Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cost results are in!

Received my Edison TOU (Time Of Use) meter bill yesterday.
TOU is the separate meter installed by Edison to monitor the power consumption of the 240 volt 40 amp charger exclusive to the Mini E.

The breakdown on the rate sheet is very complex but shows the percentage of sources behind the power you used. almost 25% was provided by DWR (Department of water Resources)

The Bill, including the $15 account setup charge, totals $91.14.
$76.14 is the cost the electricity I used in the process of driving over 1200 miles since installing the meter. (I've deducted the mileage driven the day I used 'New Deal's charger to recharge mid-run to Hollywood)

This works out to fractions more than .06 cents per mile for "fuel" (electricity).

Add the cost of the lease (which I don't pay till next month) the total cost, including lease, for the next 1200 miles (one month) will be around .83 cents per mile.

Compare this to the $1.84 it has cost (fuel and cost of vehicle) me to drive a mile in my 'other' vehicle (F250 Diesel, it's paid for now, so I'll keep it for the occasional hauling/towing trip)

To "fuel" 1200 miles in my other vehicle (@.1875 cents per mile @$3 per gallon) would have cost at least $225.

My fuel saving, this month, is nearly $150!

Add to this saving, the JOY I feel while driving the CLEANEST, least polluting, car on the planet.

I'm a Happy Boy!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How many tons of pollution do stoplights produce?

I've always hated idling at long stoplights, wasting fuel and polluting the air we breathe.
Driving the Mini E it's wonderful to sit now at a long stoplight and know I am not contributing. Yesterday I had to fire up the 'Dino' fuel truck and haul something I couldn't fit in the Mini. Really hated to do it but had no choice.

It's amazing how different I felt driving it after a month of Electric Car heaven.
The guilt I felt idling at stoplights, the sound of the engine, I used to like to hear, now sounds primitive and unnecessary.

Personally I can't wait for this to be my reality!

My next investigation is the conversion of my roof to Solar collection, I know it's expensive and I probably won't live to see the payoff but I feel it's worth investigation. There would be no better feeling than to know I was cleanly generating the power necessary to haul me around in my daily routine.

I can't make Hydrogen, or natural gas, I don't want to spend money on foreign non renewable fuels, I CAN MAKE electricity, we have the technology, it is the OBVIOUS SOLUTION.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Saw 222 today.

Saw the second OTHER Mini E I've seen on the road.

For the 2nd time in the month I've had COOPER E,
I had to fire up the Diesel truck to haul something I couldn't fit
in the Mini. So I was cruising south on Jamboree in my Ford Diesel Truck and there it was, a Mini E, gliding along in the fast lane beside me!
Of course he couldn't know I had one too, so I just watched as he passed by with a huge smile on his face.

I got home and looked up 222 in charger sharing website but he hasn't signed up,
so, don't know who you are 222.

Anyway, welcome, we should all have a meetup someday!

Monday, June 22, 2009
Just a reminder
this is what it is like
to drive a vehicle
powered by CLEAN,
It is empowering
and refreshing
and guilt free.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Turned 1000 miles today

ODO: 1046 miles
TOU: 310 kwh

mileage: 3.4 mpkwh

Cost: about a nickel a mile!

I get my Edison bill soon I'll report exactly what the cost is.


My son Jamie and I were invited to go along on a scheduled tour of SpaceX, with the kind folks from New Deal Studios.

We left at 9am, again the philosophy was to keep it under 65 mph, no a/c, drove the 40 miles and arrived having used 40%.

After our visit we decided to head home and not overly mind the mph but keep it down with an occasional burst to 70 mph, run the a/c, etc for the 40 mile ride. We arrived home having used 40% of our battery charge! 20% left.

Space X is Space Exploration Technologies, founded by Elon Musk who is also responsible for the Tesla electric car.

We not only toured the entire manufacturing facility (800,000 lb thrust rocket motors, etc) but saw in the back of the building, in a little white tent, the first Tesla roadster along side two Model S prototype cars! A wonderful facility, where Boeing used to assemble 747's, is now Spacex where alongside rocket engines they are building the prototype Teslas completely in house!

All of this right here in Southern California, privately funded.

As we finished the tour, everyone wanted to see the Mini E. Soon the entire Tesla design team had spilled out of the building to surround our Mini E, inspect it and ask questions about range, performance, how we liked driving it etc, etc.

Talking with the youthful Tesla engineers and designers was truely a joy and I felt the passion they feel for what they are doing and the happiness they felt to see another electric car on the road, we all agreed that once you drive Electric, you don't want to go back to gas!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

109.8 miles!

Today I made my longest round trip yet in the Mini E.

Starting out about 9am, in normally heavy LA morning traffic, I had decided my strategy would be to keep my speed under 60 mph when traffic flowed, use the regenerative braking whenever possible and utilize the gradual inclines and declines I really hadn't paid much attention to before. As I flowed with the stop and go traffic, I actually watched at one point as the battery readout read 58% fluctuated and improved to 63% as I used the regenerative braking. This happened repeatedly.

