Electric Serendipity

I’m back in #217 again today, and had a great ride in this morning – the sun was out (a rare and special occurrence here in the Northeast lately), the traffic was really light for some reason, and I think I may have gotten my second “stranger wave” (though it could’ve also been someone shooing a trapped fly out of their car, so i’m not going to count it).

Things being so nice, I decided to take a really long-shot at a possible solution to my 110v slow-charge situation. By “really long shot” I mean this: it involves me contacting a government bureaucracy (where I don’t live) about allowing an unusual exception to what are no doubt a long list of rules, safety procedures and protocols, so I can plug my car in at a municipal garage.

Yup, that kind of a “really long shot”. Here’s how my call went:

ringing…Good morning, Morristown Parking Authority, how may I help you.

Hello, i’ve got what will be, no doubt, your most unusual phone call this month…maybe this year…


OK, see, ummm…I’m a monthly customer at the Bank St. Garage, and, ummm, I’m taking part in this year long test of an electric car, and…it’s a completely electric car that you plug in and, you see, well it’s funny because where I usually park in the garage there just happens to be this electrical outlet on the column – it has a cover on it, but it’s not locked, and anyways I was just wondering…

Are you driving a MINI E?

(stunned silence)


yes! sorry…wow, just…how’d you know? you guys have camera’s in here?

We’re going to be taking part in that test at the De Hart St. Garage as well. The man who is overseeing that for us isn’t in yet however, so I’ll take your name and number and he’ll call you.

ok, oh wow. great. great. Hey, I’m not sure how we’d meter this or anything, but I’d be happy to pay-

He’ll call you back sir, can I get your name and number?

oh right, ya, of course…

I haven’t heard back yet, but even if it doesn’t work out, what an extraordinary moment that was for the concept of electric cars. Here I am “pioneering”, thinking I’m making a completely alien call to an utterly disinterested government agency unequipped to even consider the request, and instead they’re already on it! All credit to the MPA (it was like she had a phone script), but it begs the question – if the Morristown Parking Authority is this far along on electric cars, how much longer can it be until electric cars are mainstream?

1pm – Not hearing from the MPA, I called Dean at Morristown MINI, and he graciously offered their high-voltage recharger (too bad they just recently moved – their old location was in walking distance of my office). So now i’m sitting in their lobby, drinking their soda, working off their Wi-Fi, eyeing their snacks and waiting for #217 to get a top-off. Ahhhh, this pioneer life is hard sometimes. My hope is to get a head-start on tomorrow’s commute – though even with this ‘boost’ I think I’m still going to need a recharge during the day tomorrow…where exactly that will happen, I don’t yet know.


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