Sunday, February 28, 2010

Guest Post - New driver

So it was very slippery the other morning and I decided that my sister-in-law should take the Mini-E rather than her Florida equipped Honda. She drove about 35 miles each way to her job and back and I asked her to write me a guest post about her experience. Rather than edit her post at all, I will make one correction. She says 4 wheel traction but I was trying to tell her that the Mini has traction control. She misunderstood, but either way, it is better than the slipping she would have experienced in her car. So with no edits.......

Regarding Mini 269

My name is Kristine and I drive a 2004 Honda Accord with Florida License plates. This tells you my car is not "snow worthy" After the 20inches of snow we received in the past 2 days my little black car stayed in the drive way. Knowing I had to work on Sat I asked my sister if I should worry about shoveling around it or just wait until the morning. We agreed that the morning would be fine. Well I was awoken with a message that I needed to go talk to my Brother-In-Law (Micheal Graham). I went outside and to my surprise, my car was iced over and stuck in the little spot it had been. Knowing I needed to go to work Mike suggested that I drive his Electric Mini-Cooper. Mike advised me it has 4 wheel traction and brand new snow tires. I only needed to drive from South Orange to East Brunswick so the 100 mile charge would be ok. We took it for a quick test drive around the block to get used to the "non braking" stopping the Cooper has. So off I went to East Brunswick. I was an awesome ride on the G.S.P and the NJ Turnpike. It drove VERY solid and had a very fast "get up and go". I found myself letting off the gas several times when the cops were insight. However I did notice quickly before I got to East Brunswick that the charge gauge had dropped very quickly. I did turn the heat off remembering that Mike had told me it used electricity and I may or may not be able to have it on the whole time. But by the time I got to work it was at 50%. So I was thinking no problem, I will make it back with no problems safe and sound. I left work and was back on the NJ Turnpike and G.S.P. About 10 min into my 40min ride home I noticed the charge gauge was at 25%. So at this time I turned off the radio (thinking it would make a difference) I and started to get nervous about making it all the way home. However as I was driving it home I did say to myself "Kristine if you had this car you would get so many speeding tickets"! Because a few times I did look at the speedometer and didn't even realize I was going 90. So after going through the last toll plaza I saw the electricity lite come on and tell me I had 10 miles left. I panicked!! So I called home and asked what I should do? I was told just to keep driving and if it dies it dies. So I made it to my exit of the G.S.P. My nerves at this point we extremely high and tears we about to appear. As I continued through the streets I began to notice that the "10 miles left" indicator stayed the same. So the nerves started to settle. Then I see brake lights ahead. It was an accident and we were moving at a snails pace. Ok, here come the nerves and tears again. So I continued in the stop and go traffic and continued to watch the gauge go from 5 miles to 4 miles. At this point I'm ready to pick up my phone and say come and get me. But continuing in the stop and go traffic the gauge remained at 4 miles for 10 minutes or so. Knowing I had about 3 miles left I just figured I was close enough to walk home if I needed. As I made the last turn I was at 1 mile on the gauge and was a ball of nerves. I made it in the driveway. Thanking god I made it. I easily handed Mike the keys back and said "it's very stressful driving it". After talking with Mike we figured driving without stopping was a big difference than the stop and go local driving. It wasn't able to "recharge". So it's a great car to drive just a little stressful for a female from Florida :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Charging Problem - No More!!!

So I am the proud owner of an ACME buck-boost transformer. (sounds like something between back to the future and wily coyotee). What a wonderful difference a few volts make. The charging anxiety is now gone. It has been 4 months since I have been able to pull in the garage and charge right away. It is a real breath of fresh air to have this convenience restored.

Thanks to the BMW team that was out to diagnose the NJ power issue. I am glad to have this behind me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


#269 got a snow day yesterday and I drove into NYC in my SUV. It was pretty bad out there yesterday. But today she is making a comeback. The kids have to go to school today, so I am back in #269. Let's see if they sprung for the good snow tires. I am optimistic.