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Discussion Starter #1
A family member's Mercedes A190 is about to die and I've been considering showing her the Peugeot Ion/ Citroen C-Zero/ Mitsubishi I-MiEV as a replacement in order to keep the purchase and running costs to a minimum.

I'm wondering what sort of range people are getting from their vehicles now that most of them are over 7 years old. Are the cars holding up reliability wise and what sort of support is out there for parts?
 

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A family member's Mercedes A190 is about to die and I've been considering showing her the Peugeot Ion/ Citroen C-Zero/ Mitsubishi I-MiEV as a replacement in order to keep the purchase and running costs to a minimum.

I'm wondering what sort of range people are getting from their vehicles now that most of them are over 7 years old. Are the cars holding up reliability wise and what sort of support is out there for parts?
Plenty of posts on this forum if you want a range of experiences.

Parts supply for brakes and some suspension components is good. Everything else, parts need to come from Japan or a breaker if you are lucky. However being a Mitsubishi, nothing generally breaks, sort from ( failing Onboard Chargers, Cell monitoring chips.....)
 

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A family member's Mercedes A190 is about to die and I've been considering showing her the Peugeot Ion/ Citroen C-Zero/ Mitsubishi I-MiEV as a replacement in order to keep the purchase and running costs to a minimum.

I'm wondering what sort of range people are getting from their vehicles now that most of them are over 7 years old. Are the cars holding up reliability wise and what sort of support is out there for parts?
You might find this interesting
There are two other videos that show the poor state of the car before restoration which will show the sort of problems you might get. End result looks good.
 

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A family member's Mercedes A190 is about to die and I've been considering showing her the Peugeot Ion/ Citroen C-Zero/ Mitsubishi I-MiEV as a replacement in order to keep the purchase and running costs to a minimum.

I'm wondering what sort of range people are getting from their vehicles now that most of them are over 7 years old. Are the cars holding up reliability wise and what sort of support is out there for parts?
It's not the range right now you need to worry about. It's in the winter when it's cold and wet, and you have the heater going.

What sort of mileage are they going to be doing on a daily basis with it? You have to consider the car to be a pretty short range vehicle because if you push it and regularly drain the battery you'll just cause further degradation and possibly find that down the line you suddenly don't have the range you need.
 

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I-Miev was actually the first electric car on sale here in Chile, many years before they first started selling the Leaf.

If the range and the size of the car fits, it looks like it might be a good choice. although I don't know much about the car. I have never seen one out here either on the road or on the second hand market - they sold so few.

I read somewhere (in an analyst report, possibly the BCO one, although I've read various) that the I-Miev used an LMO battery chemistry (Manganese cathode) or an LMO-NMC mix. The reason that I mention this is because although this battery chemistry is good on safety (thermal runaway) and cost, the downside is considered to be lifetime.

According to some sources, the first model years of the Nissan leaf also used LMO or LMO-NMC and that might explain, at least in part, why that car has a higher battery degradation (loss of 4% range per year) than other cars.

When you buy a 200-mile electric car, you obviously can't make the seller sit with you in the car for 200 miles before deciding to buy to verify the range...but if the range is 40-45 miles....do you think you could? If you got to the point where you could say to them. "If you can demonstrate a 40+ mile range now I will buy it." I'd not sure if this is acceptable etiquette, or not.

I'd be trying to find out what the range is now, what is what when it was new, and predict its range in 3 or 5 years as well.
 

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Winter 55-65 mls but heater has big effect Summer 65-75mls Mine is 9yrs old 27K mls and seemingly no battery degradation although there must be some. Value c£4.5K
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Longest round trip I believe she does is about 25-30 miles although this does include uphill. The car will probably never go near a motorway so the fastest charging will be 16A. I saw in 2012 they switched from the LEV50 to LEV50N but reduced the capacity in the C-Zero and iON from 16 to 14.6kWh.
 

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Longest round trip I believe she does is about 25-30 miles although this does include uphill. The car will probably never go near a motorway so the fastest charging will be 16A. I saw in 2012 they switched from the LEV50 to LEV50N but reduced the capacity in the C-Zero and iON from 16 to 14.6kWh.
A good one will be perfect for that usage. Vastly superior to any small ICE for the same price for that usage.
 

