Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fellow MINI-E driver gets some juice

When I asked for a second wall charger to install at my restaurant in Montclair, I told MINI that I would allow anyone else with a MINI-E that needed to charge up access to it. I really didn't expect to see as many people come to use it as I have. I'm fine with it, the electricity cost is minimal, about $3.00 if they completely charged a depleted battery which rarely is needed. More often the person just needs a little juice to get where they want to go. In this case the car that is in use by Saint Peters College in Jersey City needed a boost. They had driven from Jersey City to Montclair State University for a meeting and were feeling a little uneasy about getting back after the meeting. So they plugged in at Nauna's and went to the meeting. When they came back two hours later they had plenty of juice to make it home. One of the problems of using the car like this for a university is that many different people drive it and rarely does any of them drive it enough to get comfortable with the range. They don't have the confidence that someone that drives it every day has because we learn the limits from driving it all the time. The people that drive them every day wouldn't take a trip that we knew is close to or over the range limit. When you don't know the car well, you don't really know it's limits and you can get that dreaded "range anxiety" feeling.

6 comments:

  1. How did they know you had a charger at the restaurant? Do you advertise it?

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  2. No, I don't advertise it . There are so few of these in NJ (around 100) that there isn't a need. Many of us communicate on Facebook and I think that's how the Saint Peters people knew I had a charger available in Montclair. Others have found me because of this blog and came to my restaurant with their MINI-E to visit, get a bite to eat and charge up.

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  3. I suppose if people are buying a meal the cost is absolutely minimal - like giving away a free drink, or something. Nice idea Tom.

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  4. Tarmac:
    Yes, everyone that has used the charger has bought food while they waited. How great would it be for every McDonalds to have 3 parking spots dedicated to EV parking with chargers. They could even charge $5.00 to park there and make money that way also. Even stores like Walmart will have them. They have a captured customer while their car is charging. The more time you spend walking around a mega store like that, the more you spend.

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  5. This can indeed be a valid business model. Can't wait for our electric future!

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  6. Yes Gem, I believe it it so. There will be many businesses that install public chargers in their parking lots. It will increase the traffic flow to the business as well as generate some income from the charger.

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