Friday, August 28, 2009

Tesla considering Long Beach and Downey, CA for assembly plant

Was happy to see this as the big headline in this morning's Long Beach Press Telegram newspaper:

Tesla considering Long Beach and Downey, CA as possible plant sites

Click above to view article.

In MINI E news, we're crossing the 5000 mile mark today and going strong. The heat is a factor with the range and battery temp but if you adjust your driving habits you can motor on. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Enjoyed our visit with Justin & Dahlia from UC Davis

This past Monday evening we were interviewed by Justin & Dahlia from UC Davis as part of the study they are conducting with MINI. We enjoyed visiting with them and sharing our thoughts and experiences with the MINI E. It was apparent to us from the questions being asked that MINI is very interested in our thoughts, ideas, feelings, etc about the car. We're very hopeful the information gained from this study will help MINI create a future EV that will be available sooner than later.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back on the road again with the MINI E

After 6 days out of service, I picked up #140 this morning. Have no further info on what the problem was other than it involved the battery. See Matt's post in the comments section of post below for more info on what was probably addressed.

Having put 325 miles on the Cooper S, it took a few miles to get use to the MINI E again. The cars drive so differently.

Hopefully my last service visit for a while.

Friday, August 14, 2009

#140 needs some new modules

#140 has two bad modules. Not sure what that means other than it involves taking apart the entire back part of the car that houses all the batteries. This is the first time the Flying Doctors have had to do a module replacement (at least in Oxnard, CA). Hope to have car back early next week. The problem was discovered during my first scheduled service visit. I had no indication anything was wrong and the car was driving great. Will update more when I know. Will be cruising in the S until the E's return.

Matt Walton via the MINI E group on Facebook provided this updated info:

Per spec sheet;

Battery Design - 53 cells connected in parallel constitute a unit, 2 units connected in series constitute a module, 48 modules connected in series constitute the battery; 5,088 individual cells in total.

Pictured at link below, scroll down to year 2005;

Based on this explanation, 212 out of 5088 have gone bad.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some thoughts on the 09 Cooper S after 80 miles

Today I drove the S from Burbank to Long Beach and back. Also drove around at lunch. 80 miles for the day. I'd forgotten how traditional gas cars (more so on sports cars) jerk around. Whether you're accelerating, shifting, braking, idling...the car is constantly moving around. The E is so smooth with the regen that after 4000 miles of driving I'd really started to take it for granted. Only when you get back in a gas powered car do you start to realize what an amazing automobile the E really is. The throw you back in your seat acceleration, the awesome regen that once you master provides a very smooth driving experience to the overall ride, the E is hard to beat. Driving the S made me appreciate the E even more. My previous post said I'd choose the S if I had to choose a gas powered MINI. Changed my mind, I'd wait for the electric version. :)

Driving the 09 Cooper S today

Driving the 09 Cooper S while the E is in for a brief time out. If I had to choose a gas powered MINI that would be the one but nothing beats the E.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MINI E #140 heading to Oxnard for a visit

Just had a call from my service advisor at Long Beach MINI. During my recent service visit...approx 400 miles ago...they ran some tests on the battery and just now have the results back. Appears they may need to replace the entire battery or parts of it and #140 needs to go to Oxnard ASAP. While car is driving fine, I was told the range could diminish over time, without being serviced. Will follow up with more details when I have them. Dropping off in the morning. Wasn't told how long it will take to fix but hopefully not to long. Currently at 4200 miles and loving the gas free E!

Friday, August 7, 2009

First service visit and thoughts on 09 Convertible

#140 is back on the road. Just had the first official service visit at 3700 miles. Control Modules were checked, motor components, charge plug, suspension, brakes, etc. No problems and I had car back in 24 hours from drop off. Thanks Long Beach MINI! The tech left a brochure for police/fire folks in case of an accident, on the front passenger seat.

Had the chance to drive the new 2009 MINI convertible while the E was in for service. I paid the extra $25.00 for the upgrade to Enterprise (on site at Long Beach MINI). It's a nice car. A couple of observations. 1) I'd forgotten how loud a regular engine is. 2) With the top down you can see all around the vehicle easily however with the top up there are some big blind spots near the rear pillars on each side. I wouldn't feel comfortable driving it on the freeway each day with the top up. 3) There's a gauge that keeps track of how long you've been driving with the top down. Nice touch. It would be a great car for cruising around the city, beaches, etc.

Glad to be back in the MINI E!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I made it into a Business Week article

Yesterday, David Welch at Business Week and I had a nice phone conversation about the MINI E. Today, the article appeared online:

Business Week Article 8/4/09

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

First Official Service Visit for #140

On Wednesday, our MINI E is going in for it's 3000 mile service visit with a little over 3700 miles on the odometer. Everything has been running great so hopefully it'll be in and out the same day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

HOV aka Carpool Lane Stickers arrived!

I was thrilled to finally receive the HOV stickers for the MINI E. They arrived this past Thursday and I put them on before driving up to Universal City from Long Beach. This took me on the 405 and then to the 110 where the carpool lane is two lanes for a good portion of the drive. It didn't take long before a CHP motorcycle officer whipped up behind me from out of nowhere. He looked over the back of the car and then pulled beside me (driver's side) and then dropped back again before zipping back into regular traffic. I was a little concerned about my sticker placement. I took it upon myself to apply the stickers where I did, feeling this would provide the best visibility. 3 stickers arrived. 2 large and 1 small. I decided to only put one of the large stickers on the car. The diagram that comes with the stickers shows a car from the 70s with giant side panels and wheel wells. The MINI doesn't have these spaces. Since this officer didn't pull me over, I'm hoping that I did okay. It's awesome to be driving gas free in the HOV lanes. 3600 miles and climbing....loving the MINI E!

Double click photos to enlarge.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Edison installed a data recorder today

Today Rey Goco (EV Infrastructure Technical Specialist) from Edison came by with Angelo and installed a Data Recorder that will keep track of our power use, load, times we're charging, etc for the next month. Edison has contacted 10 folks to monitor and we're happy to help out. They'll be using the info they gather to insure they're ready to go as more EVs come to market.