Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wow ,it has been some time since an update ,but I procrastinate and I will get to that later...LOL
The end of summer brought more miles on #249 and a call came from MOTH and they wanted her in for the 3000 mile service. Seems the flying Docs don't want to arrive for just one car ,so they schedule as many as they can for their service visits. Don Young had a PEU meltdown which prompted them to make some calls to arrange service. Personally ,my service came and went without a hitch ,but they called a few day later to tell me the car would have to be brought in again for a bad battery module (it would be up to a week ,since they would have to send her out). I did request a loaner ,to which I was told they would call in a few days when they got a loaner for me to use. Not for nothing ,but since the 3k service ,the car has been almost perfect,charging and driving have been incredible . Maybe it does have a bad module , but my wife and I went to NJ to the East Coast Meeting last Sunday which was a total of 208.20 miles and I did not detect anything wrong. Now personally ,I don't mind them taking the car to make it better ,but after the call I was a bit hesitant about driving too far. I really want to see how far I can't go ,if you know what I mean. The dealer has not called back yet anyway ,maybe they called me when they really meant to contact someone else?
I would like to get a second charger to have at work available to any Pioneer who would like to use it . Which put in my mind the thought of having a Long Island MINI E meeting . I know there would need to be charging capability in the area . The charger at my house is one ,I would like to contact another pioneer who is in the vicinity ,then ,if I get a public one for work ,would make three chargers in a ten mile area,which would be much better than a single one . My wife and I had a bit of a wait for a charge when we went to Montclair on 11/8/09 . It seems that the biggest road block is the lack infrastructure to charge the cars. But we all know that anyway.
MINI sent their weekly e-mail about the cars and said they will suppl;y us with winter tires free for the winter! Oh,they also said we can get the MINI E stickers for the side of the car ,just like the show vehicles.Count me in!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Had a nice day yesterday,September 13th 2009 . I drove the car in the morning and got the battery temp icon ,no regen , I don't understand ,the battery temp was 79degrees , air temp 64.
Well after getting to work and restarting her it didn't happen again. Christina and I went to lunch before I drove her to work (which never happens),the only thing was that I had to pick her up later.No problem ,plenty of charge. At 8pm I go to get her and the gauge says there is 50% left good for 54miles.As I drive the 15 mile to pick her up the range drops to when I arrive to 32 mile remaining(27% charge). We get in the car to leave and the battery has flat lined,zero charge no miles left to go. Well,we drove home and the car performed as it should and did not leave us on the side of the road even though it said the battery was dead. Anyone experience this phenominon ?

Monday, September 7, 2009

A couple of nice days at the end of Summer (at least for the kids) . Labor Day weekend and I just had to ride the bike. Finally had to put gas in it too, took 4.5 gallons,the most I purchased for my vehicles since getting #249.
I checked on my custom plates at the DMV website . It says that the order has been received ,but they haven't been manufactured yet . One has to wonder ho long that could be.
Hope everyone has a safe and satisfying Labor Day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I searched around on the net and found where they sell individual chrome letters for $2.75 each,there are different styles to choose from and of course some cost more than others. Personally ,I got eight letters spelling ELECTRIC and stuck them on the back of #249 . They look good and give just the right amount of notification as to what it is. Total with shipping on the letters ,which came ,in a few days from Las Vegas was $32.00. The individual letters had to be arranged on the desk and I took a piece of tape to hold them in position.
Then took a ruler and measured the space on the car ,pealed the backing off and stuck them on. Took all of two minutes.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The family and I just took a week off and went to Ocean City MD camping for a week. MINI E 249 spent the week unplugged ,but fully charged ,in the garage. Got in her this am and what do you know ? A full charge. Nice to know the charge doesn't fade too fast if the car is sitting for a while.
When Stu came by I took a few pictures with my wife's cell camera and finally loaded them into my computer . It is something to see two MINI Es together but,away from the dealership.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finally,I received the welcome email from MINI inviting me to their MINI E website. I went and commented ,but the character limit was too short for my ramblings and I had to cut it short. The funny thing about it is that they were welcoming me as if I had just picked the car up when in fact ,I have been driving it for two months and have put over 2000 mile on it.
So ,Wednesday of this week (8/19/09) I got a surprise when I started the car....100% charge! This is something that I never see ,even though I plug her in every night. For example ,this morning when I got her going charge was at 89% after being plugged in all night. Still the range showing on the gauge was 88 miles ,it really is not a problem unless I plan on a longer trip.
When I got to work 13.2 miles the battery meter was at 50%,go figure,but I am sure it will bounce back up as it sits for the day.
I keep wondering if any pioneer has run out of charge and totally depleted their batteries....

