In any shopping experience, there’s the fancy way, the regular way and the basic way to buy. You can grab the $3,000 bracelet at Tiffany’s, the $500 one at Macy’s, or the $29.95 one at Ross.
Same thing with electric cars. A super-duper Tesla can set you back $90,000, a Leaf is $35,000, and the little Mitsubishi i-MiEV? Just $22,995.
You do get more for your money, but if you truly want gas-free travel, the i-MiEV will do it. And there’s a certain charm to it, too, with its quirky bubble styling and basic (but quite functional) controls inside.
The downside is the range–about 62 miles–but that’s actually enough for most of your driving. I commuted 18 miles each way to work in the bright blue one I tested recently, and it was just fine. It helped that there are half a dozen ChargePoint charging stations in front of my office building, too, because charging at 240 volts is much faster than household 120.
You won’t have problems finding your i-MiEV in the parking lot–few are sold in the U.S., but they’re more popular in Europe.
See my recent story in the Tri-City Voice (Fremont, California) for more details.