My Year with an All-Electric MINI


No news yet… waiting for revised contract

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Gill on May 27, 2009

My contract with CFCI has to be modified slightly since I am renting a neighbor’s garage, and MINI reasonably wants them to be on the contract for the charging box.  I am told it is in the works, but still no word.

But it was nice to read on other blogs about the first MINI E delivered to a participant in California, an article in USA today about that, and a Consumer Reports article.

OK, ready to go!

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Gill on May 23, 2009

I got my contract this week, and the upgrade price of $612, though higher than I expected, is (barely) within the acceptable range for me.  And I just met with my neighbor, and things look like a go there as well—they are English and one of them has always wanted a Mini Cooper, so maybe that made them more amenable to lending me space in their garage for a year.  It’s only 4 houses away, so pretty convenient.  We think it will work.  They gave me a remote for the garage door, so I have part of the equipment I need for the trial—just missing the car, the charger, the cable…

I guess I am ready.  I just hope I have no problems with the 90-mile commute vs. the range of the car…  And if someone at work decides to be helpful, I might be able to charge there too, though I doubt it.  We’ll see.

Getting my contract and quote tomorrow?

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Gill on May 18, 2009

I got a message from Green Power Technology today that leads me to believe I will be getting my contract tomorrow or within a few days.  With it comes the price for doing the upgrade to the electric lines (in my case, at a neighbor who is kindly renting me space).  Given some of the reports on the web forums, I do hope there is not a big surprise in the price for the upgrade.  My own sense, and the inspecting electrician seemed to confirm this, is that it is a fairly simple install, as the panel has room for the circuit and is in the basement right under the garage.

We’ll see.  I’d hate to have to drop out due to more unanticipated expense.  I really thought MINI was going to pick up all reasonable charges for electrical upgrades (to me, reasonable would probably be anything under $500-600).  But I guess that changed, or I never really read that.  I don’t know…

I am really eager to try this, and soon, so I hope it works out.

NYC Event

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Gill on May 18, 2009

So, last Wednesday I went to the MINI E event in Manhattan.  It was good to meet some MINI staff, including a few engineers, and other participants.  I got a lot of questions answered, but I sure had a lot fewer questions than some guys!  I am so not a car geek.   One participants from Long Island has a totally solar house and was quite interesting to talk to.

The presentation by Marc Alt was short and somewhat interesting, and I agree with him that we will all be representatives of MINI and the electric car “movement” if you can call it that.  I had already thought about getting some cheap business cards printed—with what, I really don’t know—and he recommended it.  Stu had already done so!

The food and drink was nice, of course… typically trendy Manhattan.  Loved the fish Wellington.

I do wish that MINI would have had an official Q&A, just like I wish they had a Q&A web site or e-mail hotline for participants.  There have been too many questions, and not enough answers.

Waiting for results of inspection, and for NYC event

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Gill on May 12, 2009

I had my inspection, of 2 possible rental garage spaces, 10 days ago, and still have heard nothing from Green Power Tech, CFCI, or MINI about how they will do or what the cost will be to make them ready for the charging box.  Hope to hear soon, as too high a price to make them ready will be a downer for me, and may kill it.

In the mean time, I am looking forward to the event in NYC tomorrow night, to see what I can learn about all my questions and to meet other field trial participants.