If you tuned into the news lately, you know that Dallas had a nasty ice storm. Then again, any ice storm, especially in Dallas, is bad — worse than snow because there is nearly no friction between your car’s tires and the road surface. Dallas is rather ill-prepared for such storms, usually causing the entire city to grind to a hault. Or slide to a hault. Or a ditch.
In addition to treacherous driving conditions, we have downed power lines and hundreds of thousands of people out of power. Fortunately, our home did not lose power, but I did charge my i-MiEV ahead of the storm, just in case.
We went out for supplies on Wednesday night (before the big rush) and stayed home from Thursday night through Sunday afternoon. Then I ventured out for some food that we didn’t have to prepare, and to get a much-needed haircut.
Two things I noticed: One, the traction control on the i-MiEV is exceptional. There is still a bit of ice in the alleyway behind our home that I used to test things out. Night and day difference when disabling the traction control!
Two, I noticed a significant amount of range decrease. Two 5-mile drives with the heater on medium low and the seat heater on (no pre-heating in this case) took about 1/3rd of my battery. If I was driving to work, I would still have plenty of battery to make it home, but I was surprised at the amount of battery decrease. I really shouldn’t be that surprised — it was below freezing outside.
All in all, I’m still happy with the little i-MiEV. Will it be enough to lease a 2014 model when my lease is up? I’m not sure, but the heat-pump heater, dual front seat heaters, heated outside mirrors, and battery heater would sure make cold days a whole lot more bearable.