Thursday, June 24, 2010
#140 has a slight hiccup on the electric highway
No, that's not a picture of #140 being returned to MINI after a year of happiness.
After 21,030 miles I had my first official breakdown today.
Today if you were traveling I5 North in the Glendale/Burbank CA area between 3:20p and 6:30p you probably saw me on the side of the road. I was only there for 3 hours or so...LOL. The first three tow truck drivers BMW Roadside Assistance dispatched canceled.
The long wait for a tow truck gave me plenty of time to talk to my friend at AC Propulsion, Long Beach MINI and even one of the Flying Doctors who will be fixing the car tomorrow.
Today started out as a great day. My neighbor Tom, who's been interested in purchasing an electric car for his family, had come over and we had a nice visit about the car and he drove it for a little bit around the Long Beach area. Like other folks who've driven #140 he was impressed with the pickup and overall feel of the car.
Later in the afternoon, I was on my way to work and almost made it. About 10 minutes from Burbank, while in the fast lane at approx 70 miles an hour, all was normal until suddenly there was a very soft pop and the state of charge indicator directly above the steering wheel went to the Off position. The car completely lost power. I was able to make it to the shoulder just barely. Tried all the usual things to get the car going again...turning off, turning on, opening and closing hood and even turning the big red knob in the trunk area off and on to no avail. While I was waiting for a tow truck to arrive, my service advisor Jennifer at Long Beach MINI (who always goes beyond the call of duty to help me out) was able to put me in touch with a Flying Doctor (the MINI E service specialists who have been trained to work on the MINI E) who was familiar with the problem I experienced. They'd just come up with a fix and he'll be at Long Beach MINI tomorrow to fix the car and assuming he finds no other surprises should have me back on the road in no time.
On our 30 mile drive back to Long Beach, I was able to have a nice visit with Pedro, the tow truck driver from AAA. He loves his job and had a great attitude. In the past two years he's driven his flatbed over 250,000 miles. I thought I drove a lot of miles. During the MINI E Field Trial, I've met all sorts of great people that I never would have crossed paths with if it hadn't have been for the Field Trial.
As an early adopter, these kinda things are going to happen now and then. I'm having a great time in the MINI E Field Trial and look forward to being back on the road with #140 soon. Currently in a Cooper S....but hopefully not for long. :)