Tuesday, September 1, 2009

MINI offering 2nd wall chargers while suppiles last!

Last Friday I received an email from MINI USA that said they have a few extra wall chargers available for participants who might want them. I responded immediately so I could get my request in before the allotment was all gone. Even better, most of the extra chargers they have are the 50amp ones, the chargers that mostly went to the MINI dealerships. Most people in the program have 40amp chargers at their homes, as I do. The extra 10amps will make charging even faster, cutting down a complete charge from about 4 hours to under 3. I plan on installing it at my restaurant in Montclair near the rear door where I can pull right up to it. I will also make it known that if any of the other MINI-E drivers need a charge and are in the area they can stop by and "fill up" for free anytime we are open, which is 7 days a week 11 or 12 hours a day, depending on the day. I asked Marian from MINI about the availability of secondary chargers at the East Coast meet up we had, and she told me that they were working on it at the time but couldn't promise anything. I guess MINI realized that it would only enhance the program if they could place more chargers in the areas where the cars are. Until public charging stations are readily available, convenient charging will be a major hurdle for electric cars. Currently there are companies out there now planning the infrastructure for locations of charging stations since so many auto manufacturers have EVs in development stages, but they are still a long way from mass deployment. It's kind of a chicken or the egg situation. Electric cars need public charging stations to become mainstream, but it's difficult to invest tons of money into charging stations if there aren't enough cars that need them. I believe that once electric cars begin to appear in greater numbers, franchises like McDonald's that have parking lots will install a couple chargers with dedicated parking spaces for them. They could charge you $5.00 to park in the spot and charge your car, plus they know you are probably going to eat at their restaurant to kill the 45 minutes or so you'll need to charge up on their high powered charger. This would be a quick way to get thousands of public chargers available quickly and paid for by private enterprise, not tax dollars. If you drove an EV and you knew that every franchise had chargers in their lot you could easily take trips much further than the range of your car's batteries without the worry of getting stranded. The car could have a built in GPS with charger locations programmed in just like current GPSs have restaurants, banks, airports, etc pre-programmed. Well, that's all future talk. I'm happy that I'll be getting my 2nd charger now. It will allow me to drive this awesome car even more than I currently am, and that's a good thing.

1 comment:

  1. Tom,

    You walk the walk my friend, you rock.

    Hope to meet you one day.

    Peder #183 in Carlsbad Ca