What's the WORST range you've gotten

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Well-known member
Jul 3, 2012
I've enjoyed the various posts about the best range owners have gotten from the I, but as a prospective owner struggling with range anxiety and contemplating this as our only car, living in Canada where most of the year it's either bloody cold or sweltering hot (meaning the heat or ac will be on most of the time) and a wife who has a 65km round trip commute on highways, what feels more relevant to me is the WORST range you folks have gotten (e.g. highway commuting with mix of stop-and-go and 70mph with the heater or max-air).

Would love to hear what your experiences have been.
65km's is only 40 miles. I suppose it might be possible if you ran the freeway speed limit using the heater set at max in the dead of winter, you might have a day where 40 miles *might be* a stretch . . . . but personally, I wouldn't worry about it

You can kinda make the range almost anything you want/need it to be, within reason. If I was worried about the 65 km round trip, I would make sure to use the heater a bit sparingly (or just use the seat heater and wear a coat) on the outbound leg (easy to do if you preheated the car in the garage while it was still connected to the EVSE) and then use whatever heat the Range Remaining meter said was appropriate on the way home. You could always make that trip if you were a bit conservative

As Joe likes to say, you can 'leadfoot' the car if you're not worried about maximum range, or you can 'featherfoot' it if you are - The same goes for climate control usage . . . . you use as much as you like so long as you know you're going to make it to your destination and you cut back a little if there's even the slightest question about meeting your needed range

As to 'Range Anxiety' - That not something you'll be worried about too much once you get used to the car. The Range Remaining meter is a really great tool to see what you're using and how far you can go doing what you're currently doing (speed and climate control usage) and then you make adjustments based on that to make sure you can get where you're going. So far with 2500 miles under our belts, we've yet to have any range anxiety - We left home a couple weeks ago for a 35 mile trip with only 40 showing on the meter, so we were conservative with speed and the A/C usage on the way out and then when we saw what we had left for the return, we blasted MAX A/C on the way home and got back with 10 miles showing. Those sorts of experiences will teach you what you can easily do, what you need to be a bit careful doing . . . . and what you probably shouldn't try to do ;)

I made a freeway trip once where I used something like 30-35 miles off the RR to go about 10 miles. I was a bit worried, because I wasn't even at my destination yet, and I still had to get back. However, for that same stretch on the way back, I think it used about 2 miles off the RR, so it turned out that I had nothing to worry about.

This was my first trip on that stretch of freeway, and I hadn't realized how it trended uphill, and I also hadn't done much freeway driving at all, so the penalty for the added speed came into play.

I'm just letting you know because if I had for some reason only been able to make the first half of that trip, I might have thought the car wouldn't work for me.

Range anxiety comes into play for unknown situations/destinations. Once you're familiar with the area and with the car, you know it can either make it or not and you don't have anxiety. It's just the first time you make a particular trip or encounter certain conditions that you have the anxiety.

Hi Oakville, Our worst range reading we got during testing was with the Heater on Medium setting fan on I think 3/4 full and traveling at about 90 Km / Hr up hill on a slight gradient from 100 Ft to 500 Ft Above Sea Level over 49.7 Km.

Trip time was about 45 minutes so the heater was only on for 45 minutes and based on the readout on the power meter on the dash, it was constantly going on for a few seconds an then off for 10 sec. I guess this would mean it might be on for an unknown amount of amps for about 1 / 3 rd of the trip time so 15 min on max would be the equivalent, maybe ?.

We used 10 Bars out of a full 16 bars, and had to refuel at a friend's house for about two hours on 240 Volts at about 9 amps for the trip back, which gave us about 4 bars back for the tank for an in tank level of 10 bars, and we came home on no heater for most of the trip, and arrived with two bars left.

We calculate the expected range with two people, heater on medium, outside temp about 16 C, at 90 Km / Hr would have been 50 Km / 10 bars = 5 km per bar, so from full to flat it would be 16 bars x 5 km = 90 km range.

The trip was up hill on the way there and downhill a bit on the way back and we usually see better fuel economy on the petrol car on the way back compared to the way there.

In testing later without heater or aircon, at 100 Km/Hr, we calculated the difference between up hill and down hill is about 2 bar usage so not bad. In the car it is about 2 litres per 100 Km for the up hill or about one litre more used for the trip uphill in the V8. We used 9 bars there and 7 bars back, including the Turtle mode, for a total of 100 Km. One person only.

I would expect that at 100 Km / Hr, with Heater on Max, Range would be about worked out by a combination of trip time as the heater is drawing a steady load at max, and a varible power amount from the car motor.

Assuming constant speed at 100 Km / Hr with one person on board for 100 Km no heater or aircon uses 100 km range/ 16 bars = 10 km per 1.6 bars or 160 watts / hr per 1 km.