Monday, August 17, 2009

I was driving the MINI E east on Sound Ave in the middle of no where yesterday morning and coming in the other direction was a Tesla Roadster! The whole thing lasted 2 seconds ,I wonder if the other driver realized the MINI was electric also?
249 turned 2000miles yesterday as well!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Well the weather has been nice,the MINI performing better all the time,yet I am torn because up to now ,I have felt an obligation to drive the car ,but I do have a motorcycle ,which is just begging to be ridden. Today I threw caution to the wind and let my knees in the breeze and rode my bike. Perhaps I can trade days with the car and bike ,maybe every other day,but then I will eventually have to buy gas for the bike,which since getting #249 hasn't seen an empty tank. On a regular year I put between 5000 to 8500 miles on the Harley. So far ,not even close thanks to the new member of the family (249) which has been getting much more attention,and miles.
Well ,I broke down and ordered custom plates for the car ,I got the registration yesterday which means the plates can't be to far behind. Oh, if your wondering they say "NOGASCAR" ,I hope it does give her the attention she deserves. I also ordered chrome letters to stick on the back "ELECTRIC " is what they spell ,we will have to be very careful installing them so they will really let folks know what they are behind.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Here I am left wondering again. This morning I went out tto the garage and unplugged #249 ,started her up and the battery meter went to 99% . Alright ,maybe if I plugged her in for a little longer it might make up that last 1% of charge. Plugged her in and the yellow light flashed ,the fan started to blow and it seemed to be charging more. Came out about half an hour later and everything had stopped. Fine I thought it got that last bit in and it will be at 100%. Wrong . The meter now went to 74% but as it sat the meter went up to 84% before starting to fall again. Now at work and with 13.2 mile driven the meter is at 74%. Maybe it will come back up while sitting.The car doesn't have too far to go so I'm not worried about range,just why is a full charge so elusive.

I was walking out of the garage and noticed something strange, so I took a picture of it . Can you see why I took the picture?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Well,I had a nice visit yesterday from Stu ,who has #277 . He came by my restaurant and we had a great time,he had one of our burgers with bacon and Swiss cheese,nuf said about that I am getting hungry..
My wife Christina took 249 to work yesterday.Christina made a few stops on the way to work at 11 am . The car was parked for almost 12 hours. She called me on her way home that power was lacking and both battery lights were on. She said the car wouldn't go more than 40 mph
and she had pulled over . When she got home the batteries were at 61%. Christina said she had people pull over and ask if she needed help. When she got home at 11:30 pm ,I took 249 out for a ride and failed to experience what she said happened. Battery temp was 97degrees . I drove to work this am and failed to repeat what she claimed to happen. Has anyone had the same experience ? She is pissed at me for not believing her story that this event happened.If it has happened to you ,please let me know,please.For one I have not had this ever happen , I really need to know what happened.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Woo Hoo ,249 turned 1500 miles last night. Everything is running smoothly. I have been forced by nature to us the AC ,it works great ,and the batteries don't seem to mind too much...39.5 miles yesterday .When she was plugged in for the night we had 54% on the meter. Not too bad.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just to give a perspective ,I had to take my other car Monday because my son had a friend over ,and they needed a ride. The VW hasen't been in use for a while and what do you know,the battery was dead. We needed to go because of time constraints ,so I had them help pop start the car. It started right up (like it should) but quit about a block away from home. We walked back and got my wifes car ,drove them to where they were going,came back home ,got MINI e 249 ,went to work and when I got home my brother inlaw gave me a jump start and the VW lives! Seems a light had been left on ,which drained the battery,which if I was driving the car regularly ,probably wouldn't have been noticed,but after a few days ,the battery is depleted. On the other hand ,I still ,have not been to a filling station since recieving the MINI E ,lets see how long I can go..

