Friday, February 19, 2010

I Need a Loaner for my Loaner

A couple posts ago I wrote that my MINI-E broke down after I hit a big pot hole. Morristown MINI didn't have any of their MINI loaner cars available at the time, and when that happens they use Enterprise Rent-a-Car to provide their service customers with a loaner vehicle. I was given a 2009 Pontiac G5 to use until I get #250 back. I let my wife use it yesterday and I took our Toyota Tacoma pick up truck to work. Unfortunately when she came out of work the car wouldn't start. 

I figured it was a bad battery and just needed a jump and I was quite a distance away so I told her to call AAA. She did and they came and they were able to get it started but it was running really rough, misfiring and knocking badly. When my wife tried to drive it she said it had no power at all and kept stalling in the parking lot. Great. Enterprise was closed for the day so they couldn't help. Now I had to leave a meeting and drive to get her. To make matters worse I had dinner reservations later that night for us because today is her birthday and now by the time I picked her up, drove home and then to the restaurant we were going to be late. It was a lot of rushing around, but we did make it there only a few minutes late.

I went to Enterprise the next day and they gave me a 2009 Toyota Corolla and apologized for the inconvenience. For my troubles I will not be required to refill the car to the half-tank level it was at when they gave it to me which is a nice gesture, I guess. The good news is that I spoke to Vinny at Morristown MINI and it looks like my MINI-E will be finished today. They want to road test it tomorrow and if all goes well it will be back at the dealer by Monday or Tuesday.

Why did I make a post about this mundane topic? Well, I read a lot of various online blog comments from people about why they would never buy an electric car and a lot of the negativity stems from their worry that the car will be unreliable. That it will break down frequently and they fear it will leave them stranded. Yes, my MINI-E is in for repairs from me hitting a big pothole while I was going 50mph, it's broken. The point is, everything brakes eventually, even six month old Pontiac G5's with only 10,000 miles on them.


  1. With you're luck the accelerator on the Toyota will stick and you'll have an accident. Do you know if the loaner has been fixed yet?

  2. I doubt it's been fixed yet. Toyota just started fixing the recalls, it's going to take months to get to all of them. At least I'm aware of it. I'll know what to the accelerator sticks.

  3. A well engineered electric car should be more reliable than it's ICE counterpart. There are less parts to break. Electric cars are very simple by comparison.

  4. Yes Emil, I believe that to be true. The MINI-E's are prototypes that were put together very quickly by BMW. They are not going to refine and sell them. An EV that is developed from the start as an EV and had gone through months and even years of testing and refining will be much more reliable that our cars are. You are right about electric cars being more simple than internal combustion engine cars are. There are way less parts and will require much less service. Even things like brake pads can last 100,000 miles or so because of regenerative braking. There are no oil changes, no tune ups, etc. All these regular maintenance items that you don't need combned with the low cost of electricity will help ofset the cost of the battery pack replacement in 10 years or so.