I picked up my MINI-E on June 12th, 2009. When I handed it back to BMW on January 13th of this year it had 72,531 miles on the odometer. On that day I drove home with my ActiveE and a couple days ago I passed 27,469 miles on my ActiveE. That’s 100,000 all electric miles in a little over 40 months.
|My MINI-E & my solar array|
So much for “Electric cars aren’t viable” and “Electric cars are an idea whose time has not yet come”. Malarkey. I’ve driven my MINI-E and ActiveE basically every day, and they have satisfied just about all of my driving needs. I’ve proven to myself that an electric car with a 100 mile range fits perfectly into my life. I don’t worry about range anxiety, I don’t worry about it running out of charge of leaving me stranded and I certainly don’t have to worry about stopping at gas stations. The only time I need to do that now is to get a cup of coffee or some air for my tires. I just drive and live my life like I always did, only the driving part in now better!
|The concept i3|
It’s been a great ride so far and it’s just the beginning. The two cars I’ve been driving aren’t even production EV’s, they are test cars. The real BMW electric cars will be introduced next year with the i3 being the first EV to launch under BMW’s new ‘i’ sub brand. So as good as these cars have been it only gets better from here. I certainly plan to get an i3 as soon as they become available late next year.
Less than a year from getting my MINI-E I installed a rooftop solar array for my home. Solar is a great addition to any home, provided you have the right orientation and exposure. However when you then use the electric the array makes to power your automobile, the synergy and savings is even greater. On a good day my array will generate over 50kWh’s of electricity. That can power my ActiveE for about 175 miles of normal driving. The BMW i3 will be much more efficient than my ActiveE is (as well as faster!) and 50 kWh’s will be enough electricity to power it for about 250 miles! So let’s say I had a comparable gas car that got 25 miles per gallon. One good day of sunshine will displace 10 gallons of gas! That’s about $30 to $40 of gas at today’s prices. How about five years from now? How about ten years from now? Ten gallons may cost $100 or more. It practically cost that now in most of Europe. At $10/gallon it would then cost $40,000 to drive 100,000 miles. You could install a large solar array like I did for less than that and make your own fuel for 25 or 30 years. The best thing is the sun never raises its price – it’s always free.
|Energy independence, BMW style!|
It didn’t take 100,000 miles to convince me I prefer driving electric. However it’s also important to note that after 100,000 miles I haven’t changed my mind. After the newness of driving an alternative fuel vehicle wore off I didn’t come to my senses and realize I was just kidding myself and that gas cars are indeed better. In fact as time goes on I am more and more convinced that electric drive is superior and it is an inevitable evolution of the automobile. Resistance is futile.