Thursday, April 1, 2010

MINI-E #250 meets untimely end!

Last night as I was driving home from work on Route 80 in Rockaway I started to smell something burning. I originally thought it must be a smell from outside the car that had infiltrated the cabin but it didn't take long before I realized that wasn't the case and that it was my car! I then felt a strong heat wave coming from behind the seats where the battery pack is so I pulled over, grabbed my important belongings from the glove box and got out. When I looked under there was a lot of smoke but no flames and I realized I didn't shut the car off so I went back in & shut it off. I got back out just in time as the battery pack burst into flames and soon engulfed the entire car. I called 911 and the Rockaway fire department came and took about 25 minutes to put it out.  I made a statement and called my wife to pick me up. I guess The electric car experiment wasn't meant to be. More on this later

UPDATE: I spoke to the fire marshal today and the cause was determined to be an "electrical problem"!   Really?????

BREAKING NEWS: Just in case anyone hasn't figured it out by now, MINI-E #250 is fine. I don't think anyone was really tricked by this April Fools post but if you were I apologize, it was all in good fun. Hopefully I gave my friends over at MINI & BMW a little scare even if for only a few moments. Richard, Hugo, Marian, Nathalie? Anyone have to think about it?  Have a great day everyone.


  1. Wow Tom - had no idea that was you when I drove by - thought it was #458 with the portable heater, it was cold that night. Glad you are ok. RIP #250

  2. That sucks but at least you weren't hurt.

    I'm sure you'll let us know what the cause was when you find out.

    They should definitely give you a new car if you want one, you have been one of their most vocal supporters

  3. Thanks for the support guys! I'm going to look at the charred remains later today. :(

  4. This is a joke, right?

  5. I'm just guessing but I think a CHERRY tree LEAF may have lodged in the EBOX port causing an arc to the VOLT-NEV teminal connection to the E-TRON module.

    This then caused the BYD/PHOENIX connector to FISKAR a bit exibiting the TESLA fault FOCUS frequency effect resulting in spontanous harmonic vibration VENTURI combustion.

    at least that is what I THINK happened.
    Dude, bad KARMA


  6. or...

    perhaps it was opec getting even :)

  7. If this was an April Fool, it's in very poor taste and I'd imagine MINI USA being stunningly upset by it ... so I've got to suppose it's a real honest post, in which case - all those "fool" commenters are gonna feel very embarrassed!

    One way or the other, posting this on April 1st was very unfortunate ...

  8. I read this in the morning but didn't comment. It was really funny so I came back to see some of the comments and if anyone was fooled.
    I'm surprised Ian took such a position but then again I don't know him. Really though? Very poor taste? C'mon
    Man don't listen to anyone that writes anything like that, this was funny.
    I really don't think anyone would believe it for more than a minute or so until they realized the date. Anyone that follows this blog knows you would be crushed if this really happened and would write in much greater detail about what happened. You of all people wouldn't just write "I guess the electric car experiment wasn't meant to be". Too funny, keep up the great blog it's very entertaining and informative.

  9. Tom,
    You sure pulled one over on a few people, including me, for a few minutes. I like Peder's explanation the best. The picture is a give away though its obviously not a MINI but its close enough to fool people. Still not sure what make of car it is but I'm sure its not electric.
    Well happy April Fools everyone.

  10. Well April Fool Day ... note the word *day*
    Posting that the fire happened "last night" means it didn't happen on the "fool" day.

    Anyway, I stand by my "poor taste" comments ... search engines will pick up the references to "electric mini fire" and as is typical in this 21st century world, average folks will read the headline and believe the rest.

    Additionally, all the Electric MINIs are experiments, and many have had issues of one level or another; it's quite feasible for this story to have been true ... a "joke" is like Google Inc changing their name (unbelievable), not like Obama suffering a heart attack (which could happen) ... or a car catching fire (which could happen).

  11. Great post! I think you had some people fooled for sure. Good crack!

  12. OK when I wrote the comment above this morning I didn't even realize it was April Fools Day so you got me. Good job, you made me laugh at myself for falling for it.

    I can't believe anyone would think it was bad form, lighten up people

  13. well shoot. there goes my theory about opec pulling a Jack Bauer on #250

    Keep on keeping ef-ing

    It would of made for a hell of a movie!

  14. Funny joke but I hope BMW sees it that way since thermal run away is a coocern. Just hope some anti-electric car blog doesnt get a hold of this and edit out the april fools part. Anyway always enjoy your blog. Keep on charging.

  15. It looks like mostly everyone had fun with this, I even got three emails that were all very complementary. Sorry for those that didn't think it was appropriate, but I always try to have a little fun on April 1. I didn't write that anyone got hurt or any laws were broken, after all it's just a car.(I cool one at that)

    If some person cut & pastes part of this to deceive people, that's their bad and I would assume if they wanted to print a fraudulent story they could just make the whole thing up anyway. I specifically didn't use the words "electric car" or "fire" in the title so a search would not reveal the specific entry.

    As for the folks at BMW and MINI I have gotten to know quite a few of them in the past ten months and I think they probably enjoyed this as much as most did. If not, oh well...

    Thanks for the comments an emails and have a great day!

  16. Funny April Fools joke Tom. Glad MIni E 250 is alive and well.