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Last i looked, there were cheap LEAF models around the same price as the imiev....

The LEAF is a much better car, and the imiev in comparison feels somewhat overpriced.
 

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I bought my Sept. 2012 Peugeot Ion in Spring this year, so have not used the heater yet. It was a one-owner car with 79,000 miles, bought on eBay for £3,495. It has a Summer range of 50 miles. I mostly charge on Eco7 at home.
You don't have to be on a motorway to find a rapid Chademo charge point.
 

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Last i looked, there were cheap LEAF models around the same price as the imiev....

The LEAF is a much better car, and the imiev in comparison feels somewhat overpriced.
The problem with the LEAF is that its a large vehicle for what she needs. I was looking at the i-MiEV because of its compact dimensions, ease of use and a raised seating position.
 

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The problem with the LEAF is that its a large vehicle for what she needs. I was looking at the i-MiEV because of its compact dimensions, ease of use and a raised seating position.
Not just that, but the cheapest LEAFs usually have bad degradation which can leave the range even worse than you would get with the triplets around the same price point. You'd be getting a very early model with the worst battery chemistry and a few reliability issues to potentially need to sort out. When looking for the very cheapest EVs the iOn/CZero/iMiEV really are the better option, even if their prices have increased a little in the past year or two.

25-30 Miles will be fine all year round. But in the winter I probably wouldn't be wanting to go too much further than those 30 miles if I wanted to remain comfortable and warm.
 

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The problem with the LEAF is that its a large vehicle for what she needs. I was looking at the i-MiEV because of its compact dimensions, ease of use and a raised seating position.
The iMiev is absolutely brilliant for popping into town, negotiating tight corners in multistory car parks and find a space that no one else could fit into. Best car I've ever owned from those points of view.

Actually, I really enjoy driving it around country roads, very refreshing change from modern cars with their excessive gadgetry.
 

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Not a post I really want to make, but I feel I need to provide some counter balance to the generally good reviews the triplets are getting.

I think I may have been unlucky and/or expected too much out of the car, or pushed it too hard, (high yearly mileage driving it near its range limit in winter deeply discharging the battery etc) but my time with our 2011 Ion turned quite sour towards the end of the 3 1/2 years I had it and to be honest I was quite relieved when I was able to pull the money together to replace it with a 30kWh Leaf.

Bought in March 2017 at 28k miles. Battery health at that time 86%, so not too bad for 6 years old. Summer range about 62-65 miles depending on speed, winter range about 43 miles. I was doing about 37 miles a day commute, 1000 miles a month and 12,000 miles a year.

Initially it just needed normal maintenance - front brake discs and pads, new tyres, wiper blades etc. I did a couple of minor repairs, things like replace the 12v battery, solve a seizing problem with the front brake calipers, grease the bowden cable gear linkage (common issue) and replace a stripped rear seat adjuster handle. Nothing too out of the ordinary, and it seemed like a pretty reliable little car given the miles I was putting on it.

However early last year I noticed the battery health going south quickly and by the middle of last year it was down to about 70% SoH, a 16% loss in 3 years and about 25k miles travelled. Rapid charging speeds were also dramatically down on what they used to be, taking about 30-35 minutes in summer to 80% instead of the 20 minutes it should take.

I diagnosed some faulty cells that were outliers in the battery pack, and being the incouragable DIY'er I am who doesn't say no to a challege I set about to replace those cells with second hand but good cells. This cell swap was successful in a sense, however the improvement wasn't all that I hoped for. Normal rapid charging speeds were restored (and were still good when I sold the car) so replacing some high resistance cells fixed that problem, however the SoH only improved to about 74% due to other cells also being worse than I expected.

Another 9 months after the cell swap the SoH was back down to around 70%, so the swap probably only extended the batteries life less than a year, at least with a 12k mile a year usage pattern that I was subjecting it to.

Range at 70% SoH with the same commute was now around 54 miles in summer and 35 miles in winter down to the tortoise warning - clearly not sufficient for my 37 mile commute without a rapid charge on the way home.

Cars from late 2012 onwards have a slightly later cell type (LEV50N instead of LEV50) which it is claimed has greater cycle life and therefore will last better than the original cells, however this is yet to be confirmed in practice.