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wow,this car is a killer. A few days ago I came upon a group of birds in the road ,and since they did not hear me coming ,I ran over two of them,yes they died. Today on the way to work ,same thing,but with squirrels ,one got away ,the other ,not so lucky. Maybe I should just drive down the street with my hand on the horn...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Been a few days ,my daughter got married and we catered the wedding,needless to say ,I was preoccupied.
I got a package in the mail that was a welcome kit for the MINI e trial testers. There was a MINI E hat,a numbered key chain,a pen,and reusable shopping bag. Oh ,don't forget to look closely as there is "something secret" in there that we don't want anyone else to know about. That is all i will say about that.
The charge finally has been 100% for about a week now . I really have no idea why she never fully charged till now. Less range anxiety is what it amounts to.
Car and Driver Magazine did a short test on a MINI E and it was less than positive. If they asked the folk who drive them everyday ,they might have a different view than driving one for a few hours. for all intents and purposes it is the perfect commuter car . I drive to work everyday and have yet to be dissapointed by the lack of range or power . There is an abundance of both for my needs. As I drive the car,my perspective on the range issue is that one has to know the limitations as presented. A range of 100 miles on pure electric power is quite a feat ,especially at highway speeds. Battery technology must be advanced to provide power as well as range in a vehicle that is to be used on a daily basis. Weight ,size of the battery pack,amp hours ,etc.. must all be considered and hopefully will be ,to produce an affordable , electric car that will take us down the road to energy independence . Besides the fact ,it has been nice not to have to stop at a gas station for the last month. Personally ,I love it(the MINI e ) and if I could buy it ,I would.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Things are quiet and running smoothly this week ,really nothing to report,the car finally got to 100% charge ,I think it was fully charged before ,it just didn't show on the readout correctly,maybe there is an amount of "float" with the charge as I have seen it go up and down several times in a day.
The only thing that is bothering me now is ,after waiting,and waiting,and waiting some more (but ,I am VERY patient after all) for the car to arrive (9 months from the initial contact to delivery) it was very satisfying to finally have 249 home in my garage. One of my employees ,knowing my car, saw another like it and approached the driver ,well after a short conversation ,the other driver was a town employee and he bragged how the car cost only $10.00 a month to lease! Makes me feel used at $850.00 a month. And we have town workers who couldn't give a damn about the car ,just that it only cost $10.00 a month.In this economic environment they should realize that a lot of the folk leasing the MINI e are stretching their budget to make the car payment,and quite a few backed out because they lost their job .Money is tight right now ,don't have someone come by and show that you(MINI) discounted to move more cars to municipalities to get your energy credits. After all no one likes to be kicked in the face or be made a fool. That is how I felt after hearing from my employee.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Well after yesterday morning without 100% charge I checked everything to make sure it wasn't me doing ,or forgetting to do something to charge the car last night before turning in. Around 8:30am was the time that I hesitantly put the key in its slot and pressed the power button. The needle rose and I watched as it settled at 81% then as I sat there wondering why it won't give me a full charge ,the needle starts to rise! Slowly it crept up ,but I couldn't wait any longer ,had to go to I drove down the road the needle went to 91%, the battery temp was a cool 73 degrees . Now I have driven 30 miles today since there was an errand that needed to be made and the gauge is at 50% .
Still good ,but I would like to get in the car and find it fully charged, even once in awhile would be nice. Other than the full charging problem ,249 has been very trouble free and a real blast to drive ,beside the fact ,I haven't been to a gas station in a month!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The 220 cable was installed on Wednesday , NOT Tuesday like I had originally planned,but it is here. I was so excite ,then I found the cable was about 3 feet too short to reach the car the way I normally pull it in (nose in). So now I have to "thread the needle" and back her in ,or I can find another place for the motorcycles,not gonna happen. So for the next 11 months I am going to have to back up the driveway,make sure there isn't anyone blocking the way and go back and forth till I can open the door to get out and plug her in.
I had plugged her in at 12pm yesterday ,I had to ferry kids so I took the TDi . What do you know .after being on the new charger ,I get in turn her on and same as before 94% charge. It would be nice to see 100% ,but now I can charge at a super high rate ,and just being plugged in yesterday after the install for 45 minutes brought the charge up waaayyy more than with the 12amp cord.
Did anyone notice how massive the cord is? Its HUGE! Looks like a garden hose more than a charger cord.I was told due to UL listing as a houshold item it needed to be overbuilt. The one at the dealer is higher amps ,but half the diameter. Go figure.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I got an email from the installer and the 220 cable will be here on Tuesday! It is hard to describe the feeling that the looonnnggg charge wait will be a thing of the past and I can drive her without the fear of running low on electrons.So far I have driven #249 approx. 680 miles and I would have more if the charge was higher most of the time.Now it is easy to understand why we are being reimbursed for the lack of 220v cables by the deferment of the first month's payment.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finally achieved a full charge . Wow twice since I got it has the charge been 100%. The readout said I had 109 miles to go which is more than I ever would go in a day,but it is nice knowing that I do not have to worry about the battery level .

