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 www.mattituckstrawberryfestival.org . 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 ..