Saturday, October 16, 2010

MINI-E Survives the "Left Running All Night" Test!

I got up this morning and was ready to leave with my wife to go for a Saturday morning drive like we often do. I grabbed my wallet and cell phone but conspicuously absent from the counter were my keys. I always put my wallet and keys next to my cellphone charger so I never forget to take any of them when I leave in the morning so it was unusual that the keys weren't there. I'm not the kind of person that leaves them anywhere and often has to look for them. I'm structured and very organized, sometimes too much so. If the keys weren't on the counter than there really was only one other place they would be: in the ignition of the car!

I walked out into the garage and there they were, in the ignition and the car was "running". I use the word running but I really should say "turned on" because there is no engine to be running. In fact, if there had been an engine "running" I most certainly wouldn't have left it "turned on" all night like I did.

Last night was a busy night at the restaurant and I got home a little after midnight. When I was just about home I got a text from one of my employees that flew into Chicago last night and he was telling me he just landed after a 5 hour delay at Newark Liberty Airport. I was only a mile or so from home when he texted me so I figured I'd wait until I got home to reply. So as soon as I pulled into the garage, I turned off the radio and headlights and then replied to his text. We exchanged a few messages about how he now missed his connecting flight and needed to rent a car to get to his final destination because there were no more flights that night. I then grabbed the stuff I had in the car, and went inside my house leaving the car on all night.

I've never done this before and I haven't even heard of any of the other MINI-E drivers doing it either. There were however a couple of things that conspired to my making this mistake.

1) The car is completely quiet when it's turned on but not moving. If it had been an internal combustion car, I would have most certainly shut it off. I guess it's possible to leave the keys in the ignition with an ICE car, but not leave to the car running in a quiet garage.

2) I didn't need to charge the car last night. I had charged the car at work yesterday, so when I arrived home I was still at about 70% SOC and there was no need to charge up. I would have plenty of juice to take a drive with my wife in the morning and then drive to work and plug in there. As I have stated here before, I charge at work as much as possible because my electric rate at work is $.11/kWh verses $.18kWh at home. If I had needed to charge it when I got home, the car would have let me know it was still turned on when I plugged in by not accepting the charge so I would have realized what I did.

3) I have a digital keypad to unlock my door from the garage to the house to I didn't need my keys to get inside my house.

I did learn one thing from this. The car had about 5% less charge in the morning than it did when I left it at night so there must be a draw going on when the car is sitting and turned on. I know the battery fans go on every now and then to bring fresh air across the modules so I guess that could be it.

I can imagine how much carbon monoxide would have been in the garage this morning is I did manage to leave an internal combustion engine car running in there all night. I recently installed new garage doors that are insulated and seal the opening really well to prevent drafts so there wouldn't be a way for the gas to escape. 

One good thing to think about is I guess suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning will be a thing of the past once battery electric cars are in everyone's garage!

1 comment:

  1. funny story. One question though; was the battery pack overheated at all when you found it in the morn