Saturday, January 30, 2010

One foot in the Future, one in the Past!

I must admit I love this stuff!

Today I went to the Grand National Roadster Show at the Pomona Fairplex, drove my Electric MINI E, (asked at the gate if they had parking for Electric cars, the attendant laughed, said NO) parked outside the NHRA Museum. Entering through the Museum, I passed the dry lake "Challenger" record holder etc etc, and all the famous racing, drag racing and Lakester cars of my youth (the 50's).

The Grand National Roadster Show is an event that has been running annually (originally in Oakland California) for 61 years or since I was 6 years old. I've been to a few over the years.
Today there were more than 800 absolutely beautiful, privately owned and restored cars, gassers mostly, a few steamers.

The finishes and materials, creativity, time and effort that goes into these labors of love are simply astounding.

You see, I also have this affliction in that my 'other' project
(begun years before I came to the realization that Electricity IS the immediate solution to one of the planets many problems) is the ground up restoration of one of those Hot Rods.
I came today to find parts and some input as I am nearly finished with what has proven to be a nearly five year project.
My 54 year old Hot Rod will be one of those labors of love, a work of art in metal, unfortunately powered by gasoline but intended only for weekend fun outings, the Electric Car serving very well as my Daily Driver and actually just as much fun to drive!

The Gasser has been relegated to it's rightful place, a functioning sculptural piece of great beauty, to be admired and driven only on a few special occasions.

It felt really good that I had driven the 40 miles each way, 80 mile round trip, on about 30 KWH of Electricity at a cost of about .07 cents a KWH ($2.10 total, less than the cost of a gallon of gas) to view a mind boggling display of absolutely beautiful metal sculptures and mechanical ingenuity from a soon to be bygone era!
My project isn't quite ready to reveal just yet, so I'll put a few other pics from todays show here for your enjoyment.

Make this one Electric it would be cool!
It's a Cadillac!

Boyd Coddington's 1939 Lincoln.

Won't it be cool when people discover the fun of driving an Electric Car and they have been around long enough for the backyard metalsmith to get hold of them and begin to work their magic and turn the Electric Car into a Powerful thing of Beauty.

Today, I saw a lot of "Circle/Slash Green" symbols, I don't know why, It's all about fun, appreciation and celebration of the creativity and ingenuity it takes to create these things and ultimately, I think, enjoying the drive, what's wrong with doing it in a "Green" way?

That's it for todays foot in the past, movin on!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Close Encounter with the CHP.

Driving the 5 freeway toward LA, using my Car Pool Stickers, I fly past a CHP (California Highway Patrol) cruiser parked behind an overpass pylon. I look in the rearview mirror and sure enough he lights up like a christmas tree and runs me down. I pull to the side of the narrow lane as carpool lane cars zip past at high speed.

He cautiously approaches the off road side and as I roll down the window, the officer asks "what happened?"
I return a questioning look and he says "You  are in a Carpool lane!" I say "yah" "I'm driving an Electric Car!" He responds "Electric?" as he notices the 'E' logo on the dash and brushes it with his hand.

 (Of course, in his rush to boost his quota with another expensive ticket, he hadn't noticed the no less than 3 White ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) stickers and the Chrome plated word 'ELECTRIC' under the rear license plate.

The officer then proceeds to walk around the front of the car, returning, says "you have no stickers!"
I point at the REAR of the car where there are 3 and he looks, then says "oh, you only have one, by the way that front license plate is illegal!" (He was talking about my 'Euro GB plate' which is a legal plate because it says the same thing my official California plate says.)

He handed me back my license, wrote something in his little notebook, smiled and said "Have a nice day!"

I wonder when they will inform the Officers in the cruisers about the MINI E?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

COOPER E 230 to the rescue!

Got a phone call from my wife at the Bank parking lot and she says "Guess what, my battery is dead!"

Since my truck was unavailable and on a run to San Diego with my son, I searched the garage for my spare set of jumper cables, found them and took a look under the hood of the MINI E to find the auxiliary battery that runs the onboard stuff is a healthy 12volts 70 amps.

Told her not to worry, don't call AAA and jumped in the MINI E with a set of jumper cables and went to the rescue.

I love this car!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Yet another 'Focus' Group

Focused for 3 hours sunday with about 10 other Electric car drivers, answering questions about the Electric Car driving experience. I hope what was said helped enlighten those asking the questions.

I have No Idea who the Company was BUT for ME
 It was very helpful to hear 9 other unrelated people who are having as
100% positive an experience as I.
These were RAV 4 drivers (2) who have had their cars 7 years and have a LOT of experience,
Tesla  drivers (2) who were right there in the beginning,
the balance (6) were Mini E's.
One had both a Rav 4 and a Mini E (and a GEM).

The moderator asked many questions re: operation, range, capacity, style, price, etc, etc. The most interesting for ME (and I think the moderator) was the enthusiasm and 100% positive nature of all of our experiences with our All Electric cars.

Try one, you'll like it!

Another good read on MYTHS

Read this, even if you don't finish it you will be enlightened!

Monday, January 4, 2010


It's been a busy Holiday season!

We've had the pleasure of 'Baby sitting' my friends Mini E #136 while he is enjoying a family vacation in Hawaii.

It's been really fun having Two Mini E's in the family, the charger has been busy.

I am looking forward with much excitement to the new year and what Electric and Hybrid vehicles will do toward transforming our transportation choices!

We've just completed another of the Mini reporting events, detailed charting of the daily use of our car for one week.
Not a typical day for us but one that happens too often is: I wake up at around 7am, unplug the car and have breakfast. Start my day and drive anywhere from 30 to 80 miles in my various daily errands finishing by plugging in after 9pm and heading for bed. My son Jamie (who's body clock is opposite of mine and stays up all night) unplugs with a full tank at midnight, adds another 40 or so miles and replugs at 3 or so in the am. Later that morning I unplug, have breakfast and am on my way with yet again a full tank for another day.

The tank is always full!

Our electric bills average about $50 a month, far less than filling two gasoline tanks every other week!

Our average 'fuel' expense is about .03 cents per mile and less when we charge on a public charger.

My wonderful (now low mileage) 2003 Ford F250 Diesel has burned no more than 70 gallons of fuel in 7 months, (those were to tow things I couldn't with the Mini) normally I would have done that much fuel ($200) in two weeks running my errands, I had to charge the trucks batteries to start it.

8500 miles on COOPER E 230 and mounting, I'll return #136 this weekend to it's home and Jamie and I will be back to our routine Day shift/Night shift.

If you are not looking forward to Electric Cars I feel sorry for you, you'll be missing something really cool!