Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vons for Juice and Ice Cream

Caption: News Article! Getting Juice at Vons is as slow as a glacier! 

A first for me, a trip to Vons for juice.

After a long 90 mile trip this morning when I returned home I had plugged the car in for about 45 minutes, and then Julie and I were off for a 35 mile trip with 33% charge indicated.   It was an extremely windy day here in San Diego and that cut into our range.

We made our off ramp with zero miles left and about 1 mile from the home we entered turtle mode. We decided to turn around go down the hill and "borrow" a little juice from Vons.   We spied an outlet near the vending machines and asked the manager if we could borrow a little juice.

We plugged in for 30 minutes.  Just enough time to grab a Thrifty's ice creme inside the Rite-Aid at $1.68 a scoop (what happened to $0.05 a scoop?)  Made it home no problem.   I promised Julie  I would not cut it so close next time.

Funny, still no range anxiety, there are plugs everywhere and it sure beats a tow!

You can see the plug just over the trunk.

With egg on my face, Peder

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The world is a changin'

OMG! Just had the most fabulous dinner at Coppola's winery in Sonoma. The Tavola dinner at Rustic! 

But the greatest part.. Wait for it... Was pulling into the parking lot and seeing not one, not two, but three electric car charging stations!! Just think, if you live in the bay area or Sacramento, you could drive to Sonoma, do a day of wine tasting and then conclude your day at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery for dinner and "fill 'er up" while you dine... Return to your car and have a full charge and be ready to head home! Wow!

Me thinks that Francis is an Electronaut....Notice the awesome painting in the winery... Franklin to Tesla!  Who da thunk? Do you think that Ben ever could have imagined that one day we would have carriages that were powered by electricity transporting us? Ahhh yes, the world is a changin' !

What an exciting time!

Julie Norby, Elecronaut!
4400 miles, BMW ActiveE.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

BMW ActiveE… A Mile High Climb, 104 Mile Trip. The Ultimate Test

Dream with me a bit here…. 

Imagine a perfect sphere that weighed 4300 lbs. Imagine the energy and strength required to push the two ton+ sphere up an incline from sea level to 5400ft.  Now add the energy to push that sphere 104 miles down the road at freeway speeds. 

That is the energy that is contained and regenerated in the electric BMW ActiveE.  A most incredible and capable car.

What a great afternoon. As pioneers we test our cars to the limits. Why? Because we love cars, love to drive and love to explore where the outer edge is. Today was a picture perfect spring day,  I planned a 96 mile trip according to Google Maps that began at sea level, climbed to 5400 feet to the top of Mt. Palomar, and returned to sea level on a single charge.. 

First tip, don’t trust Google maps, trust the ActiveE!  The distance of the trip was actually 104 miles not 96 promised by Google.  Had I known that in the beginning I would have scratched the attempt as too far.

Leaving home I drove our ActiveE to Mt. Palomar.  The first 45 miles climb a total of 2000 feet.  The last 7 miles the climb is 3400 feet.  It was a spirited drive up the mountain.   

Arriving at the top here are the screen shots of the nav.  Even though 10 miles was indicated as the remaining range, I knew I had 23% battery charge and I would be regening all the way down the mountain so the range anxiety was kept in check.  I was very happy with the battery temp. A run up the mountain like this in the Mini-E would have had the batts up to 114+ so great job BMW engineers!

Not a good feeling to be 52 miles from home with 10 miles of range indicated.  What was funny was that  the dinger went off when the range climbed back above 11 and above 27 just as it does when you go below them :)

At the bottom of the Mountain, still 2000 feet above sea level and 45 miles to home I was back to 36% battery and very certain I would make it home with no need to pit stop.

Finally arriving home after 104 miles and a mile high mountain climb with 3% left in the battery here are the screen shots.

The above pic shows the efficiency of the total trip

The above pic shows the return trip efficiency, lets just say the trip up and down the hill confused the heck out of the consumption gauge.

Battery temps normal, 104 miles with a mile high climb...Incredible. I conclude that you recover 95%-98% of the energy you use going up the mountain, when you go down the mountain.
I am in awe of the capabilities of the BMW ActiveE.   Great job to all who have worked on this outstanding machine. What a fun day of sunshine and sunshine powered driving.


Spouse of an ActiveE driver.