Electric vehicles without an engine are attracting attention as an effective technology for controlling carbon dioxide emissions and refraining from using fossil fuels.
However, there are many problems to be solved for electric vehicles. The first is the short cruising range that can be traveled on a single charge. As a standard electric vehicle, the Nissan “Leaf” is equipped with a 40kWh driving lithium-ion battery, and the cruising range per charge is 322km in WLTC mode. On the other hand, compared to Subaru’s gasoline engine-equipped vehicle “Impreza Sport 2.0iL EyeSight,” which has a similar body size, the Impreza Sport has a WLTC mode fuel efficiency of 14km / L and a fuel tank capacity of 50L. For example, even if you use 40L with a margin, you can drive 560km.
But if you use an electric car as a second car for short-distance travel, such as shopping, instead of a first car, the story will change. Since the first car is used for long-distance travel, it is not necessary to run a long distance even if it is an electric car if it is a second car. For example, even if you go to a place 25km away in the morning and afternoon, the mileage per day will be 100km because it is two round trips. If you charge it at home at night, the reduced amount will be fully recovered overnight.
Body size and price are issues when purchasing an electric vehicle. Although it is used mainly in the city as a second car, it is a little large for a 3rd number car like the Leaf. The price is 3,946,800 yen for the Leaf X / V selection, and 3,160,800 yen even after deducting the 786,000 yen subsidy from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which gives the impression that it is expensive to purchase as a second car. In that respect, light cars are rational. Its small body makes it easy to drive even in crowded urban areas, and its low price makes it easy to buy as a second car.
Therefore, the Mitsubishi “eK Cross EV” and Nissan “Sakura”, EV mini vehicles jointly developed by Mitsubishi and Nissan, were released. In this article, I would like to convey the impression of a test drive on the eK Cross EV.
First, there are two grades of eK Cross EV in the lineup. The price of the standard grade “G” is 2,398,000 yen, which is 1,848,000 yen after deducting the 550,000 yen subsidy from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The price of the high-grade “P” is 2,932,600 yen, which is 2,382,600 yen after deducting the subsidy of 550,000 yen. T
he eK Cross EV is about 780,000 yen cheaper than the Leaf X / V selection of 3,160,800 yen even in the advanced grade.
The feature of the eK Cross EV is that the exterior design is almost the same as the “eK Cross” of the gasoline engine-equipped vehicle. The Nissan Sakura has a different design from the “Days”, which is a gasoline engine-equipped car, except for some windows, but the difference between the eK Cross EV and the eK Cross is hard to see from the outside.
Regarding this point, the developer of Mitsubishi commented, “The eK Cross EV emphasizes the brand expression that is common to the eK series. Therefore, except for the front grill and the emblem, it has the same design as the eK Cross.” do. This will have different pros and cons depending on the user. If you are looking for a personality as an electric car, a design different from a gasoline engine car like Sakura may be welcomed. However, if you like Mitsubishi cars, the eK Cross EV is likely to be your favorite. For example, if the first car is an “Outlander” and the eK Cross EV is parked next to it, the visual balance is good.
What is the reputation of the eK Cross EV? The eK Cross EV has received orders for 3,400 units within a month of the start of pre-orders. Since Mitsubishi has about 540 stores in Japan, it is calculated that 6.3 units are sold per store. Sakura has received an order for 11,000 units in three weeks, but since Nissan has about 2,100 stores, it is 5.2 units per store. The eK Cross EV is doing well in terms of the number of orders received per store, and it seems that users have sympathized with it.
Regarding the interior of the eK Cross EV, the texture around the instrument panel is high enough for a mini vehicle. The driver’s seat is comfortable to sit in, and it firmly supports the thighs from the back, making it suitable for long-distance travel. The backrest has a shape that wraps around the waist, so the sitting posture is not disturbed.
The rear seats are more comfortable to sit in than the eK cross with a gasoline engine. The eK Cloth has a poor seating surface flexibility, and the supportability when it is shaken from side to side while driving is not very good, but the eK Cloth EV is more supple. On the other hand, the space between the floor and the seat is still small, and although the seating style is like throwing your legs forward, the eK Cross EV is suitable for four people.
What is noteworthy is that the lithium-ion battery is installed under the floor, but it does not make you feel it. The eK Cross EV uses the same platform as the eK Cross equipped with a gasoline engine, and I was thinking of using it for electric vehicles from the basic design stage. Therefore, since the mounting place for the lithium-ion battery was secured in advance, the eK Cross EV has not deteriorated in comfort, loadability, and boarding / alighting.