Plug-In Cars – Ford Focus Electric and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV
In the latest edition of Consumer Reports Magazine, you will find reviews of the Ford Focus Electric and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
It is no secret that plug-in electric cars have not yet been a hit with American consumers, mainly because of their price tag, limited range, and long charging time. Electric cars are, however, easy to maintain, environmentally friendly, and inexpensive to operate.
Unlike typical hybrid vehicles, all-electric cars have no gas engine that kicks in to supply additional power. All the power is supplied by the lithium-ion battery system and electric motor. No gas is ever needed.
An electric car has fewer moving mechanical parts than a conventional gas-powered vehicle. Scheduled Multi-Point Inspections, checking the tire pressure, rotating the tires and filling the windshield washer fluid are about all you’ll ever need to do.
Tests by Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports tested the Ford Focus Electric and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The models join the previously tested Nissan Leaf as the first widely available all-electric vehicles. The Focus Electric costs about $41,000, compared with $33,630 for the i-MiEV. You will qualify for a $7,500 federal income tax credit on both cars. This reduces some of the high purchase price.
The smaller i-MiEV runs 111 mpg overall, or 3.28 miles per kWh, making it a highly energy-efficient car.
Still, Consumer Reports says the Focus is clearly the better choice. It builds on the great handling and refinement of the conventional Focus and adds instant, silent power and the second best fuel efficiency. With the Focus Electric you get 107 mpg (or 3.18 miles per kilowatt-hour).
Focus Electric features a standard, single-speed automatic transmission designed specifically to handle the high rpm range of an electric motor. It achieves a top speed of 84 mph.
Consumer Reports found the Mitsubishi i-MiEV “slow, chintzy, cramped, and so far off the mark that we often felt it was closer to being a glorified golf cart than an actual car“.