Arrived for my meeting at FOX at 52 miles with 51% charge left.

Returning to my parked car I was nervous, I had 51 % to get home, I might make it, might not.

I drove 8 miles to Marina Del Rey, to a friends Studio, where I knew there was a charger. They have a car coming, arrives next Monday.

So, at 60 miles, 48% charge left, I borrowed some juice, after a nice tour of the Studio, chat about cars in general and Mini E in particular with a lot of very nice people on lunch break, a one and half hour charge brought me to 80%.

I then headed safely home. I arrived home having traveled 109.8 miles having 29% charge left.

Simple math 80-29=51% (what it took to get home), add the 49% (I used to get to the meeting) = 100%.

Maybe I cheated by getting a touch up mid course but I wasn't sure I would make it and the opportunity to charge was there.

I really don't think you can count on more than 1% per mile and generally less especially in Southern California but the regen does seem to help and I think mileage really benefits from heavy traffic. (a new way of looking at rush hour)

All's well that ends well, another successful day in the life of COOPER E 230, and our horizons continue to broaden.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First long run to Hollywood.

Tomorrow I am making my first long run into Hollywood then Marina Del Rey from Newport Beach (about 65 miles one way).
I need to do a meeting in town, something I used to do every day, 130 miles round trip,
since I am getting 80 to 100 miles per charge, it will be difficult to get there and back on one charge. I am determined to do it, however, I really hate driving anything else at this point.

Shannon at New Deal Studios has graciously offered her charger for a brush up before I attempt the run home, so after my meeting at FOX I will cross town to Marina Del Rey and get an hours worth of juice at New Deal. Planning to be there during 'Rush' hour, I'll have my laptop, so all is not lost (I could be sitting on the freeway). It's really kind of fun having to plan your moves a little more than normal, think about range, strategy, timing, desirability of certain routes over others, etc., whatever makes your day, huh.

So, I'll let you know how it went, hopefully I won't have to make the 'call'.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Show me yours - I'll show you mine!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Second Week 6/13/09

Today I put 50 miles on COOPER E, a wonderful drive up Pacific Coast Hiway (PCH) to Long Beach to visit friends. Saw #140 in Belmont Shore, my first sighting of another Mini E, did a double take as I passed by and saw it parked at the curb.

A few more test drivers today and I am noticing the recurrence of some initial concerns people have as they realize it is an ALL Electric car, not Hybrid.

First concern is Range. Really, how many people drive an excess of 50 miles a day to work?
I used to drive 55 miles, thats 110 Round Trip and after 5 years it nearly killed me. Even that was theoretically in the range of this car.

Today, however, most of the work I do is done at home, digitally delivered, and I find I am averaging no more, many less, than 50 or 60 miles daily (some of which is just because COOPER E is so much fun to drive) waiting till off peak hours, plug in before bed and wake up to a full tank in the morning, it's so easy!

Funny, what seems to concern some people most about driving an electric car,
(before they ride in or drive the car), is that they think they will miss the sound of the engine, the exhaust note, the engine rev cues.
Only after they get in the car and feel the acceleration, experience silently gliding and instantly accelerating from speed to pass, hearing only wind noise and tires wearing on the road, the performance is so overwhelming, sound is no longer important.

They exit the car saying.."this IS the future!"
Because we are used to it, the sound of cylinders exploding and sending gases thru the exhaust is what we associate with speed. Once you feel what the electric car can do, drive it, feel the tremendous performance, the joy of driving cleanly leaving NO noise pollution or fumes behind, its so exhilarating the sound no longer matters.
Eventually it seems the proof lies simply in a short test drive, demonstration of the fact you can do all that which a gasoline driven car can, with this alternative, renewable source of power that is accessible through wind, solar, geothermal, hydraulic generation, non of which use up non-renewable resources.

The infrastructure for the delivery of electricity already exists, we all have electric power in our homes.

How many of us drive further than 50 miles to work each day?

We CAN do Electric Cars NOW, take the time, continue developing other fuels, Hydrogen, Fuel Cell, etc., systems requiring development of entirely new delivery infrastructures but get the Electric Car on the road now.

Begin the process of replacing Dinosaur Fuels today, for me it feels REALLY good.

Can you imagine what the very near future could be?

Test drive an Electric Car, it IS the future and it is HERE today!

Soon they will be affordable and available if we really show them we want them!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Night 6/12/09

Short trips today, actually had to get the Diesel Dinosaur out to go to Costco and get groceries with my wife and friend Rachel, 3 people and Costco stuff equals more than we can fit in the Mini E. But thats OK, I needed to run the truck as it hasn't been driven in two weeks!

It was a little strange being back in the truck, it feels BIG first of all, steering feels loose and 'forgiving' compared to the tight responsive Mini, perhaps the thing you miss most is Regenerative braking, oh yeah I have to brake!

Tomorrow I will get up early take the Mini out and run over to 'Donut derelicts' again as I had a good time last week.

