Maximum Miles Driven on One Charge

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Staff member
Dec 15, 2011
Hills above Silicon Valley, California
Trying to get a feel for the "i"'s realistic maximum range, I'd appreciate posts by owners of significant distances achieved with their iMiEV and a brief insight into average/maximum speeds, terrain, traffic type (city, highway, %-mix), and weather. Thank you.
I picked up my car last night and drove home the 40 miles from the dealership, 37 miles freeway the rest surface streets. I got home with 4 miles of range left and one dash on the battery guage. I had it floored the whole way with speeds between 75mph an 82mph, I also had the heater on for about half the journey but figured I wouldn't make it if I kept the heater on. Once I hit the surface streets my range did not go down any, it stayed at 4 miles until I got home. I was happy with the range considering I did not try to conserve energy apart from switching the heater off, I did notice when I switched the heater on and off that the range would instantly jump by 10 miles.
Interesting I was hoping to get 60 miles a day on the car with a mix of surface streets and 65mph on local freeways (using the heater in the mornings). It sounds like it would make it without a problem based on your observations.
WeeJohn: I cringed at your description of your flat-out maiden voyage from the dealership. I guess you've never owned an EV before, as I'd perhaps have wanted to determine how much range I had left AFTER first getting home. Looks as though you really relied on the miles-remaining gauge, and it sure worked for you!
JoeS said:
WeeJohn: I cringed at your description of your flat-out maiden voyage from the dealership.

You would imagine a logical approach would be expected in a case like this, here's my logic.

Right from the dealership I would be driving at freeway speeds for 37 miles so the range meter should not be compensating for different driving conditions (it was 8pm and against commute) so I was expecting an empty freeway with constant speeds. I knew I had to drive 3.5 miles home after the freeway and my range should go up when I hit the streets, so basically it did go according to planned. The only thing I did do for conservation that I did not mention was I put it in ECO mode for going up the Sunol Grade at 65mph and putting it in B on the way down the grade. I have not owned an EV before.

WeeJohn: thank you for the explanation. That Sunol grade is a tough one, but at least it has a truckers' right lane so one can ease up without backing up traffic. Over time, all of us will develop tricks for extending the range when we need to.
Some more real world driving range, I don't have any maximum range yet as I haven't been able to fully charge the battery. 120V and time restraints.

I got in my car with 23 miles range and 20 miles to home with a side trip to Target making a trip total of 21.5 miles.

51°F, wet roads with frequent showers and 15mph wind gusts. Heater and AC were off the entire journey.

Started off in Eco driving 7 miles on surface streets with a lot of traffic lights and stop signs, speeds were between 25mph and 40mph and not much stop and go traffic. Range went from 23 miles to 21 miles over these 7 miles.

Keeping it in Eco I hit the freeway and traveled 7 miles at 60mph to 65mph. Range went from 21 miles to 12 miles over these 7 miles.

Back on to surface streets still in Eco traveling mostly 35mph with some traffic lights and the range went from 12 miles to 3 over these 7.5 miles.

I am very happy with the range meter so far and will be relying on it, I think it will be accurate as long as you don't change your driving habits too drastically during a single trip.

I did notice that if you hold the brake pedal just enough to stop the car rolling forward it will use power with the creep feature and if you press the pedal with slightly more pressure the creep feature turns off and the power meter shows no power consumption.
WeeJohn: good data points, thank you. Sounds like the range meter is learning your driving style. Bear in mind, Lithiums are happiest being kept at the middle of their State-Of-Charge (SOC) and not at either extreme. For myself, I plan on normally maintaining my "i" at 40%-80% SOC (roughly 7-13 bars), only fully charging when I anticipate a long trip. How's the correlation between "miles-remaining" and number of bars?
JoeS said:
Lithiums are happiest being kept at the middle of their State-Of-Charge (SOC) at 40%-80% SOC (roughly 7-13 bars)

JoeS, this is the kind of information I need and probably most people on this forum, thank you. Once I get the 240V charger (any suggestions?) along with the remote I will be able to better control the SOC. The 120V is really debilitating. To be honest I don't really watch the battery gauge, maybe if it was a percentage I would take more notice.
OK, my turn to throw down the gauntlet, but I don't recommend anybody doing this as it's too rough on the vehicle.

Took a San Francisco Bay Area round trip from Los Altos Hills to Brisbane and back. Temperature 65-70degF, wind negligible.
Started with a full charge and Range Remaining (RR) of 55 miles and went 71.6 miles EDIT: that was the car's odometer, my GPS says 73.3 miles , roughly 90% of that on Interstate 280 - 380 - Hwy101, with significant climbs and descents. Arrived home at the base of my driveway with two bars and RR of 7 miles with blinking warning indicator. The fuel gauge dropped down to 1 bar during the VERY steep climb up my long driveway where the last bar started blinking along with the warning indicator - I think turtle mode kicked in, but I made it to the top, ending up with one blinking bar and RR of 7 miles. Started recharging immediately.

Initial assessment: for most people, I think the practical upper limit for lightfoot Interstate driving is 50 miles.