The Heater uses approx 5.5 Kw per Hr so if we work out the time taken per km at 100 km per hour for the trip we would get a rough idea of the heater on time and usage of power for the trip.

5, 500 watts / 60 minutes = about 92 watt hours per minute.

So if we do it in 10 minute stages it wuld be approx:

Car would travel in ten minutes approx 17 km. using approx 160 watts x 17 km = 2,720 watts.
Heater would use in Ten minutes approx 920 watts.

For a 65 Km trip, at 100 Km / Hr this would take approx 10, 400 watts for the motor and about 39 minutes of travel so the heater would be on max for about say 40 minutes. One could also turn on the heat 5 minutes before leaving and off 5 minutes before the end of the trip for the same power usage I think.

The heater usage at 40 minutes is 92 x 40 = 3, 680 watts.

The total trip use for 65 Km is 10, 400 + 3, 680 = 14, 080 watts or about 14 bars.

You would have about 2 bars spare. But at 70 Miles per hour, which is about another 17 Km / Hr faster I think, The trip time would be a bit shorter but motor power usage more, but also heater usage slightly less.

I think it should work.

Bear in mind the time stuck in traffic or gong slower, would increase heater on time and reduce motor power use.

I would say that if you preheated the car to hot while plugged in or via a plug in fan heater before on the trip to work, and ran the heater on Medium on the way to work, you would have more than enough to have the heater on max on the way home, but if possible to give some reserve, I would turn the heater off or to low for the last five minutes of the trip, saving 92 x 5 = about 500 watts or half a bar.

That would give another 2 km or so ! Off for the last ten minutes and it would give another one bar or 5 km which might help.

If someone could make up an app or sliding rule for working out likely range with aircon and or heater, at various speeds and loads, it would be easy to then plan a trip and know how much spare we would have.

I think a spare two bars in reserve is best.

inputs I use are:

heater on medium, 90 Km hour two people on board = approx 5 km per bar.
Motor power use one person on board, no heater or aircon at 100 Km / Hr = 160 watts per Km travelled.
Heater on max while not moving or at slow speeds, heater power only = 92 watt / hrs per minute.
Air con Is I think 4.4 Kw / Hr so about 74 watts / Hr per min.

Motor use only, no air con or heater, at 100 Km / Hr = 160 watt / Hrs per Km

So if you know the speed, time taken for the trip, load carried and heater or aircon setting, one can estimate the likely usage and say yep i can do this with reserve or maybe do it or might be a bit tight so no aircon for the last few miles in case.

Experience is the best thing though, choose a non stressful time to do the test, like a weekend not when you are running late for work, Grin, and have a back up plan for recharging or a portable 240 volt generator, and go try the trip out with first of all, no aircon or heater, to get an idea of real usage at the speed one expects to travel at and in traffic conditions similar to expected.

On a hot day take a portable battery powered fan or on a cold day dress up warmly like you would walking outside. Hot water bottle or 12 volt electric blanket with the heat seat on !

If the testing shows only 9 bars used on no air con or no heater trip, should be fine with the heater on Max, a few bars over, 9, might be a bit tight.

Try the no aircon and no heater first for confidence, then try the heater only, on the way home, if it looks iffy on the range meter you can always turn the heater off. If you test the heater on max on a moderate day, you can always leave it on max and wind down the windows to compensate.

Note the wind buffet if the windows not synced right, I had to experiment to get the wind buffet down to an acceptable level, but find this in our other cars too.
What a timely video! a website called shopautoweek.com just posted a video of their attempt to run the MiEV into the ground with the a/c on full blast/Max, with a phone charger plugged in and with an extra 100 pounds of weight in the trunk. Oh yeah, some freeway driving as well, and all done in D mode. The sucker went 57 miles before it went completely dead - i.e., battery light on and car not moving. Apparently it went an additional 5 plus miles even after it showed zero range remaining. I was torn between posting this here or in "Miev and use of a/c" but hopeully BillThompsonMIEV will see this here.

thanks everyone - this is SUPER helpful. I love that there is a forum like this to connect with iMiev owners (and very knowledgeable ones at that!), even if you sometimes lose me in the technical bits...

you've restored my confidence that the i is a viable option for us.

now if I could only get the Eaton folks to call back to schedule a visit... :)

tonymil said:
What a timely video! a website called shopautoweek.com just posted a video of their attempt to run the MiEV into the ground . . . .

Thanks! Great link
I always wondered what would happen as you neared zero Range Remaining . . . . and now I know, without having to put my car through that

It's great having the peace of mind to know that if you were approaching zero miles and getting near your destination, you'll still make it even if you've misjudged things by a mile or two - Of course in my case, I would have shut the A/C down and opened the windows several miles back ;)

I'll stick the link to the video in the Tech Articles forum and maybe more folks will see it there

Great Video
Pushing the I to the limits
Using the most abusive driving methods consuming the most power.

