BMW called the MINI-E lessees "Pioneers". I didn't really like it at first, kind of found it to be a bit hokey, but after living with the car for a while, dealing with its issues, re-learning everything I knew about how to live with, refuel and drive an automobile, I warmed up to the Pioneer name and eventually embraced it. Just as I got used to the Pioneer thing, the MINI-E program ended. Now that I'm driving the ActiveE, the next step in BMW e-mobility, BMW has decided to call the drivers "Electronauts". Again, I'm finding it a bit hard to embrace and maybe in time I will, just as I did before. Some people in the program have referred to the ActiveE lessees as the "700 Club". Not because we are affiliated with any particular religious group that uses that name, but because there will be 700 ActiveEs leased here in the US. I figured with all these names being thrown around, I'll throw one out there too, the "99%ers".
Now before anyone thinks I'm connecting the ActiveE to the Tea Party or the people that have been occupying areas all over the country, I'm not. I'm calling us the 99%ers because it seems the car won't charge past 99%! Every day when I start my journey, the car begins not at 100%, but at 99% and sometimes even at 98%. I have talked to others driving the ActiveE and they have said they are experiencing the same thing. At first I thought it had something to do with preconditioning the car but that's not the case. Now that it's warmed up a little, I haven't been using the preconditioning and I still get the same thing. Occasionally when it finishes charging, I will see it momentarily hit 100%, but before I can even roll one foot forward it drops to 99%. I'm sure this is some kind of software program that prevents the car from over charging and it just needs to be tweaked a bit to allow just a bit more charging before it shuts off the charger.
It may seem like a trivial thing, but it's really not. On days that I need to push the limits of the car I like to start out the day driving as conservatively as possible, saving every ounce of energy and preserving the state of charge from needlessly dropping faster than it has to. With the MINI-E, I used to see how far I could drive from my house before the SOC dropped to 99%, Some days I could make it nearly two miles if I really feathered the accelerator. It was a little game I played and I enjoyed it. With the ActiveE, I'm not out of the garage and it's 99% and sometimes I don't get out of my 350' long driveway before it's at 98%. It's not that the car isn't efficient, because I'm getting at least as good a range as I did with the MINI-E, and maybe better. It's that the car just doesn't allow itself to be completely 100% charged.
I know I'm nitpicking here. But seriously, the ActiveE is such a great EV I need to nitpick to come up with things that BMW needs to work on and refine for the i3 and this is one of them. The purpose of this program is to fully vet the components and software so the i3 is rock solid. So here's one for the BMW engineers/code writers to get to work on. I want the car to charge fully to 100% every time!
Until then, we are the 99%!