Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cross Post: NJ/NY Mini-E Meet Up

This is a cross post from Tom's blog about a Mini-E meet up this Saturday. I have read of a few on the left coast so I had been hoping that someone would organize such a thing. I am going to try very hard to have #269 on site. Here is a link to Tom's blog post and the details. He said there may already be as many as 10 Mini-E's already coming as well as a representative from Mini who had emailed Tom to confirm that he will be coming by as well. Hope to see many of you there. This is easily in range for most all Mini-E drivers, and close by many 30A charges for anyone pushing the limit of a round trip.

1pm to 3pm August 22nd
Nauna's Bella Casa Restaurant
148 Valley Road
Montclair, NJ 07042


RSVP to Tom at -- tom dot moloughney at gmail dot com

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meet The Press

So my few seconds of Mini-E fame are being extended a bot more. I guess over the course of the year, all of our local papers, etc will find us all. But I was pleased to have about a 20 min conversation while driving home in the Mini-E (Motorola T505 adapter) with David Welch of We spoke about a number of my experiences with #269 including a discussion of wether or not we would be able to gather enough data through the test to evaluate the economic impact of driving electric -vs- gasoline, and wether the premium could be justified, that auto makers are happy to add on top of a price that is for building a completely different car (hybrid example). Even in the BMW follow-up questionnaire recently one of the questions was misquote-"would you be willing to pay a 25% premium", which to me is a horrible question coming from the entire wrong direction.

But anyway in our similar conversation is where my quote in the article came from. I have no problem with his use if my quote, I just found it funny. It is essentially still true as a stand alone statement. I am off to Montreal tomorrow for a bachelor party where I will be constantly asked the same question many of you are "So you are paying for their test?" to which I answer "YES".

As someone else said, there will be lots of people who get to read about our experiences and studies to interpret our reactions to what do and write this year, but only 500 of us actually get to drive the cars. And I am very excited to be one of them.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sway Bar Bolt

So I finally got sick of hearing the rattling coming from under the Mini-E all the way to and from work every day and decided to bring the car over to Morristown Mini for a checkup. They said I would have to leave the car because any problem with any of the Mini-E cars requires a registration of he issue with Mini and the dispatch of one of their techs to review any issues. I told them I was convinced that this was non-"E" related, but they said their hands were tied. When I asked about a loaner, they said that the problem would have to be diagnosed before they could assign a loaner. I asked "so I am going to be without a car for a few days", "yes". I guess this is why in the questionnaire to get in the program they asked if we could be without the car for a few days. I believe it was something like "would you have other transportation".... To me this is an example of the fact that Mini does not know have the pedigree for an $850/month customer. That would not fly at an of my other dealerships. But I digress....

Upon arrival the mechanics said they would go for a test drive to see what I was hearing. We didn't make it out of the parking lot before hitting a drainage grate, "that is the noise", said. "I know what it is, you can back up". He proceeded to tell me that he had a car in for this same thing (a non-E) that rather than some kind of locking bolt at the end of the sway bar, Mini opted for a tapered bolt that upon tightening is meant to provide enough tension t hold the assembly together. Apparently not. I'm sure the extra 500+ pound of batteries we are all carrying isn't making the load on it any easier.

But to my surprise, the tech said he would take it i the back, jack it up, tightening it and if there was nothing else he would send me on my way now. I could not have been happier. I also only had about 35% charge as I was not expecting to get the car back, so they said they would throw it on heir 50A charger for a while as well to juice me up. and thy did all of that. I was having a pleasant conversation with one of the salesman who had come to pick me up from the train station in his Shelby Mustang on the day that I picked up my Mini-E, so I let the car sit for 30 mins on the charger. I had seen another Mini-E in the back (didn't catch the #), he said they were in "a lot". They called my name, said it was ready.

They said it was about 50% charged now. Not what I thought but might get me to NYC and back home, maybe. I figured I was going to be asking my parking garage for a top off while I was at work. I got about 10 miles from the dealership on the highway and the charge was down to 22%. Not sure what was happening exactly, but I made the decision that I was working from home and would charge on my power. No problems since, and I thank Morristown Mini for sending me on my way so easily.

Listen for that noise though.....