Saturday, October 17, 2009

10,000 Zero Emission Miles

A few days ago I passed 10,000 on the odometer. I've had the car since June 12th so it took me about four months to hit 10k. That's a lot of driving in four months. In fact, I don't know any other MINI-E trial lease participant who has driven more. I know the folks at AC Propulsion, the company that manufacturers the electronics and motor for the car have a car with more miles, but they've had the car longer and use it for testing. I wouldn't be surprised if there are others that have more, but they don't post on the MINI-E Facebook group or report on one of the known MINI-E blogs, so I haven't had the opportunity to talk to them about it.

What does that mean? Well, not really much other than I've been able to drive and enjoy my MINI-E more than most others. The car is such a joy to drive and knowing I'm not polluting as I drive makes it that much more enjoyable.

Some other facts from my 10,000 emission free miles:

I didn't have to purchase 555 gallons of gasoline (My Toyota Tacoma gets 18mpg)
At $2.50/gal that's about $1,400. Compared to the roughly $400 in electric I've spent to charge up which is a $1,000 fuel savings.

I didn't have to get three oil changes, a savings of about $180.00 and I didn't generate 18 quarts of used motor oil that needs to be recycled.

I didn't have to stop for gas about 32 times. That would have added up to over five hours of wasted time sitting in my car at the pump.

I did get to meet a lot of interesting people who saw the car and had questions about it. I took many of them for test drives and every one loved the car and wished they had one.

I did start thinking more about energy efficiency both on the road and at home. I recently got some quotes on a 10KW solar electric system for my home and I going to have it installed soon.

I am looking forward to the next 10,000 miles.

With all the positives I've written about I'm sure by now anyone following this blog knows how much I really love the car and the whole "driving electric" experience. That being said the next entry might not be all praise. I, as well as the other MINI-E drivers on the East have been experiencing some problems with the cold weather that is setting in. Our range is down, actually way down. So much so that one of us had to be towed home a couple nights ago. He had gotten so accustomed to the usual range he could get and he didn't realize just how much the cold would diminish the driving range. Actually, I don't think any of us thought it would be so dramatic a drop. I've been collecting data on this subject and will issue a full report on my next post.

9 comments:

  1. Tom

    Congrats on 10k and your advocacy for electric cars.

    Thats a big solar P.V System, best of luck with that!

    Does NJ have state rebates or buy downs like CA?

    I know we all get the fed credit. In Calif. you also get $1,550 per KW sized solar installation.

    Cheers
    Peder #183 6,000 miles.

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  2. Hi Peder, Yes NJ has a very good state rebate program, and I'll get about 30% off the entire cost up front. Combine that with the federal tax credit and I'm looking at about 50% of the actual cost. Then factor in the annual SREC payments and the electric savings and it's a no brainer. The system will pay for itself in 3-4 years and the rest is in my pocket. You may not know this but NJ has the most solar systems per sq. mile in the country.

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  3. Great post and points! Sorry to read about the cold weather range issues and hope that can be resolved if not in the MINI E, in the next BMW electric vehicle.

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  4. Maybe you would agree that driving an electric car is different than driving a combustion powered car. Another angle is that there is not an abundance of waste heat the way there is from a generally more wasteful combustion car. Have you considered wool socks?

    Other suggestions over at #458

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  5. No Jim, no wool socks yet, but I do have a heavy pullover hooded sweatshirt that I leave in the car just in case I need to conserve for my drive home at night. The good news for me is I just installed a 60amp wall charger at my restaurant so I can now charge up and preheat before leaving work at night. I drive home late at night, often after midnight so I'm really glad to have the charger.

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  6. Congratulations on 10K miles, I just passed the 5K mark myself, you must live in your MINI E :)
    I've found the feet area gets the coldest, thermal underwear works well at keeping my legs from freezing, but I may want to keep my Ski pants in the car this winter, and get a pair of electric socks.

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  7. 10,000 miles in 4 months is a lot of driving man. I've been following the blog, nice job. I've been following the Mini E program since they first announced it. I wish Mini would actually make and sell an electric Cooper. The now coope they just unvieled looks sweet why don't they make an electric option?

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  8. Yes, I agree! The coupe is really nice. it's already a two seater so why not? I'm sure they could fit the battery pack in there where the gas tank area is. I would definitely consider it if they could sell it under 45K.

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  9. Electric socks, that I have not tried yet. Have them, never tried them. This might be the year.

    I am still not seeing any change in range, but I'm not using the heater much either. Then again, I am only at 8500 miles...

    My 2 "seater" might also be a 2 "sweater" pretty soon. Ha ha. And you know it is still too sweet.

    We don't need no stinkin' pistons!

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