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Monday, March 11, 2013

Rolling Past 40k

Gotta love these unlimited mile leases! I put about 73,000 miles on my MINI-E in the 2 1/2 years I had it, and I've just passed 40k on my ActiveE on day 420 of my two year lease. That's a 95 miles per day average for a car that is EPA rated at 94 miles per charge, so yeah I plug in a lot.

I've actually plugged in and charged 902 times so I average about 44 miles between plugging in. That's primarily because I can plug in and charge at work, which happens to be about 41 miles from my house, otherwise my average distance between plugging in would be much more and I probably wouldn't have so much miles. Workplace charging is definitely the most useful place to be able to plug in, after home of course. It really liberates you during the day, knowing you are only a couple of hours from being back to fully charged once you arrive at work, and in most cases you'll be at 100% before you even break for lunch. 

That's why I think it is such great news to read about the DOE's EV Everywhere and their Workplace Charging Challenge which is aimed to get major corporations involved in installing EV charging equipment for their employees. Over the course of the past couple of years I've written letters and spoken to facility managers for large local companies that have big parking lots to encourage them to consider EV charging stations. I've had varying degrees of success from call-backs and even commitments to no response at all, but with the DOE getting behind the effort I'm sure progress will be made. Having a place to plug in at work will most certainly help put more electric cars on the road. 

So after 40,000 miles the car is still performing flawlessly. No problems to report in the past ten months or so other than the cabin heater issue I had which was resolved last month. I've been analyzing my charts and I don't really see any noticeable range degradation but once it warms up a bit and I drive it in 70 degree weather I can make a better assessment. I plug in frequently in the colder weather so it's harder to tell if you've lost much capacity. When it warms up I stretch out the range a bit and drive it 80-100 miles often. That's when I can really compare it to last year's data. I'm sure the battery has lost some capacity after 40,000 miles and over 900 recharges, but it isn't really showing up much that I can casually tell. I doubt if I have lost any more than 4% or 5% of the original range. I don't think I'd be saying that if I lived in battery-unfriendly Arizona, although with the ActiveE's thermal management system I'm sure it would fare better than the Nissan LEAF's seem to be doing there. 

I would also like to announce that I'll be hosting another ActiveE meet at my restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey. At last year's event we had 22 ActiveEs show up and I'm hoping to top that this year. The meet will be on Sunday, April 7th from 10:30am to 12:30pm. I have three level 2 chargers on site and there are five more public chargers within a mile of the restaurant. It is the perfect place to hold an electric car meet because there are more public chargers within close proximity here than any place in New Jersey. I'll be inviting the BMW electric vehicle program managers as I have for past meets and even though this isn't an official BMW event, they always show up for support and to answer questions. So if you have an ActiveE and can make the drive here, please come. If you don't have an ActiveE and just want to check out the cars and talk to the drivers, consider yourself invited! I'll post a reminder a week or so before the event.

Just some of the 22 ActiveEs we had last at last year's event.