Monday, June 15, 2009

Another surprise...

As it turns out, there are 4 MINI-E's coming to Montclair, NJ... and oddly enough, there is another one on my street! What are the odds?

Slow charge...

So after my close call... 418 went on the juice at 1:30p on Friday, and was full by morning... on SUNDAY! She rested on the Sabbath.

Also, thanks for the correction... the brake lights do go on while regenerating! I didn't think to look!

Also, on Sunday, she made her first trip to Brooklyn! I love driving through NYC!

Electrician is coming tomorrow to install the charger... but, still no orange dangly thing. At this point, I'll wait another few weeks and take another free month!

Friday, June 12, 2009

More thoughts....

It's been a few days of driving... the 120V charging really stinks... can't get a full charge overnight. Today I actually had a close call.. today was 418's 2nd trip into NYC. I started the day at only 40% having returned late last night from an event in Montclair. It's only 30 miles roundtrip... so I knew I was cutting it close. Motoring on the highway, the miles left were quickly dropping, but once I hit traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel, my range started growing! I was very please and felt much more confident (so i turned on the AC). Coming home, however, I got down to 1% and --- miles left on the highway, but once again, once I got onto local roads the percentage grew. I ended up pulling into my driveway with 3%. I won't do that again!

My wife took it to work (to show off a little) on Wednesday, she had some interesting comments. One very important one... since we don't use "brakes" very often, drivers behind us don't see brake lights! That's pretty scary. Maybe the brake lights should come on at a certain level of regenerative braking. Or maybe flash, or something. I guess we just need to be conscious of drivers behind us...

Put 418 on the charger (120v) at 1:30p today, hopefully, we'll have some more playtime tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Jersey Clean Power Program

I feel better now.... Just sent in my application to choose clean, renewable power to run my house, and charge our car!

It should only cost about $15 to $20 more per month, but will quiet those that will say we are just transferring our fossil fuel burn from our cars to the power plants. Not me!! 50% wind, 50% hydro!!

Back Story...

The MINI-E is our 4th MINI! My wife got her first in 2004, it was a regular MINI (Chili Red). We loved it, and got into the whole culture of MINI, tracking the car through the assemble line, and across the Atlantic.

In 2006, to celebrate my wife's new job, I traded in her '04 MINI for an '06 MINI-S Convertible! She really liked that! I won lots of point. One of the few times I was actually able to surprise her.

Shortly thereafter I bought a used 2005 MINI S (electric blue). Another great car, but had some issues with the run-flat tires (sport suspension/"S"/17 rims... almost no rubber).

So, we got rid of the '05 about a year and a half ago and replaced with a Jetta... about a month ago, that went bye bye to make room for the "E".

We also have an '05 Land Rover that is offsetting our MINI-E carbon footprint. Net-net I think we are doing ok.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Well, it finally happened. I was getting tired of waiting, so on Thursday, I called Morristown MINI to find out if they had any news. Turns out I got lucky. Dean at Morristown, said he was going to call the very next day to tell me my car would be in the following week.

Luckily, this morning (Monday, June 8th) he called and my car had arrived! I gave him a few hours to prep, but came rushing in around 2:00pm. They weren't quite ready for me, but I waited patiently, and thanks to Magdelena and Dean, drove my car home at around 3:30p.

First impressions... Wow it's quick! But what a surprise when you take your foot of the gas... oh, strike that... accelerator. Takes a few minutes to get used the regenerative braking, and just as described by other drivers, you rarely use the brakes. Also, quite a lot of torque steer, more than expected, maybe a result of the added weight too? Either way, an awesome, fun car to drive, I can't wait to put some real miles on her... if I can get it away from my wife.