Then in February this year it suffered the dreaded onboard charger failure. This is a problem nobody had experienced yet in 2017, but there are now dozens of reports of this failure on myimev.com and elsewhere, and given the relatively small number of these cars sold and the small percentage of failures where people will seek assistance on DIY forums instead of taking it to a dealer or scraping the car, this is a worryingly high number of failures and probably just scratches the surface.

More worrying is that it seems to be caused by a design flaw making it inevitable that the failure will occur - it's a matter of when not if. A replacement charger is several thousand pounds even second hand and would normally lead to a write off due to economics. Fortunately in many cases a component level repair is possible and I was able to repair mine myself for about £100 as I have an electronics background and as above, I don't turn down a challenge like this. (And to be honest I didn't have much choice as the alternative was to scrap the car)

Rumours are that the charger design was changed some time around 2015 so cars made after this are probably not vulnerable to this failure mode, but all the earlier cars probably are. Average age of failure seems to be around 8 years although it does vary quite a bit.

(As a side note, anyone experiencing this problem - don't immediately panic, find an electronics repair specialist and the discussion thread on myimev.com and you have at least a 50% chance of repairing it at a reasonable price. A dealer will only want to replace the charger with a new one which costs half of what the car is worth)

After the charger failure I was starting to sour on the car and then a month or two ago I had another major failure - the vacuum pump for the brake booster seized up on the way home leaving me with little to no brakes. This happened with basically zero warning - working fine the day before, suddenly no brakes and a warning beep. A replacement pump through Peugeot is around £781 just for the parts cost... obviously unacceptably expensive for a part as simple as a vacuum pump so once again out with the DIY and I was able to adapt and fit an alternative pump for around £50, and the brakes are now working perfectly again.

And that was the point where the car had to go. :confused: I wish the next owner well - the irony is that now I have repaired the onboard charger it's very unlikely to ever fail again (higher rated replacement components fitted and other potentially failing components inspected and tested) and replaced the vacuum pump they'll probably have no problems with the car as the low hanging fruit has already failed and been repaired instead of being on the verge of failing.

The 54 mile range seems to be typical for a high mileage example (62k miles when I sold it) or perhaps even better than average due to the cell swaps... and as long as they don't do a high yearly mileage it will probably last many years. But not at the high mileage I was doing day in day out.

Leaf's are not without their failings of course, the elephant in the room being the lack of any sort of cooling for the battery pack, however while the triplets do have battery pack cooling it only activates during rapid charging - the pack is NOT cooled during AC charging and driving even if it gets very hot. Something to be aware of.

I've had my 2016 30kWh Leaf for a few weeks now - in pretty much every way a Gen 2 Leaf is a far better car than a triplet. It's not even close. One is a toy car, the other is a proper car. Apart from the obvious that it's a bigger car with approx double the range, it's a totally different driving experience.

The ride is much smoother, (although still a bit bumpy compared to my old Xantia's magic carpet ride) and the handling/cornering is 10x better than the comical skinny tyre handling of the Ion. It's extremely quiet at speed (probably the quietest car I've owned) while the Ion was very noisy at motorway speeds, both wind noise and tyre noise. It feels sold and well insulated - once warmed up the heater hardly has to work to keep the cabin warm while the Ion had draughts aplenty and needed a lot of heat to fight against the poor insulation and draughts.

The heater warms up 5x faster, (under a minute vs 5 minutes) gets much hotter and uses less then half the power for much more heat. The heater can run while plugged in for pre-conditioning or just keeping warm while you rapid charge. The range loss in the winter for using the heater on the Ion is nearly 40%, a Leaf is more like 15-20%.

The heated seats and steering wheel on the Tekna are great. After market heated seat covers are a must in the Ion especially if you stop to rapid charge in winter as you can't use the regular heater while charging. (But can use heated seat covers)

Range loss going from 50 to 70mph is considerably less than the Ion probably due to improved aerodynamics and higher gearing.

There is no undersealing on the triplets, and the "motor bay" at the rear does not have an under cover, allowing salt road spray to flick up all over the motor and surrounding items such as the vacuum pump so rust is starting to become a problem with them already. See Jonathan's repair video above. Mine had significant underbody surface rust on it due to the lack of underseal, although nowhere near as bad as what was shown in that video, nothing structural, yet.

