My Year with an All-Electric MINI


Busy for 3 months, with little use of MINI E

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Gill on October 15, 2009

So, I have been busy with other things and not able to drive the MINI E much, so I have not posted since June 29.  Will make this a short post tonight.

Basically, I didn’t get a working charger (240v and cable) for 2  months.  Then it worked fine for 3-4 weeks, but started having problems with the circuit breaking on the 240v and could not get a charge—the circuit would break after 5-10 minutes.  So the car was idle for 3 weeks.  And with a vacation thrown in and the 3-week cycle to get service on the Clipper Creek box (it was replaced late last week), I have not really driven it that much.  It is up around 2,000 miles now since I have that 87-mile commute.   I have made it home consistently, but with only 0% – 6% on the battery; and am only getting 87-95 miles or so per charge (I have not purposely run it empty yet).  Even the mpg-equivalent figure is turning out dismally low, closer to 45 mpg I think (I will calculate it accurately soon, using the $0.18/kwh I pay and the current $2.50/gal for gas).  This is a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.

But yesterday, the first work day since the new Clipper Creek was installed, yet a new problem occurred: the % drain was much faster than ever before: the meter read %39 when I got to work (44 miles ).  I prepared (my wife, my cell phone) to have to call the 800 number on my way home as I was sure I was going to run out of charge and need to be towed.  But the meter got to 0% and 0 mls  when I had about 12 miles left to drive… and the car kept going, in the right lane.  I made it home, and it still read 0%.  Huh?

So instead of the battery draining more quickly than before, it looks like it might be a problem of the meter not reading all the batteries properly for their charge.  My wife took it today on her 18 mile (total) commute and it went to 66%, so the problem seem to still be there.  I will use it tomorrow and see how it goes.

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