All you need is a little $0.99 two plug doohicky adapter from Home Depot. That’s a joke.
After two and a half years and 36,000 sunshine powered miles, I have learned and shared many lessons about how driving a sunshine powered electric car fits into our lives, you can read the dozens of prior post to see all the experiences, but to cut to the chase, the answer is brilliantly! It is simply the best car I have driven in 33 years.
As an antsy…as in anticipation, Mini-E family transitioning to the ActiveE, we signed up as early as possible and were approved for the ActiveE in early December. On December 10th, AV came out and installed our new universal J1772 wallbox for the ActiveE, removing the proprietary box for the Mini-E, as we expected the car on December 13th.
A slight delay - not unusual in the world of pioneers - has pushed back the delivery of the ActiveE for the original Mini-E drivers until mid January. This left us with the Mini-E to drive for another month, but only with the ability to charge at 12 amps and 110 volts. This is why it’s great to be a pioneer. This small timing glitch gave us a chance to see how two fully electric cars would fit into our lives. Let me explain how.
We know that one electric car does, and we know that we do not have the ability to run two 40 amp circuits for two chargers in the garage. In our garage we have the 220 volt 40 amp circuit and a 110 volt dedicated circuit with no load other than the garage door opener. So the opportunity to drive a month on 110 voltage was a great chance to see if charging that way would work for me.
No difference at all compared to charging at 220 volts on weekdays, and a 50% hindrance on weekends as we wanted to take longer drives, multiple times a day and we could not do so charging the Mini-E at 110. I call this a great success and here is why.
In our case it will work like this, Julie will drive the BMW ActiveE with her 45 mile RT commute and will be the primary user of the 220 AV wallbox. I will drive the second (future) full electric car like the ActiveE for my 25 mile RT commute, and use the 110 circuit as my primary charger. Most of the time on weekends we will use the ActiveE for our longer trips but anytime I need a little extra juice, either during the week or on the weekends, the 220 charger is always available for my use as well. 95% of the time I will not need it, but I will have access to it anytime I need the 220 charger.
This little month long experiment has now changed my thoughts on my future car, Before this I was leaning to a Volt type small plug in hybrid SUV. Now I’m convinced that my second car will be a fully electric small SUV like the upcoming BMW electric iX5 (not really, just a dream, please?)
One or two times a year we will rent a long range gasser for trips of several hundred miles. My hope is that manufactures like BMW will consider loaner programs for their owners of premium electric cars on a once or twice a year basis.
Julie drives 18,000 miles a year, I drive 15,000 miles a year, in the past we spent $5,500 a year on gasoline. We both will have no problem driving electric cars powered by sunshine, sharing one 220 volt charger. Our gasoline savings alone equal a new $27,000 car every 5 years. Remember, my Solar PV system has completly paid for itself in 5 years and is now paid off.
We are looking forward to the ActiveE. It’s going to be a real gas to drive!
Mini-E #183, 36,000 miles.