Monday, June 1, 2009

MINI E to Burbank and back

Today was our MINI E's first long road trip. First a little charging info. When our TOU (Time of Use) meter was installed this morning, I immediately charged the car to 100%. Our Clipper Creek box is the 32 amp version. There's even a note on the orange charging cable to remind you to set the car to 32 amp. The manual shows this version will take approx 4 1/2 hours for a full charge. The car was at approx 55% charge with 47 miles remaining. It took 2 1/2 hours exactly to charge the car. The indicator than showed I was good to go for 90 miles and 100% charge. If I'm reading my TOU digital readout correctly I used 15 kwhs worth of juice during this 2 1/2 hours. I haven't seen my bill yet to see if there will be taxes or not but based on my rate of .17 kwh it cost $2.55 to drive the car the 49 miles on the odometer. Granted most of these miles were hot rodding around town and I have no idea how the first 17 miles were driven before we got the car. I will do another calculation tomorrow based on today's drive which should be a more accurate representation of the cost to drive to work today and back.

Now on to my journey to Burbank. Since this was my first trip, I left everything off on my journey except the fan on the lowest setting. I quickly noticed that the 90 mile range indicator goes up and down as you drive. When you're on the highway it goes down quickly if there is no traffic. In stop and go it tends to climb back up or stay constant as the miles drive by. As luck would have it there was hardly any traffic today and I did my best to keep the speed to 70mph max however it creeps up quickly if you don't pay attention. Very happy with the driving experience. I did my best to use the brakes as little as possible. When I arrived at work, the indicator showed 57 miles remaining even though the actual miles driven was 39 miles. (90 minus 39 ='s 51)

On the way back home there was stop and go for the first 5 or so miles and then no traffic again. As I neared the bottom of the 710 freeway I had 21 miles remaining as I exited the freeway. I then had surface streets the remaining 4 or so miles home. By the time I pulled into the garage the indicator had climbed back up to 29 miles remaining. Slower speeds along with stop and go combined with mastering the regen braking appear to be keys to maximizing your mileage. Headlights were not used in either direction today. Total miles driven today: 78

Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be interesting. I'll most likely have light traffic driving to work and no traffic at all coming home. As an added bonus, I'll be stopping by the gym on the way to work which is a few miles out of the way and then when I do head home late in the evening, I'll be using the headlights all the way home. Will I make it...stay tuned! :)

P.S. An update...the drive to Burbank and back yesterday (78 miles) used 26 kwhs of power to rechage back to 100%.


  1. Thanks for the update Todd. I'm still waiting for my cable install - which could be this Wednesday.

  2. Great Post Todd,
    this is the type of real world driving experiance we are all itching to try ourselves. In reading an old copy of the owners manual it said the miles left was based on the last 18 miles driven so it will change a lote. I'd love to know your percent charge left at the end of the trip, I'm guessing 25% as from the numbers it sounds like you could have driven 107 miles, if you'd kept going.

  3. Todd, you mentioned that the range drops fast when you are on the freeway. Can you hazard a guess as to how many miles you could go on the freeway at a steady 70 mph before depleting your charge, assuming you started with 100%? Thanks. I'm glad to hear the car is a fun drive.

  4. Great to hear that the car has no problem going 80+ miles with 20+ miles remaining at a freeway speed of 70.

    exactly what I was hoping to hear.

    Thanks for the great info.

    Our wall box/ cable gets installed today so we are very close!


  5. just an observation,
    looks like they set the range indicator fairly conservative closer to freeway conditions than city driving conditions since the ranch indicator climbed up the last four miles of city driving.. Thats also nice to know.

    Thanks guys!


  6. The miles left when I got home we're 29. Stu I'd hate to guess. Today's drive should be interesting.

  7. Perhaps you already know this, but wind resistance rises exponentially with speed. It quadruples every time your speed doubles. So if you're getting range anxiety on the freeway, slowing from 70 down to even 60 drops the energy consumption by 25%. (If your fellow drivers don't kill you first, of course.)

  8. Thank for you the note about wind resistance. I didn't know that and appreciate the comment! :)