My marvelous journey into the future continues.
This past Sunday January 24th 2010, after 7 full months in Mini-E # 183, I passed 10,000 miles on the ODO.
Pause a second and think about this. 10,000 miles in a fun hot car powered only by sunshine.
Game changer? I think so!
The car is incredible and the best thing I can say about driving #183 is that it has settled into an entirely normal routine as a super fun and responsive daily driver accomplishing 100% of my driving task. The best attributes are the shear fun of driving the car, the times saved by not going to the gas station, the fact that its 100% charged and ready to go every time I hop in, and the $1800 a year I am saving on gas by powering the car with sunshine. The drawbacks, no rear seat which is a minor drawback and that’s about it.
Even the lease payment of around $800 a month while at first glance high, for me is pretty consistent with my other cars that I have had. A $450 car payment, $100 on maintenance (service tires, brakes) $130 a month on gas and $60 a month on collision and auto insurance, all of which are included in the lease of the Mini-E. I do look forward to the electric cars reducing in price and I acknowledge that I am paying a premium as an early adopter. Again for me its really not that much if any of a premium.
One of the joys of this journey is not only personally understanding and gaining knowledge as to if the electric car will work for myself and my family (passes on all fronts, you can really drive on sunshine!) but also to share this collective knowledge of 600 drivers with others interested in the electric car future.
No doubt that future will consist of many options in electric drive ranging from Hybrids to Plug in Hybrids to Range Extended Hybrids to Battery Electric cars to Fuel Cells.
BMW has reported on some of its findings to date in this 600 car field study. As a Mini-E driver I was one of 57 who also participated in an extensive study by UC Davis, the results of that study are ongoing but the first information on that study has been posted.
There are some pretty big surprises in the reports that counter commonly held beliefs such as range anxiety being a big issue, public charging being a major issue and the majority of drivers needing additional charging.
My personal experience is consistent with the majority of the report. I reported an average range under all conditions of 90 miles per charge and a daily drive of 40 miles.
You can read these reports at the following links.
BMW Field Trial Report
The County of San Diego and many of its 18 cities have also adopted a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program that will allow home owners to finance capital improvements that are energy and water related in their property tax bill over 20 years.
Below is link for information on that program, you will want to read the last page where I compare fueling cost in a graph format.
Norby Presentation on PACE Program.