Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Now it is really over

it was car exchange day today.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I can't drive - 63

Sorry, I couldn't resist the Sammy Hagar reference. It doesn't come up that much.

So on the eve of returning #269 to it's maker it has come up with a parting issue. Honestly, I either just don't remember folks discussing this issue in the blogs or I have a new issue. I am guessing the former, but here it is.

If I stay under 60 mph, there is nothing wrong with my car. But the second I hit 62, the car starts resisting me to go any faster. It feels like when the limiter kicks in at 92 (uh, so I've heard). The only difference is that if I depress he accelerator to the floor it will burst forward in spurts but the fighting gets tougher as I do. I did manage to get it to 65, but here is where issue #2 comes in.

The regen is F*&@ed. If I am going over 60 the regen is causing the car to almost buck when it tries to kick in. And wen I got it up to 65, it was so harsh I was afraid for a minute that the front wheels were actually going to lock up while I was going 60mph. They didn't lock up, so I repeated the experiment. Same issue. This was all on my ride home on Friday from work.

I drove in to work yesterday (as I will today). On my drive in I never had occasion to reach 60. So there was nothing wrong on my drive. I wondered if it was a temporary issue. Then on the ride home I had my one chance and it returned. The same hesitance at 60 and the almost violent regen when going faster that this.

As today is my last day with #269 I am going to drive in again today. I will just be in the right lane a but more that you would normally find me.

I haven't decided what to do about it. I guess I will just call Morristown Mini, so they can inform them of the issue after they come flatbed it away tomorrow. I kind of wish this had happened earlier oddly, because I would be interested to understand what the issue is and how it is resolved.

I can guess. A 100% guess. Either a PEU controller issue, or some kind of malfunctioning speed sensor. There, that was a waste of blog space on a guess. Mostly because I will not ever find out.

Anyone else had a similar issue?

Friday, June 4, 2010

OK One More Post

I found this today and snapped it up. I was actually searching for an R56 Mini Die Cast in our dark Grey Metallic color so I could fashion my own stickers and make a Mini E facsimile as a memento. I guess I can save the pattern and exacto work.

Maybe I am the only guy who hasn't figured out that these existed, but I am glad I found this. I can think of a way that they could have sold 500 of these. Make 500 of these and ask us. I am pretty sure every single pioneer would have shelled out the extra dough for the mini Mini. I can't wait to see if it has the battery box where the back seat should be.

Anyway, the flatbed arrives on Wed the 9th. I will likely make at least one more post with the parting flatbed photo.

Monday, May 31, 2010

LAST POST - end of the experiment

CONCLUSION: Loved it!!!!

So here we are a year later. I can say that I am very happy that I participated in the program. I would certainly do it again. And to whoever is the next driver of #269, enjoy. I tried to take good care of her.

I have not heard anything about how they plan to spruce them up and turn them around. But with just over 8k miles on it, #269 still has a lot to give. Whoever is out there thinking that they have some extra money burning a whole in their pocket and are interested to learn about the electric car thing first hand, I would say "Go for it, You will not regret it".

I will be calling tomorrow to schedule my pick up. The official date is the 12th, but since I just leased a new car, they will likely get it back a few days early.

Really the only reason that I did not extend my participation was the $$. Not that I am opposed to paying that much for a car, but I told myself before the price came out that it would need to stand on it's own for me to participate. In my head I said that number was about $500. I am not sure of even that would have done it though. After shopping around a bit for a replacement daily driver I got a great deal on a MB C300 4MATIC. With 5k down I am paying $321 a month will all maintenance for 3 years/10k mi. Based on this years milage that will be plenty.

So $600/mo for a 2 seater with no real amenities or a fairly loaded MB for $321 ?? Like I said, it needed to stand on its own. I know there will be gas and some out of pocket maintenance is likely, and I did put some money down. But even if they were both $600/mo (which is a lot to add to the MB) one is a little 2 seater mini. Did I mention two small kids (1 and 3)???

When I got into this last year, my hope was that when this was over there would be a production electric version of something available. Since I dont feel like shelling out for the Tesla roadster, it was back to ICE. I am certain that in June of 2013 there will be several options then and I will certainly be leaning toward a BEV. They may have even started making the Tesla S by then.

So to those who have decided to continue on, congratulations and I know that you will enjoy your upcoming year as much as we ALL have enjoyed this past one.

Mike Graham

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I sent in my email reply today that #269 will not be renewing. I had said that I would not renew if it was over $500/month, so I am going to stick to my guns and say no. I am very sad, as I LOVE driving the car every day into Manhattan. But that is a big number and I can not justify it. I hope it ends up at a good home. Hope they like the ELECTRIC decals (though I imagine they would remove them)


Friday, March 5, 2010

I park it quite a diverse parking lot

This was me going to get my car from the garage to come home the other night. I see this car quite often (driver included?) in my garage. This is the first time I have seen them parked together though. I think if I bumped him on the way out, he would not even notice?? It's a BIG car....

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 :)