If your in the neighborhood stop by, Adams and Magnolia, Huntington Beach, 6am to 9am.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday Night 6/10/2009

Only 18 miles today, Jamie has it tonight so he'll add more.
It'll be interesting to see what running the headlights does to power consumption.

The car is so quick and so much fun to drive, I wonder if they will be curious about the extreme G forces they will find when they download the information from the recorder that is rumored to be installed in the car?

ODO: 00469

Test Rides: 2
Test Drivers: 1

These are my Two favorite rides.

The F250 Diesel is for Long distance travel and Hauling Things.

The Mini E (COOPER E) is for running around town and Hauling Asss!

Running around town is about 80+% of my annual driving so its going to be great eliminating the purchase of that much oil and Diesel. 

COOPER E is more fun to drive!

Old Pics

Those were old pics I had already put up on the Facebook site "Mini E".

After reading some of the other posts in the field trial program, I probably should be a bit more detailed in my driving impressions but I'd rather be out there driving so if you want to ask questions, suggest events for us to bring it to, take a test ride, make a comment here and we can probably arrange something. I absolutely LOVE driving this car, it is so Guilt Free to be cruising on clean power!

Delivery day 5/30/09, loaded with groceries, charging station.

Midweek Report 6/10/09

Driving COOPER E 230 about 60 - 70 miles a day, plenty left over to easily get home. Warning came on once at 60 miles saying I had 27 miles to go.
It seems (perhaps because of my lead foot) I am getting about 80 miles clear range and change.

The car performs so well that it's hard to stay off it and drive 'conservatively'.

Sorry to hear of problems on two of the other cars but I guess we should expect that on an 'experimental' project. I'm thinking my relatively high number (230) might be a blessing as it would be in the middle of the production run.
230 (knock on wood) has been flawless so far and is truely a JOY to drive!

Everyone I take for a ride wants to drive him and after driving, wants to get one!

Bye the way, him, COOPER 230, is not a girl!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Second Week-Monday June 8, 2009

The beginning of the week, 45 miles today, 50%, meetings, Doctor visit, Funeral, home.
My son Jamie is running off the other 50% of the charge tonight with a friend.
Uneventful day except that it is still such a pleasure to drive!

Test drivers: 2
ODO: 330 mi
Kwh: 67

gas/Diesel: 0

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mustang 'encounter'

Cruising along (I won't say where) last evening a Mustang (white with Cobra stripes) pulled out of a side street and roaring through finely tuned exhaust notes, smoothly shifting through the gears, it was obvious he intended to first to arrive wherever he was going . 
As he pulled away I noticed there was no one else on the road so I decided to see how long I could match his speed.
I quietly pulled along side as he shifted through to 4th gear, blissfully filling the night air with sound (and fumes). 
At speed (I won't say what) he glanced left..... I was still there, silent, gliding, to the left of the 'beast'.
I smiled, holding tight the steering wheel, I punched the accelerator and zoomed ahead, almost frighteningly quick. 
As the lights of the Mustang fell away in the rearview I began at first to chuckle, then Laughing Out Loud said, "WOW!"

'Donut Derelicts' appearance

Saturday morning at 'Donut Derelicts', the famous gathering of Classic Hot Rods in Huntington Beach at Adams and Magnolia every Saturday morning from 6 to 9 am, I decided to take COOPER E and see if there was any interest.

Having arrived a little after 6 am I found there was no place to park in the rows of shining beautiful Rods on display (about 200) so after silently cruising the line I found a tiny spot at the end no other car could fit in to.

I backed in and before I could exit the car, the first question "that a Hybrid?" I answered "Nope...Electric" "Really...All Electric?" "Yep".

Soon the word spread as I opened the hood and people were coming from the other side of the parking lot who had heard there was "an electric car over there". I was surrounded with questions, smiles, eager to hear about the experience I am having. 

Normally, on the road, no one even notices anything different about the car, but in this case, cruising slowly, silently though the lineup of exotic customs caught the attention of some and the word spread very quickly.

I never got my donuts and coffee, next week I will take someone along so I can have some time to admire the other cars and enjoy some Coffee.

Fun Meter: still off the chart!

End of the first week of driving my new Mini E.

Sunday June 7, Finally received the TOU meter from Edison this week and final inspections.
COOPER E 230 is charged and ready.

Many short drives around town, testing, getting used to regenerative braking (easy) and developing a slightly different driving style than I am used to (Ford F250 6 liter Diesel Truck is my normal ride) and so far I love this little guy and can see the truck sitting in the drive for some time. F250 will get the hauling, towing, long trip duty and COOPER E will be carrying me about Orange and LA counties as needed. This could prove to be the perfect combination for me! 
Test Riders: 5
Test Drivers: 3
ODO miles: 281
Charges: 3
Kwh used: 57
Gas/Diesel: 0

Fun meter: off the charts

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009



My name is COOPER E 230.

I am an Electric Mini E Test vehicle made by Mini USA and BMW.

I will be driven for one year starting May 30, 2009 by Jim Dow and housed in Newport Beach California.

This will be my story.