Sunday, March 14, 2010

MINI-E #250 Weathers The Storm


It's the day after a major storm created havoc in New Jersey and there is evidence of it everywhere you go. There are trees down everywhere, streams flooding over, thousands without power and roads closed all over the place. I had the pleasure of driving home from work last night at 11:00pm right in the middle of the worst of it. There were 50mph winds and driving rain for hours. Actually, this storm has been here for three days now but last night was really the most violent. 

As I got close to home the main road to my house was closed as fallen tees took out power lines and the utility was there trying to secure the area so nobody got hurt. This forced me to drive the last 10 miles on back roads. This is a rural area and there are no streetlights and trees everywhere so I was a bit uneasy taking this route in such a bad storm, but I had no choice. There were branches down everywhere and the road was flooded in a few places but I made it. The only problem I had was one time I drove through a slightly flooded part of the road and the car went into neutral. This is common with the MINI-E's. The car doesn't have a conventional transmission and every now and then, under stressful situations, it jumps into neutral. I think it's designed to do so to avoid a situation that could damage the car, but I'm jst guessing that. I have heard of others hitting bumps or pot holes and the car goes into neutral, and other stories of people being stopped at red lights on steep inclines and seeing the same thing. The good thing is that we all know to just put it in park, shut the car off, then start it back up and it resets the problem so you are good to go. This is what I did so I was on my way in a few seconds. However the thought did occur to me that this would be the one time that it didn't work and I'd be stuck in the middle of the woods at midnight in driving rains, high winds and lightning, but my fears were short lived as I started back up and finished by journey.

So I'm happy to report that there is no truth to the myth that you'll electrocute yourself if you drive an electric car through flooded streets in the middle of a lightning storm.

7 comments:

  1. I enjoy reading your stories and opinions on the car & alternative energy use. This is one of my favorite blogs to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tom, That was some storm huh? The power kept going on and off for us Saturday night, like every 2 minutes for about 5 hours, so I unplugged the #304 and just about everything else and we spent the night using candle power.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Robert,
    Yeah, it was crazy. We had the same power issues; on, off, on, off, etc. I do have a generator that powers just about the whole house (not the 32amp charger though) so it wasn't a problem.
    It just took me 3 1/2 hours to get to Montclair from Chester!!!! Rt 46 was a mess, they closed the rt 80 ramp off 287, Bloomfield ave in Fairfield was closed as was all the back streets I wanted to take. It usually takes me 40 minutes to get there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We still don't have power here in Glen Ridge. It's been out since Saturday night

    ReplyDelete
  5. As the Passiac river approaches its crest, the flooding is getting really bad now. Parsippany, Fairfield, Little Falls and Wayne all have many road closings. The river is as high as I've seen it since the floods of 1984.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wouldn't drive it through deep flood water!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Joel: I wouldn't drive any car through deep flood waters! The MINI-E, like all MINIs is very low to the ground which makes it even less intelligent to try to drive it through deep water. Personally, I wouldn't drive it through anything deeper than 6 or 7 inches.

    ReplyDelete