Wednesday, July 22, 2009

still sad...

So, now it's been 13 days! And 418 is still in the hospital. I got a false alarm yesterday, Morristown MINI called and said she's ready to go... but about 30 minutes later they called again, and said sorry... They fixed the air conditioning, but had some probs with battery sensors. They thought it was fixed, but when they tried to put on charge, the battery light came on again... so still no word on when it will be ready.

I think I shouldn't have to pay for the weeks I don't have the car... Paying a lot of money each month as it is, to "test drive" the car. No car, no test drive, no lots of money! Right?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sad Day this morning...

So after a very fruitful morning getting the green EZPASS tag... I had to drop 418 off at Morristown MINI! The air conditioner stopped working last week. Lets see how long this takes. I'd really like it back by tuesday morning for the Opportunity Green event in NYC!!


So after my first visit to New Jersey's EZPASS service center... I finally got the green pass this morning. On my first visit about 2 weeks ago.. I was first told the MINI-E didn't qualify since it wasn't a "hybrid"... I guess those attendants don't get paid very much. Anyway... after digging deeper with a very helpful supervisor, it turned out they identify cars via their VIN, and the service they use didn't have the VIN decoding info for the MINI-E.

Ed, via facebook, suggested I contact Richard Steinberg at MINI. Surprisingly, Richard responded very quickly. Here is his resonse:
We have already received a reply from the EZPass people that this is aclerical error on their side. From their perspective, the car qualifies and it should be in their database already (but its not). I hope its ok, but they asked for your info, and we shared your email with them. They may contact you directly.
The next day, I got this email from Art Richardson at NJ EZPASS:

Mr. Bondorowsky,
After conducting Web research, we now understand why we could not validate your Mini Cooper by the VIN number as a qualified GREEN auto. Your car is a non -production car and is not listed as yet, but the car certainly qualifies for GREEN PLAN status in NJ. I request that you visit our Walk-in Center again and present the registration for the vehicle so that we can issue the appropriate GREEN E-Z Pass transponder to you. The tag will be specifically assigned just to your Cooper and will not be usable in any of your other vehicles.

Art Richardson
Senior Supervisor
E-Z Pass Service Center
ACS Transportation Solutions

All in all, I'm very impressed and pleased that this was taken care of this quickly and very professionally! Yay team!

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!!