Is Britain ready for the electric car? Colin Goodwin isn’t so sure after a week of living with a Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV arrives bang on 9am on a trailer; with Mitsubishi based in Cirencester, it wouldn’t make it to my place in Hampton under its own steam.
“How far will it go if I drive like a bank robber?” I ask delivery man Jason Scholes. “You’ll never get fewer than 50 miles out of a full battery,” comes the reply.
The i-MiEV’s maiden voyage will be to Alton, where I am doing a story for a newspaper. It’s about 30 miles, so if I drive like a nun I should be fine. Jason said that a sure way to croak the battery is to run the heater flat out, so I leave it off and stick to 50mph on the motorway.
By the time we get to Alton, though, despite some determined slipstreaming, the batteries are down to a quarter. Clearly I am not going to make it home.
The charging cable’s in the boot, but the only person I know in Alton is the ex-Mrs Goodwin, and I don’t fancy asking if I can add to her electricity bill. The only other person I can think of to call on is Gordon Murray, whose factory is nearby in Shalford.
The Mivvy spent last night charging at Murray’s place. Not wanting me hanging around all night, Gordon lent me the company’s petrol Mitsubishi i. It’s nowhere near as good to drive as its electric brother, which even rides and steers better.
I’m busy aeroplane-building all day, so I can’t make it over to Gordon Murray Design until teatime. I drive back to Hampton in the dark and rain.