Wednesday, February 3, 2010
20,000 Zero Emission Miles in 7 Months
Electric cars get lots of criticism about why they just won't work for the masses. If you look around the internet where there are discussions about EV's you'll hear things like "Electric cars are a joke", "They are only for the rich that want to act like they care about the environment" "Battery technology isn't ready for prime time" and "EV's are only good for low mileage, local city driving". Well, I'm doing what I can to disprove the last one. I've had my MINI-E for a little over seven months now and I've racked up over 20,000 miles on it. That's with losing a combined month for two service visits (battery module replacements) so I've really only driven it for six months. I'm on pace for about 35,000 miles in the one year I have the car. 35,000 miles is more than 95% of the population drives in a year and I'm doing it in a 100% electric vehicle.
I have a unique situation because I own the building I work in so I was able to install a charge station at my place of business. This allows me to plug in during the day and charge up if I need to drive further than the available range will allow. I understand many others do not have this luxury, so they would be limited to the range a single charge can provide until they get home at night to charge back up. In the case of the MINI-E, that would be anywhere from 70 to 115 miles depending on the ambient temperature and the driving conditions (freeway vs city). Still, many others in the MINI-E trial lease program with only their home charging station are on course for well over 20,000 miles in the year. This is also more than what the average driver does in a year.
During my 20,000 mile joy ride the past seven months I have had a lot of fun with the car. I have met too many interesting EV advocates to list as well as many, many local folks that stop to ask me about the car.(Mostly wanting to know where they can buy one)I have also decided that EV driving is what I plan on doing from now on, even after this trial lease is up. I'm even installing a solar array on the roof of my home so I'll be driving on pure sunshine in about a month, plus generating enough electric to cover 3/4 of the overall electric bill for my home.
I haven't had to deal with the "problems that all EV drivers have to live with", whatever they are. I really haven't had to alter my life at all to accommodate the fact that the car has a finite range. I do everything the same as I did before other than taking about 30 seconds to plug the car in at night and again in the afternoon when I arrive at work. If you read the comments on blogs on the internet you would think it's such a hassle to drive an EV. That you have to deal with all kinds of obstacles and inconveniences and nobody will buy one because they won't want to put up with it. Funny thing is, the people that write comments like this have never owned or driven an EV. They've read somewhere how bad and unreliable EV's are so they've adopted the bad information as fact. They then write these negative comments that others read and the misinformation is perpetuated. So few people have actually had the pleasure of owning or driving an EV that there aren't enough of us to let everyone know how great they can be. I'm not saying that EV's are for everyone, but I do believe that they would work for a good percentage of the population. It's going to be interesting because very soon consumers will have a choice. EV's are coming to a dealer near you, and sooner than you think.
Some 20,000 mile facts:
Right now, there is over 1,100 gallons of gas that I didn't have to buy sitting in an underground storage tank of a gas station in Morristown NJ.
I didn't need to stop at that gas station about 75 times, which would have wasted about twelve hours of my life just sitting there while my tank was filled.
I didn't have to pay for five oil changes, and there isn't 30 quarts of dirty motor oil that needs to be recycled.
I've had a lot of fun driving the car and meeting a lot of interesting people along the way.