|Even though I removed my side scuttle numbers as a memento, #250 was easy to identify by the bumper stickers I had stuck to the rear of the car.|
During the week I had to make a trip to BMW Headquarters because I left something there on a previous visit that I had to pick up. When I arrived I noticed one of the parking lots had a bunch of returned MINI-Es so I had to go see if I could find my old MINI-E, #250. I was surprised to see it was the first one parked in the row, so I pulled next to it and took a picture. My "Starve a terrorist. Drive electric" bumper sticker was still on the rear window, and was a dead giveaway.
During the ActiveE handover ceremony, I repeatedly asked BMW president Ludwig Willisch if I could also keep the MINI-E. I did so jokingly, well maybe only half-jokingly. The truth is I really loved that little car and didn't know if I would like the ActiveE as much, plus it's always to say goodbye to an old friend.
Well, it's been exactly a month since I got my ActiveE, and although there have been a couple software glitches that I'm told will be addressed soon, I have to say I really haven't thought much about the MINI-E. The ActiveE is a much more complete electric car that I don't yearn for the "good old days with the MINI-E". I think part of why I feel this way is because it's the winter and the ActiveE is MUCH better in cold weather than the MINI-E was. Having the ability to precondition the cabin and warm up the battery while it's still plugged in is, in my opinion, absolutely necessary for electric cars in cold weather climates. When I leave work at 11:00pm and it's 20 degrees outside now, the interior is warm, the batteries are around 60 degrees and the car is fully charged. When I had the MINI-E the car was a frozen block of ice after sitting outside in the parking lot for 12 hours and the batteries were in the 40's. When they got that cold, the range would shrink considerably, the regenerative braking would disengage and the car would take much longer than normal to charge. Plus, I needed to run the cabin heater on high the whole way home which used even more of the battery. During the winter months I would always keep a blanket, gloves and a hat in the MINI-E so that when I drove home at night I could warm up faster. That's not necessary now.
The MINI-E really was at it's best in warmer weather, and if it were spring or summer I might be feeling a bit more nostalgic looking at it in the parking lot next to my shiny new ActiveE. But for now those seat warmers in the ActiveE feel awfully good when it's bitter cold and definitely help me to get over giving back MINI-E #250.