03 September 2009

And at the end of the day...

...The grand experiment to obtain the most-mileage-yet from Mini-E #339 comes to an end.

From work to Kew Gardens to pick up sis... From pick-up to home... through some very light stop-and-go traffic....

But... Finally... Home.

339's now sitting in the driveway, sucking down juice. Her fans are whirring quietly to keep her battery's temp (which never broke 90-degrees today, BTW) in line with the ambient temps -- around the 70s -- during the charging cycle.

And the verdict?

Take a look:

That's right... 339's home with the potential for 52 miles-worth of travel. Fifty-two miles...

Add that to the 63.6 miles she and I have actually done today and you have...

115 miles

One hundred-fifteen miles, boys and girls!!!



I am impressed.


I mean, yeah. Traveling (or "potentially traveling") 115 miles still can't compare to the range (and convenience) you can get from a conventionally-powered car. No, not even close.

But it's more than enough range for my typical, daily needs. And probably more than enough capability for most (if not all) commuters who drive to work.

And then there's the "hidden" bonuses from an all-electric car... No fumes from tailpipes... Much simpler mechanics (less maintenance)... The instant torque... The silence when pulling into the driveway late at night... ("Super-stealth mode, 339! Make it so!")


At what cost???

Driving no faster than 60 miles an hour with no heavy-footed acceleration -- even though those wonderful German engineers and eggheads designed my baby to go faster than 95-MPH?? And to be able to do so with no emissions -- except maybe a smoking trail of rubber on asphalt?

(Well, 339 could do all of that if it weren't for those pesky electronics, the speed governor and the vehicle stability control/tire-slip limiters!!! But I digress...)

Still, does being environmentally-friendly have to mean the death of speed, excitement, and good-old-fashioned-unadulterated thrill of being behind the wheel of a finely-tuned and well-designed piece of machinary that just screams, "Drive me!"???

Must we all, in order to "save the planet," give up the true joy of driving?? (Oh, the humanity, ladies and gentlemen... the humanity!)

Maybe I just need to get behind the wheel of a Tesla? After all, it seemed to knock the socks off of BBC's Top Gear host, Jeremy Clarkson.



Maybe just as I've learned to (re)adjust my right foot... Maybe my "need for speed" attitude will (re)adjust as well.

Maybe now that summer vacation season is over -- and highway traffic builds back to the usual bumper-to-bumper stand-still... thanks to all those school buses and SUVs driven by multi-tasking soccer moms who just have to drive with one-hand on the wheel, head turned back yelling at the kids while gabbing on the cellphone... (But I digress...)

Yeah... Maybe once I get back into "real," everyday, New York City traffic-driving where it becomes painfully obvious that having a car that can do 100+ MPH is pretty much pointless since all you're doing during the entire commute is just sit... crawl... sit... crawl...

Oh, and all that expensive gasoline... just constantly burning away... while you sit... then crawl... sit... then crawl...

But I digress...

Anyway... Maybe I will soon have a complete attitude adjustment since school after Labor Day.

Maybe I'll be wooed once again at how 339's silent and comfy "cockpit" magically transforms those maddeningly slow "rush" hour commutes into a Zen-like experience.


Thankfully, I'll have about 10 more months with 339 to find out! :-)

Maybe. (Still waiting to hear from BMW about "faulty battery module #42.")


  1. New Term for you:

    "Range Euphoria" (opp. "Range Anxiety"). An exhilirating feeling experienced when you are only 10 miles from home, you have 40 miles range remaining, and you know you can drive this wonderful sports car like it DEMANDS to be driven, all the way home. Light up those power bars!

  2. I got 142 mile estimated range once.