A few weeks ago I was contacted by a representative from Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company and asked if I could come to their Green Transportation Expo in Jersey City to display the MINI-E and talk to people there about the car and my experiences driving it. I agreed and headed out to the event early this morning.
The Expo was held on the top floor of a parking deck in Jersey City, NJ very close to the Hudson River. Other than the fact that it was a very windy day which caused havoc for the tents and tables set up there, everything went well.
There were about 20 vehicles there, mostly hybrids but there was also a natural gas Honda Civic and a hydrogen fuel cell Chevy Equinox. The MINI-E was the only pure electric car there(a Tesla that had committed had to cancel) so it generated a lot of interest. In fact when the Mayor of Jersey City came(with the press in tow) the first car he walked over to was the MINI-E and he and I had a nice conversation about it as the cameras snapped pictures and a local television crew filmed. I was later asked by the TV crew to stand in front of the car and talk about it and the Trial Lease program I am participating in.
The highlights of the day for me were talking to the Clipper Creek representative Michael Paritee, about his products( the MINI-E uses Clipper Creek charge stations) and the possibility of converting them to use the new industry standard SAE j1772 plug. The picture above is the j1772 plug attached to a Clipper Creek CS-40 charge station, the same one I have at my home to charge the MINI-E, except is has a plug specific to the MINI-E. All future electric cars in the US will use the j1772 plug so all public charging stations will have this plug. I also has a good time arguing with the Chevrolet representative who was there to show the Hydrogen Fuel cell Equinox. He was telling people that GM will have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in their showrooms for sale within a couple of years. I told him he was nuts and that either he is uninformed or flat out lying. Hydrogen as a fuel may sound great (It only emits water as exhaust), but realistically we are decades away from being able to use it as a fuel for transportation, it's just too expensive to make, compress, transport and distribute. Plus, it takes more energy to make it than you eventually get from it. If you just use the electricity that it takes to make the hydrogen to charge a battery for an EV, you eliminate the whole process necessary to create hydrogen, plus there is already an electric infrastructure and it would take billions of dollars to build out a national hydrogen supply chain. When anyone suggests to me that Hydrogen is the ultimate fuel, I refer them to this informative article on Hydrogen. It's a long article, but full of facts that point to hydrogen being nothing more than a red herring to keep up addicted to oil for as long as possible.