Going 73.3 miles took some serious hypermiling (I know how, as my lifetime average in my Gen1 Honda Insight is 77.5mpg for over 80K miles). Now that I know its limits, I won't ever do that again to our poor Mitsi. :cry: I explored its limit, just as I did with all my other EVs - my driveway is an end-of-trip battery killer which has left me stranded halfway up at least once in every EV! I'm happy that I now know what the limit is and, as usual, I'll be opportunity-charging wherever possible.

OK, I fully recharged, putting in 15.29kWh, and giving me 16 bars and Range Remaining of 94miles :!: Efficiency for this hypermiling trip thus was 15.29kWh/73.3miles = 0.209kWh/mi, or 4.79mi/kWh, not too shabby. This is a measured wall-to-wheels number. :geek:

Here's a simple unadorned graph of the data from this trip:


EDIT: added the photo showing the sign I sported during this trial, hoping to ameliorate the wrath of other drivers. Not to worry, I ALWAYS stay in the right lane and adjust speed for conditions and other drivers. Still had not received the license plates.
Sorry for repeatedly updating the above post as the evening progressed as I reduced the data which I had (voice) recorded as I was driving. Two things stand out from this experience:

1) Despite having not very good aerodynamics, the iMiEV is very responsive to conventional hypermiling tricks. It's really gratifying to see the RR (Range Remaining) digits climb.
2) Proved once again that the EPA ratings can be beaten by at least 30% if one really tries. Pity that the EPA caved in a couple of years ago and dumbed-down their ratings instead of mounting a campaign to teach people how to drive more efficiently. That said, I admit to being a leadfoot for 50 years... :roll:

Thanks for posting this!

Maybe you can send out a quick list of your hypermiling tricks for us all.

I also appreciate your recommendation of 50 miles practical range for freeway driving, I will keep that in mind.

FiddlerJohn said:
Did you raise the tire pressure?

FiddlerJohn, thanks for the comments. No way would I suggest, recommend, nor countenance my experimental 60psi tire pressure to determine its effect on improving rolling resistance and iMiEV handling. Note that the maximum sidewall rating is 51psi, with a Mitsubishi-recommended 36psi.

Jenn, hypermiling is a whole separate topic and on my list of things to do is to put together a presentation of how it applies to EVs. Good topic for discussion at a Bay Area iMiEVers (pronounced imeevers) :roll: get-together. Hmm, or maybe BayMievers?
You said you would never to that to your I-Miev again. The owner's manual says that you should do that about once a month.

Most mornings I show 98 - 100 miles after charging - I work night shift so can drive slow and take back roads and have worked out the best ones coming and going to take the most advantage of downhill driving. And I definitely hypermile.
Crombie, thanks for your note. Bringing the Fuel Gauge down to two bars and then fully recharging was recommended to be done once in the first year and then once every two years thereafter, in Mitsubishi's special letter which supplements the manual.

As a hypermiler with such terrific Range Remaining readings, you are certainly taking very nice care of your iMiEV, and it would be great if you could snap a photograph of your RR gauge after you've recharged to see if you could beat TaosEV's RR of 103 miles:

My comment regarding never wanting to take my Fuel Gauge down to zero or one bar is due to my particular situtation: my drive home is uphill for the last four miles from town and culminates in a very steep driveway. When the battery is almost depleted, the last thing I want to do is draw a lot of current from it and possibly overstress it, even though I have to believe that the iMiEV's battery management system will prevent that from happening. As a side note, every one of my other electric vehicles (Lead Acid batteries) has, at some point in its life, left me stranded halfway up my driveway - we're not going to let that happen to us or the iMiEV! My charging regimen is to normally only charge up to about 14 bars; however, just before a long trip I do in fact let our iMiEV fully top itself up. After years of driving EVs we're always aware of their battery status and by planning ahead we simply never reach personal/battery stressful situations, :roll:
May not be my maximum miles driven but definitely my best commute so far. Usually my 43km (26miles) takes about 6 bars off my 'fuel' gauge with about 70-80 km remaining on the RR. The best I've ever done in the month that I've had the car is 5 bars knocked off the 'fuel' gauge and 86 km on the RR. This morning, I almost did it in with 4 bars but lost the 4th bar just as I was getting off the highway about two blocks from my parking garage. But, I did it with 5 bars and 96 km remaining on the RR. I started with about 130 km this morning, I didn't take too much note about it. The only other thing I did was pre-cool the car after I had topped it up earlier this morning. I usually top up a little after midnight taking about 4-5 hours giving my bat pack time to cool before I drive in the morning. The other time I was able to do this on 5 bars I also pre-cooled the car, I'm thinking the pre-cool added some more juice, too. I don't use the A/C on my commute at all just the fan. Here's my the proof.

MLucas - that's good. Perhaps we should establish another category: Maximum of the total of miles driven + RR. This way we won't be trying to stress our battery attempting to achieve a record.
A couple of quick comments: you might try reducing the size of your photo for posting, and we in the iMiEV community do not call it the Guess-O-Meter - we call it RR, as I like to think that our Range Remaining algorithm is more sophisticated than the present-day Leaf's GOM. :lol: