About a month ago I wrote that the car has been getting more attention since I added the chrome emblems that read "electric vehicle." Well, the attention has definitely continued and I have talked with some really nice people recently who are excited about the future of EVs. I have had a lot of people beep and wave or give me a thumbs up while we are driving next to each other, and I have had the opportunity to talk with some others.
I was at a hand car wash last week and while I was waiting for the car to be finished a nice couple (Jerry & Ariel) asked me if the MINI-E was my car. They were driving a 2008 Cooper S and knew exactly what the car was. Jerry said that when he was shopping for his MINI he heard about the MINI-E trial lease and would have loved to apply but he needed to get a car then and the lease wasn't going to start for 8 months. He had never seen one on the road and had a lot of questions for me about using the car everyday. We talked about range, charging challenges, regen and both wondered about the effect the extreme cold will have on the batteries. He knew more about the car than anyone I have met so far that doesn't have one. After talking with me I could tell he wished he was able to wait and apply for a MINI-E. Then yesterday I was picking up some bagels in the morning. I parked the car outside the bagel store and when I got out and started to walk into the store I heard someone say, "Excuse me, is that car all electric?" I turned and saw a guy walking over to the car so I walked back and told him it was and gave him a quick explanation about the trial lease program. He told me that he was looking into the Tesla Type S but the uncertainty about when it would actually be available has tempered his enthusiasm. We then talked about the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt and even the Aptera vehicles that will be available soon to California residents. He knew a lot about the EV industry but he didn't know about the MINI-E. We chatted briefly and both swore that we would buy an electric car as soon as one is available with a decent range and somewhat reasonably priced when compared to its ICE competition.
One thing's for sure, since getting the MINI-E I have come to realize that there are a lot of people out there who really want an EV and will be willing to pay a premium for it once they are available. I have always read the internet blogs for EV enthusiasts and knew that they were out there, but driving the MINI-E has allowed me to meet and talk with them in person. I always thought there would be a market for electric cars, but seeing the reaction I get from people when they realize I'm actually driving one proves to me that there is.