Monday, October 10, 2011

Peder Norby's fine Post!

Wow, all I can say is I wish I had written this!

Succinctly put, Peder has done some fine research to answer the Questions most often asked, "What about the Energy to produce the electricity you use to charge your Electric Car? ....and.... Smokestack versus Tailpipe emissions"

click on the link to see the research:

Thank you Peder, see you at the next meet up!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

November will be here soon.

November, the END of my Mini E Lease and the beginning of the next stage of this ALL ELECTRIC driving experience.

Nearly two and a half years ago I was privileged to be selected to be a part of the BMW Experimental Electric Car Research program and allowed to participate by daily driving their MINI E. I will always be thankful to BMW for stepping out and initiating this program, they were the 'Pioneers', they stepped up to the plate and took the Mini and converted it with then 'state of the art' tech and actually put more than 500 of them on the road for real world, every day testing.

Now with more than 25000 miles of wonderful, trouble  free, All Electric driving on mine, I am coming to the realization that the end is near, November almost here and I will have to decide to continue with the BMW Active E lease (next phase) or purchase one of the many new choices that didn't exist when I started driving the Mini E more than two years ago.

I'm in the process of analyzing what is available, the numbers, what makes sense, what doesn't - and why.

It's not easy.

I love the Mini so much, I hate to see it go.
It has proven perfect for my daily use, I could be happy just keeping it.

But I understand, I knew, that it was temporary, there would be an end, it's OK I'm really excited to see and experience what's next.

Not really wanting to be a Guinea Pig at my own expense, I think the lease is probably the way to go to continue to avoid the minor problems any new technology will naturally experience, also smooth out the learning curve of  technological advancement and avoid the pits that are going to naturally occur.

Think I'll let the Tech mature a little before committing my hard earned dollars, and keep leasing, happily doing this to reduce trips to gasoline stations,
really don't want to return to consuming that toxic fuel.

So bring on the Electrics, give me proven reliability, give me choices, I'm ready for ownership.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What could be more fun?

Got a chance to take the Mini E Racing this past weekend!

My utilitarian, 'car of choice', daily driver, actually got invited to race with other Electric cars on the track at Laguna Seca, California, the one with the infamous 'Corkscrew' turn.

With 24,000 miles now after two years of All Electric driving almost everyday and with 5 months to go on our lease extension before we have to give up COOPER E 230, we decided to go for it and enjoy the capabilities of this wonderful little car.

My son Jamie and I loaded the MINI E into our car trailer and hitched up to the F250 Diesel, towed the 400 miles to Laguna Seca, near Monterey California, and spent the weekend racing on the track.

Best weekend ever!

 Charging in the paddock with Leafs, Teslas, Volt and a bunch of converted Porsches, a Fiero, etc.
 A line up of Teslas.
Kleen Speeds purpose built race car, runs in the high 100's.
My son Jamie driving the Mini E 230 in the famous 'Corkscrew'!

End result is we surprised everyone and ourselves with decent times, beat one of the Teslas by 2 seconds and learned a lot about driving the track at Laguna Seca!

Yes, this Electric Car experience has been truly one of the most fun experiences I've had!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is anybody out there?

Probably no one reads this anymore, only 11 followers, don't know how many happen on it by accident, only a very few even bother to comment. I know I haven't been really regular with my comments I guess I just don't want to waste anyones time with meaningless rambles.

I started this because I was extremely excited to be taking part in what I think is the Future of personal transportation.


Clean, efficient, responsible, easily renewable, readily available Electric Power.

I love automobiles! I am an Industrial Designer, I design and build Motion Picture Sets and Props.
Relatively well known for Special Effects miniature work on many major science fiction future thought projects, I've designed and built many things wind, pedal, gravity and engine powered (gasoline, steam, battery electric) as well as participated in the design of future Space travel.

The MINI E has proven to me we are ready for Battery Electric Automobiles.

The Active E, Nissan Leaf, Tesla roadster and Model S are the most exciting things to happen to transportation design in a 100 years.

