Increasing the i-MiEV population in Tucson, Arizona

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Benjamin Nead

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2011
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Hi all . . .

I purposely waited to post this message until the car was actually sitting in my Tucson driveway, but the month-plus-long odyssey of finding a used i-MiEV online in Anaheim, California, and having it flat-bedded home has been completed. I spent most of yesterday driving it around town. If I actually drank Champagne it would be time to pop the cork.

I’m now the happy owners of a 2012 white ES with the optional CHAdeMO port. I’ve known for quite some time that I’ve wanted one of these cars for myself, as I had borrowed a friend’s i-MiEV for a couple of weeks, two years ago, and unexpectedly bonded with it then. Finances finally came together this fall and that conveniently coincided with a surplus of clean used examples coming off 3 year leases and filling up the dealer lots in late 2015.

There’s just under 18K miles on the odometer and the base price was just shy of $7K for this one . . . an unbelievable bargain, in my opinion. I haven’t made a point-by-point tally yet but my expenses in traveling out there for a day to give it a test drive, having it shipped home and getting it registered/insured in Arizona adds about another $1K all told.

According to the CarFax report, this car was built August 6, 2012 and was initially leased out of the Normal, Illinois, area for a couple years before being sold via auction to Anaheim Mitsubishi in April of this year. Either they or the Normal dealership put on a new set of tires and gave it a 4 corner wheel alignment. That seems to be the only real service to have been done to it. The included 120V EVSE appears to be a brand new one (in bubble wrap and without a scratch on it) and the little expensive-to-replace remote thingy is also present, apparently in functioning order.

My experience with Anaheim Mitsubishi was mostly a very positive one and the salesperson I dealt with throughout the purchasing process, in particular, a young fellow named Juan, was a pleasure to work with. He made no claims to be an EV expert, but it was obvious that he knows far more about these cars than many of the salespeople I’ve heard about who couldn’t - or wouldn’t - sell one. He correctly qualified me in our first email exchange, quick to advise me that an i-MiEV is a limited range vehicle and wondering if I didn’t already know this. After I let him know I was up to speed on that aspect and knew what electric cars were all about in general, we immediately got down to business. Perhaps because of his age and the fact that he’s already working as an auto retailer in the largest California market area, he’s aware that EVs are here to stay and something he going to sell more of as the years roll by.

Thanks to the My i-MiEV Forum, I’ve already accumulated a lot of useful information on the car and I’m sure I’ll be wanting more, possibly also contributing some to the knowledge base here myself one day as I get more hands-on experience by now finally owning one. Knowing all summer that I would have a used i-MiEV by the end of the calendar year, I purchased the official shop manual on CD-ROM a few months back, as well as a Nexus 7 Android tablet loaded with the caniOn app and an OBDLink LX CANbus reader.

Since the nearest Mitsubishi dealership is about 100 miles away in the Phoenix area, i-MiEVs are a rare sight down here in Tucson. The rough estimate I come up with is that mine makes about 6 in the entire metro area all told. I know I’m on the airbag recall list and a service visit to Mark Mitsubishi in Scottsdale is imminent . . . and, yes, I’m going to make the drive up there on my own when that day comes (ie: not flat-bedded,) as both L-2 and L-3 infrastructure is in place along the Tucson/Phoenix I-10 corridor.

More soon . . .
Congratulations. It sounded like you got an excellent deal, even though it took diligence.

Being a Normal, Illinois car, that may be the original EVSE. There are plenty of charging stations there (part of the whole EVTown, USA plan), so there was probably no need to use the level 1 cord.

I'm glad you found plenty of useful information here, and that we were a part of you deciding to get an i-MiEV. CaniOn is definitely a useful tool and I'm very thankful to the developers for making it and sharing it with the world of Jellybean drivers.

Here's to many miles of many smiles.
Congratulations on your new to you Miev

Word of warning

Driving the i Miev can be addictive & you might rack up the miles faster then you thought

& one more !

All that grinning while you drive might leave you with a few wrinkles.
Enjoy and drive safe!
Benjamin, congratulations for a great choice and price and delighted to see that your perseverance paid off. Feel free to pelt us with questions, and looking forward to your postings.

I'm looking for any non-black low-priced i-MiEV with CHAdeMO for my neighbor, but am finding that most dealers rarely identify it (at least with the SE Premium we can see the display), as the photo of the left front seat is rarely low enough to see the lever. The listed price of used i-MiEVs seems to be about $2500 higher now than a few months ago. :(
Congrats !
When I was out visiting my Father I did not see any i-Miev's around :(

I have put 4350 miles on my used 2012 that I got last May with 8100 miles on it.

You will LOVE it !!

Add pics
Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome . . .

Interesting to note, Phximiev, that charging infrastructure along the Tucson/Phoenix I-10 corridor is a well-discussed topic among Tucson Electric Vehicle Association members. We all know Bruce Brimacombe of GoE3 and, while appreciating his efforts to get multi-format L-3s installed at Picacho Peak and Casa Grande, we’re also frustrated at the spotty reliability of those machines. In fact, I’m dismayed at the sorry state of public EVSE reliability in general (don’t get me started with Blink.)

Before I knew my i-MiEV actually had a CHAdeMO port (more on that in a moment,) I had checked on slower speed charging options for the entire trip. Leaving from my house in mid town Tucson with a full charge, I can stop at one of several public L-2s in the northern Marana area, about 25 miles out, for a top off charge. Then, I’d travel along the 1-10 access road at around 55mph and pass through Picacho Peak (the L-2 there at the Bowlins Plaza is currently down) and then head up Route 87 from Eloy to Coolidge, where PlugShare indicates that an individual resident there has a NEMA 14-50 plug available (note to self: buy a portable 240V EVSE as soon as possible and get familiar with RV park locations.) From there, it’s about 50 miles to the Scottsdale dealership, with plenty of L-2s on the south side of the metro Phoenix area well before I get there, if emergency stops are required. My son is an ASU student, so I’ve got a place to stay in Tempe if I need to spend a night. But, yes, that cup of coffee sounds nice.

And how to determine, JoeS, if an i-MiEV you see online has a CHAdeMO or not? I found out right here on the My i-MiEV Forum, with the observations from kiev in using Mitsubishi’s VIN database (6th post down on this thread) . . .

There was no indication on the or CarGurus online listings whether my prospective purchase was CHAdeMO-equipped or not. But pasting my VIN into that Mitsubishi online form indicated that it was. Upon arriving at the dealership and seeing the car in person for the first time, I immediately sat in the driver’s seat, popped the lever with my left hand and jumped out to inspect the port. The salesman seemed a bit surprised that this was the first thing I checked. Beyond the occasional quick charge, though, my main interest in having a CHAdeMO-equipped i-MiEV is - thanks to the additional air circulation fan inside the traction battery enclosure on ones so equipped - that I can port some of the cabin air conditioning into there on some of those famously hot Arizona summer days.

And, yeah, I’m also noting the prices heading up again on the used ones. I’m wondering if the late summer wasn’t the magic period, witnessing the largest glut of available vehicles coming off lease and that there are now fewer post-lease 2012s in the pipeline in general? Maybe we just have to wait until the end-of-the-year car buying season is over and cash in on the post-holiday sales? I dunno. That said, I did notice a listing for a white Florida-based 2012 yesterday (31K miles on the odometer, though) for under $6K.

Later . . .