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It has been a weird day of weather with sun ,rain and hail . 249 was plugged in last night and was at 81% charge this morning. I am still afraid of turning the AC on just yet due to the drain on the batteries,but it has gotten into the upper 70s and will ,I am sure get hotter. Next I will be thinking about heating her in winter and the drain that would cause... Go figure.
I got a call from MINI finance today and they informed me that the first month payment has been deferred ,and the first payment is due August 13th . I had already been informed of that numerous times.
Also,I tried to sign on to the MINI E website ,but it told me to hold on and wait till I was contacted by them..In a few weeks. That is why I have recorded my experiences with 249 from when she was delivered,no lag in memory and keeping it fresh.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I had e-mailed Clipper Creek about maybe purchasing a charger for work and they contacted me back to quote a price of $2400 for the charger. I would of course have to have it installed and there is a lead time on it as well. I think that by the time is is here and installed it might be time to return the car,but I am still thinking about it because it can be used for other vehicles with a plug swap.
Nice day today,we finally got a few good days in a row which makes everything just feel better.
My charge was only 55% this am even though it had been plugged in overnight and the charge was at 50% when I got home. Still got plenty of miles to go though.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I haven't posted for a few days since we had a grad party on Saturday ,that's two down with four to go!
My brother in law came over and was impressed with the performance of the car ,but when I told him about the charging ,or lack of full charge,he saw I had the charger cord coiled and said that it should be straight and NOT coiled,since it would setup and electromagnetic field an reduce the amps. HMMM,,so I straightened the cord and the charge wasn't full because of the time,but it had gone from 30% the night before to 81% in the morning. The car had been plugged in for10 hours. Well I thought there might be some merit to this and plugged her in last night ,same as before ,the charge shut off at 78% .I plugged her in when I got here to work ,but in the future I should not worry about the charge and just drive ,It will have enough of a charge for my daily driving ,just not any extra for now til the cable is installed to complete the 220 charger connection.
As an aside, the weather was finally nice this weekend with sunny skies and temps in the 80s . a very nice change from three weeks of rain!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Well ,after playing with the charger for the last few days ,I finally got it up to 94% charge yesterday. Of course I had to go to Mini of the Hamptons because there was a slight mixup with paperwork. While there I took advantage of their 50amp charger (who wouldn't?) and after having a pleasant time with Gregg ,she had a 90% charge after little more than an hour. Nice. Drove the most I had in one day since getting the car, 68.2 miles. Plugged her in when I got home ,charge was approx. 60% got up early (6am) and the charge was 61%! Damn ,thought it might be more . Now at work charge when I got here was 47% ,lets see how it does the rest of the day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

After having the car plugged in for 19 hours since yesterday,I get in and start it up to find 78% battery power .Odd since the charge light went out and I expected a full charge. The MINI E has only been to 100% charge once since I got it on the 13th (June) I think the 110v charger might be to blame ,just can't be sure.
The sun is out right now ,but it did rain again this morning.3 weeks of rain can dampen the most positive of us.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day

I am a member of the Mattituck Lions Club.We have a Strawberry Festival every year for the last 55 years . It is from Friday to Sunday.. I drove the Mini e there Friday ,charge was 100% when I left home ,made a short trip in the afternoon -charge 75% 64 miles remaining- went to the festival
and was there for 6+ hours went to leave and charge was approx. 60% ,still good . I drove to my work about 4 miles and was there for around 15 minutes. Upon "starting " her up the battery meter goes to 25% and says I have 22 miles left (at this point I'm 10 mile from home and can make it) We went to a friends party which was on the way and we were there for about 45 minutes . I started 249 up and the battery meter showed 0% as in a flat battery. I had 4.2 mile to home so I figured "what the heck" and drove anyway. After a few miles of stop and go the battery meter ROSE up to almost 25% ! Well I get home and plug her into the 110v charger . I did not drive her on Saturday ,due to weather and carrying my son and other things. Now it is Sunday "Fathers Day" and I took the TDi to work because of too much rain not because I don't think the E could make it or not . Now she is fully charged and we have at least a week of rain in the forcast. I have so much to look forward to.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lots of Rain and I'm still here.