Now if they can only make a video with the same test in winter with temps down to -25C (-13F) and the heater on full.
I drive back and forth to work every day with 95% of that being freeway and a climb up the escarpment for a total of 86 kilometers and on Thursdays I do an extra 20km usually bringing the meter down to two bars. Last night I pulled in to the driveway with only one bar and 6km of range remaining that is with wipers on and strong winds. I've gone over 100km in a day, I haven't got the proof in a photograph or a GPS reading but I'll try for next Thursday and see what my readings are.

Remember, every morning you are going to drive off with a full tank unlike an ICE car. I had more range anxiety with my ICE than I do with this car. Sometimes, I'd leave Buffalo and forget to fill up or misjudged my mileage so that the next morning I was really questioning how far my ICE would go before I had to start finding a gas station. There aren't many between my house and Ft. Erie, Ontario and I really hated filling up in Ontario where the gas is going at 1.25-1.35 a litre thats close to $5.00 a gallon! Yeah, I definitely had a lot of range anxiety in my ICE. Not so much with my Electric Car.

You live in Oakville which is much more populous than the Niagara region, you'll have better luck finding public charge stations than I do down here.
I went 84km today on my new Zero S-ZF9 all-electric high performance motorcycle with my wife on the back, and even riding 2-up we got home after nearly 5 hours on the road (including several stops) (which we agreed was as long as we'd normally want to an outing to be) with 5 out of 11 bars still showing on the battery monitor. Which shows what careful riding (avoiding super-highways, gaging traffic conditions to avoid hard braking) in Eco mode (softened acceleration and boosted regen coasting/braking) can accomplish. Astounding, given that I've burned through a full battery charge in as little as 80km of 'spirited' riding on a Sunday morning ride with my riding buddies (riding the bike to it's limits in Sport mode on a mix of highway at 140kph and twisty mountain roads), and the bike is rated for a max range (ideal conditions) of 183km.

In other words, my experience with this electric motorcycle is giving me a feel for how riding style and road conditions affect range, and thus what to expect with the "i" (though on a motorcycle I don't have the added issues of heater or air conditioning to affect range).
3 yr old miev with 6,000 miles on clock
Had he car a few weeks now and only achieving 55 miles on a full 240v charge
I haven't found anyone with a lower range, I am driving in E mode and using regen breaking as much as possible
I assumed cell failure but mitsubishi says car is ok
Have since discovered that my car is one of the test vehicles used in the 'charged' one year test on 20 imievs
Local dealer selling it, affordable so had to have one
UK car
59 plate which I thought meant 2009 but not necessarily so
Built in 2010 it seems
Cool, the Charged testing ones, I'd love to get the one They lent Robert Lewennin !. It would be worth buying and shipping all the way to NZ I think..He had a series called Gearless, plus one called Fully Charged on youtube, loved it.

He later got a Leaf on loan, plus a solar panel set for his house, which gave him enough power for the car and some for the house.

I wonder if he reads this forum ?.
After burning my way up the driveway last night, this morning's RR was 56 miles. 11 miles later with no heat and normal driving, I arrived at work with 14 bars (normal) and 39 miles RR (usually in the high 50's, low 60's). I believe this is a new record for Bear (once had 40 miles RR at full charge, but that was with MAX heat. This morning was no heat and only considering motive power).
I was getting only 32 miles RR with a full charge at home. I took it to the dealer and gave them copies of news articles about battery problems at the battery manufacturer and the $30 million dollar settlement to make it right in Japan.
They tested for weeks, over and over, techs from Japan, etc. and FINALLY agreed to replace my battery when they also got only 32 miles RR at their shop!
My new battery seems stronger, does not go down as quickly while driving my normal route, but the RR has only increased to 45 miles MAX in the two weeks since I have had it back. This vehicle had 85-90 mile RR consistently when new. Is my computer system in the car confused and does not recognize the new battery?
I almost gave up on my I-Miev, and in my weakness ordered a new Chevy Bolt which I hope to pick up in Portland before the end of the year for another tax credit, and a EV with a 238 mile range!!! I have an early deposit in on a Tesla 3, but felt I could not wait that long to get back into a dependable EV. I will enjoy a coastal road trip with the new Bolt before shipping it to my home in Hawaii... Aloha!
Do you have an OBDLink dongle? You could purchase the EVBatMon app, which will query the car on amphour capacity. Initially, my range didn't change much from the original battery before failure, but since then I have gained about 3 Ah of capacity. The computer will slowly update as it learns the new battery.

Do a few 2 bars or less to full recharges and see if it improves.

After returning home last night, I still had 39 miles RR, even with heat usage (reading taken after turning HVAC off). RR didn't spike up, but instead stayed steady most of the trip (it did increase by 1-2 RR for each downhill regen, though). It was 73 RR this morning (normal).