Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not Again!

A few posts down you will see the first "I forgot to plug in" post.

Well, here is the second one.

Now this might not be a problem for most, and BMW might not want to worry too much about this, but it sure is a problem for me! I 'm a pretty smart guy with a decent memory or at least I thought so. The story:

Last night we had a city of Encinitas, Climate Action Plan workshop, I got home around 9:30pm and went inside our home. This morning I had an 9am meeting down at the County with a few department heads and the Director of planning to review the SD county General Plan update which is before the Planning Commission.

I showered, got ready to go, went out to the garage around 8am got in #183 pressed the magic "on" button and had 33 miles of range.

The horror!

I forgot to plug in and I had a 60 mile round trip and a very important meeting! Frantic phone calls to friends, no avail; a call to my wife Julie, "sure honey I'll swap cars" the problem with that is it would have made me 45 minutes late; then, swallowing all my pride a call to my brother Niels who lives on the way. "Bro, can you bail me out and let me drive your car to the county building while you take my car the mile or so to your shop?

That one will cost me in mockery and family dissing for decades! "What is this? Mr. electric cars are better, calling lowly Mr. gas guzzler V8 sports car driver to bail him out? Sure. "

OK, I'm all set, I'm even going to make my meeting on time! If not but for terrible traffic I would have, but all things considered 10 minutes late is a pretty good result.

A few hours later I return Niels's car to his Trophy store Niels tells me he has emailed the whole family and my wife about how Mr. Electric smarty pants had to come groveling to him the younger brother to bail his ass out!

Niels said that he emailed BMW/Mini-E to suggest that they may want to reconsider leasing this prized automobile to a person such as I, over 45 with the onset of Pre-Senior Moments.

Then Niels presented my with my own plaque (pictured above) to affix to the door from the garage into the house, at eye level, sort of like a string tied around a finger, to remind me, to turn around and make sure that I have plugged in #183 for the night.

There needs to be "an app for that" for my I-phone so I can check to see if I'm plugged in or not!

The really sad part is... I think the plaque is actually going to help me and prevent future problems and Niels did it as a gag! It's already installed on the garage door.

This one will cost me for years :)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don't turn your back on your freedom America.

Our forefathers founded a Union of States, a nation of independent free people. On this Veterans day we are reminded that our freedom is not free.

On this Veterans day we are also sadly reminded that we are today, more so than ever, dependent on foreign lands and kings for oil, for energy.

It’s time America, Le us face our great challenges with new opportunities.

God bless those that have served this country and those that have sacrificed their life for our great nation.

Thank You. You are our heroes and heroines
Peder Norby

Mini-E…7000 miles of fun, sun, and… normalcy.
It’s only missing one thing…my 5 times monthly trip to the local gas station.

That’s gone!

Mini-E #183 sips high voltage sunshine from the rooftop of our home.
100% SOC ready to go anytime I need the car. I am really going to be sad when I have to give this incredible car back to BMW.

5 months into the Mini-E program and #183 continues to deliver strong fun factor and normal every day driving powered 100% by sunshine.

I put about 12,000 miles a year on cars as an average and I’m on track for that or slightly more for #183. I’ve been commuting to the same office for the past 14 years. It’s about a 12 mile drive each way along Historic Hwy 101 in Southern California. About 5 times a month I make a 90 mile round trip to my folks house and 6 to 8 times a month, a 75 mile roundtrip to my County Planning Commission meetings. This plus the usual odds and ends of a daily life filled with the normal routine of trips.

I’ve owned a 1978 Volkswagon Pickup truck, 1980 Subaru, 84 Jeep Cherokee, 88 Mazda Rx7, 92 Volvo 850, 97 Volvo S70, 2002, Volvo S60, 2006 Volvo S60R. and my latest leased drive, the Mini-E. As you can tell I love Volvo’s. My last Volvo, the 2006 S60R with 300 horses was my second favorite car behind the Mini-E.

All the cars were good, some better than others, but the Mini-E with the ability to charge via sunshine, accelerate and corner like a slot car and do everything I need it to do is my favorite by a an EV smile and a country mile. I still pull out of my driveway every morning, silently gliding down to the road and then shift into drive and silently drive away with this feeling inside of “I can’t believe I am literally driving on sunshine” Then its heavy into the accelerator for a vigorous trip on the twisty road around the lagoon before I enter on to I-5 for points south.

I’d like to live with this car for 50k-100k miles and see how it holds up for the long haul (are you listening BMW?) I imagine it would do just fine but as they say talk is cheap, you have to walk the walk, or in this case drive the drive to really know how the car will hold up.

The Mini-E is not for everyone, lets get that clear. A single car family with long commutes, a carpenter that needs a sheetrock or lumber rack, Soccer mom with several kids, ect. The Mini-E like all BEV’s, EREV’s, PHEV’s and ICE cars will work for a percentage of the population based on their lifestyle and circumstance and that is just fine. It’s America we have choices!

The Mini-E is just a normal car for me, doing everything I asked of the other cars mentioned above, it’s just doing it better with more fun and independence.