As I said, not even close. Of course a high spec Leaf is near on 3x what you'll pay for a cheaper triplet, so you gets what you pays for...

So would I recommend a triplet ? A couple of years ago I would have said yes, now with some bad experience under my belt I would say no, I would not recommend one, unless you have some very specific requirements and budget. It really depends what the use case and expectations are. If you go into it with calibrated expectations then it might be the right car.

If you want the cheapest battery owned EV you can buy, if you want a very narrow, small, easy to park car with high seating (easy in and out and good view) that is great for trips to the supermarket, if you're only doing a maximum of say 20 miles a day and have home charging, and aren't using it for "heavy duty" use like longer distance commuting, and you don't mind a spartan interior with no creature comforts and relatively hard and uncomfortable seats (IMHO) then it might be worth a look.

If your expectations or needs are higher than this then I would not recommend a triplet.
 

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Winter 55-65 mls but heater has big effect Summer 65-75mls Mine is 9yrs old 27K mls and seemingly no battery degradation although there must be some. Value c£4.5K
You must be driving Miss Daisy because even when mine was at 86% SoH my realistic winter range was 43 miles, driving carefully...

Are you sure you had the heater turned on in winter ? :LOL:
 

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Longest round trip I believe she does is about 25-30 miles although this does include uphill. The car will probably never go near a motorway so the fastest charging will be 16A. I saw in 2012 they switched from the LEV50 to LEV50N but reduced the capacity in the C-Zero and iON from 16 to 14.6kWh.
When mine was at 86% SoH it could do 30 miles easily in winter (with about 13 to spare) but by the time it had degraded to 70% SoH it was struggling to make 35, so 30 would be too close for comfort in a car with similar levels of degradation.
 

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I bought my Sept. 2012 Peugeot Ion in Spring this year, so have not used the heater yet. It was a one-owner car with 79,000 miles, bought on eBay for £3,495. It has a Summer range of 50 miles. I mostly charge on Eco7 at home.
You don't have to be on a motorway to find a rapid Chademo charge point.
With a summer range of only 50 miles expect a winter range of about 30. Sounds like your battery is more degraded than mine was - probably par for the course for 79k miles vs 62k miles.
 

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Last i looked, there were cheap LEAF models around the same price as the imiev....

The LEAF is a much better car, and the imiev in comparison feels somewhat overpriced.
I would avoid Gen 1 Leaf's and stick to later Gen 2 models, and only buy after seeing a verified Leafspy report... There's some early Leaf's with horrific amounts of degradation. (Although the same is true of early triplets - mine was down to 70% SoH...)
 

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You must be driving Miss Daisy because even when mine was at 86% SoH my realistic winter range was 43 miles, driving carefully...

Are you sure you had the heater turned on in winter ? :LOL:
My car is used as a urban shopping type journey.- absolutly brilliant.
It is never rapid charged -only charged on the granny cable.
I live on the South coast and hence warmer winters and little salt on the roads.
I keep up with traffic and speed limits but max 60mph
Use the heater? -of course i do if only to stop demisting.

The whole of this EV malarky is horses for courses. This is a brilliant little car when used as intended and not pushed to the limit every day.

As far as degradation then you reap what you sow.

My battery could easily be 10% better for the reasons above and another 10% again for warmer temps which makes your 43mls into 52mls and then just a few mph slower because of traffic and then you begin to agree with my figs.
 

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The problem with the LEAF is that its a large vehicle for what she needs. I was looking at the i-MiEV because of its compact dimensions, ease of use and a raised seating position.
I guess i see the LEAF as a fairly small car. The A-Class is in the same segment, though granted the first generation models were more like the next class down in size, it was pretty cleverly designed to give a much more spacious cabin than its exterior dimensions would suggest.

I just find the transition a bit odd, someone who has an A-Class generally bought it instead of a Fiesta(or Corsa/Clio etc etc) because it was a nicer place to be, it was a more expensive, more premium car. The iMIEV is almost the polar opposite. Its a cheap budget car that happens to be electric. A "toy car" as DBMandrake put it! If i showed my parents the IMiev as a replacement for their Audi i'd get a "f off" before they even test drove it. And cost wise, 5-6 grand on an iMIEV buys many very nice ICE cars. Its just far too expensive.
 
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