sit outside...LOL. I am thinking about putting the Alto outside under a car cover with a battery tender on it and moving the I into the garage when it ts really cold.
Mine lives outside. I’ve driven it in as low as -10 F without issue (though gloves were required as the cabin heater is weak). I use 120 volt charging in the winter as it keeps the battery warmer. If you have the MiEV remote that does pre-conditioning, there’s a tech reference article on its functionality. You can use it while the car is plugged in to warm up the cabin before leaving. 10-15 minutes on HEAT followed by 10-15 minutes on Defrost does a pretty good job of heating the cabin.
Welcome to the club, and local to me in SW PA?

While I don’t really take mine out in the winter anymore because of salt, these cars handle the snow and slush astoundingly well, even on the stock all season tires.
This is the second winter with my 2012. No problems. One worry I have is range in winter with heat use, even when I preheat. This has been a colder winter than previous winters, so I always re-charge at the end of the day to Sixteen bars.
I know it is not advisable, but I don’t want to be thinking about range. What exactly can I expect in the future. Vehicle has 18K. Am I decreasing traction battery life considerably?
Charging to 100% every night is fine, but I wouldn't leave it fully charged for more than a day or two. The i-MiEV is quite conservative with the battery, with 100% charge being just over 4.1 volts per cell, where normally 4.2 volts is considered fully charged for lithium ion. Most of us regularly charge to 100% and it's fine.

One trick I use for better performance is to charge the car on 120 volts during the winter if I have the time. Since I have a 12 Amp cable (the factory cable with the 2012 models is 8 amps), I give the car a few hours of rest after arriving home before charging to allow the electronics to cool, and then it charges all night on 120 volts. This keeps the battery active and let's it start the next morning with a higher temperature. This helps keep the cells above freezing during Charging (critical for long term health), and the warmer pack Temps allow more regen and slightly improved range.

On the really cold days, I'd use a space heater to heat soak the cabin before departing. This helped immensely with cold weather range, as I could run minimal heat to maintain a comfortable temperature. The heater I used was a forced air one, NOT a glowing/infrared one, for safety.
I purchased a charge point 240 for driveway charging. You stress 120V as your go to home charging. I have read that fast charging is not the most ideal method, but I had never read that 120v vs. 240 has its advantages to battery operation and longevity. Additionally, as a newer participant in the blog, are there ever I-Miev get togethers, or rally’s in the states?
I realize what a challenge this would be just to organize, but the travel stories to the event based on 50 mile clips would be worth price of admission.
There's no real difference between 120 volt or 240 volt charging as far as the battery's health is concerned, but I have noticed that it does influence pack temperature slightly, so I take advantage of it. It's more of a power user tip to enable slightly more performance from the car and not something the everyday person has to even think about. Using either level of charging exclusively is fine.

As for i-MiEV rallies, there hasn't been any near Pittsburgh, although there aren't many cars here. I personally have seen 6 other cars in the area over the years. I personally know the current owners of a 2012 model near Monroeville. There is a blue 2014 in my town currently, and at past events, I've seen a blue/white 2012 and white 2012 near Cranberry Township/Wexford area. I've met another owner of a silver 2012 years ago in Oakland (the driver has an inactive account here). I've also seen a black 2012 parked in Dormont once back in 2016. One of the Drive Electric Week events is the most likely time one would show up, and it'd likely either be me or the Monroeville owner.

As far as a more national or super-regional meetups, I don't think there has been one yet, but I'm sure there would either be some very interesting stories of traveling or people would just trailer the cars in. One car has traveled the majority of Route 66 (chronicled on this forum), and I had always wanted to drive mine to Normal, Illinois back when it was i-MiEV central. I have no clue on the current state of CHAdeMO charging and whether several-hundred mile trips are even possible right now without a week of level 2 charging, but a larger i-MiEV meetup sounds like fun.