By: Ross Redman

I live in West Broadway. Three months ago I bought an electric car, a Mitsubishi i-MiEV and I LOVE it. NO GAS ever! It’s a great car, quick and nimble, perfect for the city and my lifestyle. This is the first i-MiEV in Canada. They have been making it for 3 years in Japan. You might have seen my car on TV or in the news papers or heard me on the radio. In answer to the most common questions:

Does it work in cold weather?
It works excellent in the cold. It handles great in ice and snow thanks to 6 safety systems. -30C doesn’t change its performance; it has its zippy disposition the moment you turn it on. The heater blows warm air right away, there is no waiting for an engine to warm up.

What is the range?
The rated range is 155 km. I am an average Canadian, driving 30 km per day so this works for me. I have found that typically I get about 110 km range when I go with the flow of traffic. When I race around St. Andrews airport in the bitter cold it can go down to 80 km. I did an interview out there, tearing around a runway. That was a lot of fun. See CBC TV archive.

How long does it take to charge the battery?
One answer is 5 minutes for the highest current Level 3 to 20 hours for the lowest current Level 1. I use the slowest mostly because it came with the car. It uses the same plug and takes as much power as a block heater so I can plug in anywhere. Another answer is the average of the charging times over the life of my car which is 4.7 hours. At the end of a typical day, parking at 9:00 pm, my car is full again at 2:00 am the next morning. I could go a couple days without charging but for me it is easier to to plug in every night and it’s full every morning.

How long do the batteries last?
The battery warranty is 8 years, 160,000 km. An advantage of charging slowly is extending the battery life. At the rate I charge, the battery should last 85 years, at which point it will not be a concern for me. LOL

Do you have any concerns?
The one thing that does concern me is the quiet. It produces no noise and it is really easy to go faster than I think I am. I am worried it will cost me a speeding ticket.

Other thoughts?
The renewable, clean power in Winnipeg is a perfect fuel for my car. And cheap too; the first month cost $9.15 for 783 km. And CLEAN, it made no CO2 in Winnipeg and 552 grams at the generating station, that’s the same as a good gas car creates in one kilometre.

This car is fun to drive. It holds four people. Though my wife and I are both 6’ tall, it is quite comfortable. It has the latest toys – 360 watt stereo, 8 speakers, navigation system, DVD, blue-tooth, etc. And FUN to drive, I love my car. If you see me out and about in the neighbourhood – I would love to talk to you about it and maybe even give you a ride!