Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Size Matters

How big is too big? Mini Coopers are small cars, well very small cars. Take out the back seat and put a bunch of lithium ion battery modules in there and it seems even smaller. While I've managed just fine with #250 for the past nine months, packing it to the roof  with supplies on many occasions, I've often thought "How much space in my vehicle do I really need?"

Obviously I would like a little more than the MINI-E has. I don't have any children yet so the two seats work well for my wife and I. In fact, we have three vehicles now (Porsche Boxster, Toyota Tacoma & MINI-E) and they are all two seaters. We might be the only family that has three cars and they all only have two seats!

So as I walked past this humongous Chevy Suburban 2500HD with vanity plates in the parking lot of my restaurant I had to stop and take this picture and wonder how much car do I really need?  Please post your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below. I'd really like to hear some opinions on this one.


  1. To comment,
    Two more seats would be nice
    Too big is uncool.


  2. 4 seats and a trunk/hatchback that can fit 2+ suitcases

  3. I can't really imagine why anyone would want something that big unless they had 6 kids. It weighs about 7,000lbs and gets about 13city/18hwy mpg. I see them all the time on the road with only the driver in it. Nuts if you ask me

  4. It all depends on the size of your family. Without the need to transport children around, I can see getting along fine with only two seats provided there was ample cargo space somewhere in the car.

  5. I need a 4 wheel drive pick up of SUV. I live in North Vancouver and wouldn't consider anything that wasn't 4wd and have plenty of storage space for my gear. Also, how with the batteries in electric cars work here in this cold climate? Will there be an EV with 4wd and ample storage for sale anytime soon? I'd like to get off gasoline but....

  6. Great blog Tom, I've been following for a few months now. I'm waiting for four seats, a sizable trunk and 100 to 150 miles of REAL WORLD DRIVING range not EPA estimates which are never close to the truth. The Nissan looks alright but I don't think it will get the 100 miles per charge that is claimed. I'm going to wait until it's out a few months to see what people that bought one are actually getting and to see if they like it. If it really gets 90+ I might just take a chance on one.

  7. Thanks for the compliment "MR anonymous"! I'm kind of the same mindset regarding the Nissan LEAF. I went to see it in person and definitely liked it a lot. I am worried about the range. It only has a 24kwh pack (my MINI-E has a 35kwh pack) plus Nissan has decided against a thermal management system and went the route of the MINI-E, just a simple fan that blows cabin air on the batteries. Nissan claims that the new Li-ion batteries that they developed will perform better under extreme temperatures, but I'm not sold on that till I see it.

  8. I want an electric car so I'll sacrifice what I have to. I would take the mini e in a heartbeat if I could buy it but I don't think they'll sell them. I really want to test drive the nissan leaf when I can but I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy one unless they cost too much. It looks awesome

  9. We are a family of four. Four seats are a necessity. As for the storage space, I'd be fine with the trunk of hatch the size of a Honda Civic but wouldn't complain if it had a little more. I'm still a little hesitant to go electric. I want to see them on the road in larger numbers for a year or so first. It will be interesting to see how many businesses like big box stores install car chargers in their parking lots. The quicker that happens the better for EV's

  10. Nice Blog Tom

    TOO BIG that is TOO funny.

    I love my 2005 Prius. Plenty of room for surfboards, bikes, etc and holds family of 4 easily. I am hoping to go electric with my next purchase.

    My wife wants a MINI for her next car so maybe the Mini E would be a good choice.

    Regarding how much space:
    I think MOST of the time I am alone in my car and by my observation most people are the same.
    I rarely see the Escalades, Suburbans, etc filled to capacity.

    In short unless you have triplets you probably do not NEED as much space as you think you do.


  11. I'm a freelance musician, and my husband and I play in an orchestra together. So once a week, we pack up a full-size concert grand harp (74 inches tall) and two cellos. What kind of monstrosity do I drive to accommodate this? A 1991 Volvo station wagon with a manual transmission. Sure, it's not great on gas mileage, but I've gotten up to 33 mpg on the highway and that definitely beats a minivan.

    I'm waiting for a hybrid or an electric car that has enough interior cargo space for what I need to haul. Until then, I'll keep dreaming.