Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Electronauts, welcome to our blog!

Peder and I are happy to be Electronauts and want to thank BMW for a great experience and partnership the prior three years with our Mini-E and ActiveE.  It’s a bit odd to thank a company that you are paying a lease payment to, as many other car drivers pay a lease payment or loan payment for an automobile, however our electric experience with BMW is different, life changing in a way, and deserves a thank you.

Our journey began with our decision to use solar PV in our home construction in 2006.  Peder’s previous summerhouse in Rømø Denmark, as well as the rest of the small Danish island, was powered 100% by wind energy from the offshore wind farm called Horns Reef. When we began the construction of our home in Carlsbad CA, we utilized this 'Partner with Nature" lesson and paired with our natural resource in Southern California which is of course the sun.

In 2009 we were excited to be able participate in the Mini-E field trial and accomplish another milestone, that milestone was driving a “real car” on solar power generated electricity.  Peder tells the tale often of when he was driving up to his first test drive of the Mini-E in Irvine California he was wondering if the car was going to go slower up the hills like a golf cart?  After 37,000 sunshine powered miles it was time to give back the Mini-E and for Peder to transition to the Active E, or so he thought.  

I had been a loyal co-pilot to Peder in the Mini-E and had driven the car about 5% of the time-I loved it.   Peder was unable to make the West Coast unveiling of the BMW ActiveE for the Mini-E Pioneers, as he was speaking at a local film festival that night screening the four BMW documentary films that featured Peder and his fellow Mini-E drivers Todd Crook and Tom Moloughney.   I took his brother Niels to the event.  On the way up to the event I was talking to Niels about all the exciting times and ease of driving the electric car and decided after seeing the BMW ActiveE that it was going to be my car and that Peder would have to revert to driving the gasoline car.

After six months of this arrangement, Peder was miserable and I wasn’t going to give up “my” Active E!  So we reached another milestone and decided to sell our lone remaining gasoline car and Peder is now happily driving a second EV.  

So, it’s been a heck of journey for us and I am sure for BMW as well.  What we thought was going to be a fun one year EV experiment with the Mini-E, with a default setting of “it will be impractical for all of our driving, but let’s try it out” has turned into the realization that not only is one EV very practical and works for our family, but that we don’t need a gasoline car at all.  That’s still amazing to us!

To end this writing, we have more in front of us than we do behind us.  We look forward to learning together and sharing together with the other Electronauts and with BMW.  Sure we have issues to overcome, but we love electric mobility and the freedom, energy independence, clean air and monetary savings for our family that it provides.

So which one of us will be the driver of the BMW i3 or BMW i8?  That’s a tough one…We might need a counselor to help us with that decision.

One thing is for sure; we will be driving an electric BMW for a long, long time.



  1. Congratulations Julie! It's great to see what you've both accomplished and it's really nice to see a female solar-charged blogger :-) So much of the focus on EVs and even EV + PV is on males, and male drivers, and I admit that I haven't done as good a job as I would have liked to at SolarChargedDriving.Com covering the fact that EVs and EV + PV aren't just for men, they're for everyone, as your post clearly and eloquently illustrates :-)

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  2. Thanks Chistof! I love driving the Active E! And I especially love NOT having to go to the gas station! Just come home, plug in...and you have a full "tank" in the morning! Gotta
    I've that!
    I promise to give update posts from the Female perspective...
    BTW, Peder's says you are in Colorado...are you a Broncos fan? If so, then we apparently have at least two things in common...

  3. Well done Julie!. It has been a great ride for Meredith and I also. Like you and Peder, we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into when we picked up our MINI-E over three years ago!