Wow ,it is a crappy June here on Long Island . I have driven the car in the rain more than sunshine. No puddles of charged water have been seen to electrocute me if I step into the car while it is raining.Someone at BMW (notice where the car was produced?) did their work ,and just having it for a few days makes me sad to think it will be gone and just a memory in such a short time.
I was on Sound Avenue coming to work this AM (around 8am) and there was a truck in front of me going around 30 mph (limit 45) I went to the left to see why it was going so slow ,and there was another truck in front with its hazard lights on. When the chance came to pass ,I hit the accelerator
and was launched to around 80 mph ,passing both trucks with ease. It was like getting shot out of a cannon!
Probably not authorized to do ,but it is an experiment ,Right? I found if you put her in neutral while at speed over 50 mph the damn thing will coast for what seems forever if you are on level ground. I coasted for about 3/4 mile before I put her back in drive and used the regen to slow to a stop. Cold I be on to a mileage stretcher? What does everyone think about this? Have you tried it ? If you haven't ,maybe you should . It might increase range . I got to work 15.2 miles and it showed I still had 92 miles range left after a 90% charge .Go figure.
In four days of having #249 I broke 200 miles yesterday.It was one of those days that went smoothly ,without any drama ,I hope all days with this car will go as smoothly.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Got a heads up from my Motoring Adviser Gregg about the 110v charger that is very interesting.
As Copied:

Please remember it is very important to instruct MINI E customers that
not all 110v outlets are created equally. An outlet with sub-standard
grounding, or which is far from the electrical panel may not provide
"clean" power to the vehicle. Furthermore, plugging into a circuit which
is occupied by other appliances or consumers may negatively affect the
line voltage or capacity of the circuit and drop the available power to
below the minimum threshold to charge the car. A typical household
outlet should be rated at 15 Amps, the MINI E will draw 12A from an
outlet, so there is no room on the circuit to be shared with other
items. Situations such a s a brown or black out may also cause the
vehicle to stop charging, so please remind customers to check if the
vehicle is still charging after these occurrences. At times, if a
vehicle is connected to a building which experiences high electrical
consumption with many consumers operating simultaneously(pool pump, AC,
dryer, etc.), the voltage in the building may approach a situation close
enough to a brown out, and may interrupt vehicle charging. Lastly, no
extension cords are to be used to charge the vehicle.

Some common sense for those of us using 110v for now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Well,I didn't take the car out of the garage today,but found out why it was tripping the breaker,it is on the same circuit with the central vac and when the vac gets turned on while the MINI is charging the circuit overloads. Finally got a full charge though. Also had the electrician install a 110 outlet outside at work so I don't have to keep the back door wide open while I keep her plugged in.

Monday, June 15, 2009

So the car had been plugged in since 6pm last night, I went to the garage to check the car and the breaker had popped off. I reset it and everything was OK ,but after over 12 hours of charging it was a little over 50% charged. Still no problem and well within my driving range. But as I drove to work the meter started dropping so fast I could see it move from 50 to around 30% . Still gives me the range I need ,But Charging with the 110 volt 12 amp line is very slow and should not be used for daily charging. Now I understand why MINI has given us the first month free..
Oh.about the video. We were on the highway bringing the MINI-E home and my daughter captured it on video. We were going approximately 70 mph and I accelerated to over 80 in a short burst .

Sunday, June 14, 2009

So I thought I would get a jump on MINI and start a Blog to chronicle life with an electric car before I have to do it for them. Picked up the car (#249) yesterday,and immediately fell in love with the power it has ,as well as many other attributes . One thing is the charge ,which is very important. No charge no go.So after flogging the thing giving rides to friends etc... we went to dinner 3 miles from home and when we left the battery meter went to 25% and a low battery warning showed on the readout. We got home and I plugged her in for 10 hours ,it had charged to 75% which is not too bad ,but as I drove (in the rain with wipers and headlights on) the miles left went from 54 to 42. I know I don't have any problem with that since I am 15 miles from home ,but I will have to plan my days drive until the 220 volt 40 amp charger cable gets installed.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Delivery Day

Mini -E # 249 has been delivered and it has so far exceeded my expectations. Power is incredible but it will take some time to get used to the regenerative braking,but I do like it .Gotta go drive some more now ..