That was fine for most day-to-day driving, but long-distance trips required serious planning …. and patience as there was no DC charging network to speak of in those early days.
Jumping forward to now, the youngest iMiEV delivered to Australia is 8 years old. Whilst the iMiEV battery has not declined in the same way early Nissan Leaf ones have, an iMiEV’s range is now at best around 80km. (Even less in winter as the iMiEV heating system is quite inefficient compared to most current-day EVs).
So what is to be done as these iMiEVs and MiEV vans reach the end of their battery life? Until now, there has been the option of a new 16kWh battery from Mitsubishi. (Costing around $15,000). Given that’s more than the second-hand worth of an iMiEV and returning a range well less than modern EVs – it was not a particularly exciting option.
Plus, even if you wanted to go down that path, they have been difficult to arrange as (anecdotally at least) dealers work hard to avoid doing them! However, many iMiEVs are too good to throw away, having led pampered lives in garages and with low kilometres due to solely being used for short trips.
2010 MITSUBISHI IMIEV. IMAGE: WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
However, a new option has now arrived: Queensland EV repairer and converter Oz Electric Vehicles has just announced a 30kWh replacement iMiEV battery pack incorporating new cells and fitting into the same space as the original pack.
Costing $12,950 fitted (with the trade-in of the old battery) the new battery pack not only offers the return of the original 100-120km-ish range – it doubles it to between 200 and 240km!
They are also offering several optional upgrades on the original iMiEV, including cruise control and a full i-pedal option.
Oz Electric Vehicles will be showing the battery pack and options at an open day on Saturday, Nov 27 at their Brisbane workshop – or you can make an enquiry via their website.
For overseas readers – Oz Electric Vehicles hope to soon be offering their iMiEV battery and software upgrades via licenced workshops in other markets.
Bryce Gaton is an expert on electric vehicles and contributor for The Driven and Renew Economy. He has been working in the EV sector since 2008 and is currently working as EV electrical safety trainer/supervisor for the University of Melbourne. He also provides support for the EV Transition to business, government, and the public through his EV Transition consultancy EVchoice.