Saturday, July 18, 2009

101 Highway Miles today with miles to spare!

Today was another great day in the MINI E! Decided to see if a 100 mile highway trip was possible and I'm happy to report it was with miles to spare. Even better, 96 of these miles were highway miles with speeds from 65 - 70 with no traffic. We drove from Long Beach, CA to Upland, CA and back. It was a fantastic drive and best of all, no gas. As I was coming home I was right next to a Shell Gasoline double tanker truck for a few miles. As one who was spending close to $300 a month on Shell Gasoline, it was one of those many happy moments I've had driving the MINI E. Setting aside the problems and the sometimes bad press, it's moments like that that really make me thankful for being part of this field trial.

I know the details can bore some folks but for those interested here they are:

101 Miles Traveled, 10% charge left, 11 miles left as I drove into garage.

Trip to Upland - 50.5 miles

My wife was the passenger. Outside temp in Long Beach was 82 when we left and 104 in Upland when we arrived. Battery temp never got past 97. We kept the a/c on low and radio on low volume. Daytime Running Lamps were off. Kept speed between 65 - 70 miles per hour despite being passed by almost 100 cars. :) When we arrived I was a little concerned that the gauge showed miles left to travel as 37 and the battery left % at 35. I knew that this part of the trip was slightly uphill but still was a little concerned.

Car sat for 4 hours in carport.

Trip back to Long Beach:

Just me driving home for the return trip. Was happy to see when I started car, miles left were now 44 and battery charge left was 49%. The sitting around in the shade seemed to have helped. Time was 8pm, outside temp was now 84 and since it was dark, turned on the headlights. Decided to keep a/c and radio off just to be safe. Put fan on low and hit the road. Once again I kept speed between 65 - 70. It was smooth sailing all the way home and I was able to take advantage of brake regen now and then as I drove because the ride back to Long Beach was slightly downhill. Battery temp never higher than 95.

A couple of things learned on this trip. First, as one who normally, when traffic permits, drives 75 -77, by driving 65-70 you really can increase your range. This little bit of speed adjustment really helped. Second, don't freak out if you see the battery % and miles left a little lower than you'd like when you get somewhere. Chances are when the car sits for a bit, it will climb slightly. Plus if your trip was slightly uphill going, remember going back it'll be slightly downhill and you'll get a little extra range. (provided you drive in a similar fashion)

I'll update this post in the morning with kwhs used for this trip. #140 charging on the Time of Use Meter right now. *Update: 31 kwhs used for this trip.

Another great gas free day!


  1. Todd, at squeaking out the miles! I'm amazed by how low your battery temperature stays. My average after 10 minutes of driving is in the low 100's but I guess my battery starts off at a higher temperature since my garage is hot in the summer. On Friday at work I had to keep my windows fully closed because of passing thunderstorms. My battery temp was 113 when I turned on the car at 5pm! I didn't get a temperature warning on the way home so I guess the car copes well. It will be interesting to see what happens this winter as we do get temps below freezing here in Victorville.

  2. I meant to say "Todd, good job at squeaking out the miles!"

  3. Hi Stan...Thanks! I've seen high temps too when leaving Burbank in the afternoon. At work car sits in the sun all day. Many times battery will be in the high 90s. However, I've never had 113 when starting the car. :) Have reached that temp while driving home once. On this particular trip, car was in a cool garage when we started. Believe battery temp was 82 or so as we left the garage.

  4. Wow! The range just keeps climbing for you. You got 3.26 miles per kWh on this trip. Impressive!

    Weren't you a bit hot without the a/c during the return trip? Did you have the windows down then? The way your figures have added up, I'll bet that you could have kept it on.

    My guess is that the drain on the battery pack is nearly the same whether you run the a/c or increase the drag coefficiency with the windows down. Just a guess, though.

  5. I wish I knew what you are doing... I've never gotten below 70 ah/100 miles

  6. I'm putting your blog on my blogroll page over at TwityBlitz.

  7. I did keep the windows up on the return trip and periodically ran the fan without the air. As I'll be making this trip again, will leave the a/c on next time and see what happens.

    My gauge has never shown anything below 70ah/100 miles either. This particular trip was out of the norm for my regular driving habits.

    Thanks RB!