They are actually reaching the marketplace. 100 years ago Battery Electrics were in competition with gasoline for the domination of transportation as a replacement for the difficult to maintain, unpredictable, underpowered, short range, polluting Horse.

Battery technology didn't progress as rapidly as the easier to produce and procure petrochemicals so oil won out and became the fuel of choice. As the Infrastructure filled in and gasoline stations replaced Livery Stables, the world rapidly and radically changed.

We now possess the Battery technology we didn't have 100 years ago, our Finite Fossil fuels are depleted, It's time for another radical change in the way we think about doing things.

If you are in the market for a new commuter vehicle, Please,
Go test drive a Volt, Leaf, or at least a Hybrid and by the end of this year there will be even more choices Ford Focus, etc, etc.

Please consider a battery Electric or Hybrid vehicle and include it in your future plans, we can't afford not to!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sure like the way my Electric Car smells!

Now the detractors like to say that it takes energy to make the Electricity you are using to charge your car and that energy has to be made somehow. For some reason they always equate making energy with burning oil.

Electricity CAN BE and IS made any number of ways.
Wind, Solar - Photovoltaics, Geothermal, Hydrologically and many more.
Storage is now accomplished better than ever before and improving all the time.

NEWS FLASH: We don't have to burn Finite Fossil fuels to produce electricity.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist or genius to figure that out.

I simply like the way my garage smells when I start up my Electric Car,
when I drive past joggers and bicyclists they smile,
Silently gliding on Electric power is a pleasure you will miss out on until you make the decision to
hang up the Gas nozzle and don't go there ever again.

I still go to the gas station occasionally to fill up my Diesel Truck and my 'other' Antique Dinosaur car BUT My Primary Use Vehicle is Electric and will be from now till forever!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I have considered the Electric Mini E as a project I have taken on to help demonstrate the 'Viability' of the All Electric Car in Every Day use.

I have many 'Projects' (because I am a 3 Dimensional person) not necessarily all compatible in Philosophy.

A long term Project, begun when my brother acquired the car in 1963, is the total restoration of a 1956 Ford Thunderbird!

Stored by my brother in a Barn in Petaluma California since the 1980's, I was given the rolling carcass, accompanied by a multitude of parts in boxes and milk crates, in 2004. My sons and I drove my F250 Diesel North and with a rented flatbed trailer brought the Bird pieces home.

What a fun project for a father and his mid twenties sons!

Tearing down, stripping paint, removing the Motor for complete engine rebuild, familiarizing with parts in boxes, locating resources, we found that there were only 14 Bolts holding the body to the frame! A friend in Costa Mesa had a body 'Rotator' so we moved the car to his shop and pulled the body off the frame.

Complete rebuild of suspension and undercarriage as without the body it's relatively easy to run new (stainless steel) gas lines, brake lines, etc.
Adding Disc brakes to help stop the brute force produced by the Hot Rodded 292!
The car had been Hot Rodded in 1959, so we restored it as a piece of history, 
A California Hot Rod circa 1959-60.

After 5 years of off and on effort, lots of cash, the car is now finished, a perfect 1956 Ford Thunderbird: California Hot Rod.

OK, now that it's done, I love driving it!
But, who can afford to drive it?
Not Me!

In the first 200 miles, I filled the tank 3 times, 45 gallons!
A little more than 4 miles per gallon!

This car is the reason Electric Cars make sense! Electric car detractors like to talk about range anxiety!
RANGE ANXIETY! I get over 100 miles out of a tank on my Electric Car and less than 80 in the Bird!
I plug in at night while I sleep (something everyone has to do) and my Electric car is full in the morning.
The Bird, I have to find a Chevron station, as it won't even run on Arco or anything with gasohol in it.
By the way I've always hated Gassing up in Gas stations!

In 16 months I have driven 21,000 miles on Electricity, saved thousands of dollars in fuel not bought,
I have experienced the past and I have seen the future!

You ask why? Why did I even bother to restore the Bird? 

It IS a piece of history, it's gorgeous to look at, to drive, to ride in, it is a rolling, living, Work of ART.

The worst part of this is the way my garage now smells!