The Incredibly Invisible Electric Car


In the two weeks that I’ve been driving #217, i’ve come to recognize that it has not one, but two amazing properties:

1. it’s a zero-emissions vehicle

2. it has a cloaking device that renders it undetectable

When I first picked it up and was about 100 yards from the dealer, I had a very satisfactory finger-point and “oh….look at that honey” moment with a couple in an SUV (though since their windows were up, the words are only imagined). Since then, almost nothing. I’m starting to think that first couple must’ve been a plant.

About 3 days later I parked #217 on the main street of Pearl River, NY to watch my sons baseball game, when a group of men took notice and started pointing and talking. However, they were on the sidewalk right next to me, clearly waiting to go inside our local Funeral Parlor – so they were highly motivated to notice anything other than their current circumstance.

On the highway I thought I’d get a lot of looks, maybe some positive hand gestures, at least a wave or two. Instead I get apathy in a way I don’t get when I’m driving my gas-powered Infiniti. As if that wasn’t proof enough of #217’s power to go stealth – even other MINI drivers don’t look!  Yesterday I drove by 2 MINI’s, purposely passing them and then slowing down to see if they’d give some kind of recognition on their way by me. Nothing. When I used to drive a Chevy Cavalier I took notice of other Cavalier’s, if only to note the different paint jobs.

The ultimate proof that this car can go invisible though was Monday. A lady in her 50’s, driving a late-model sedan, pulled around the support beam in Morristown’s Bank Street garage where I now plug in. I had #217 backed in so the cable run would be shorter, and was literally in the process of pluging into the electrical outlet when she pulled around and stopped. Our eyes met, she then looked down to see the 110v cable, her eyes followed it to the electrical port on the MINI E, and I had enough time to think to myself “this is it -she’s gonna ask me what gives…”. But she didn’t even raise an eyebrow as she pulled off in search of a parking spot. Like it’s the sort of sight she sees every day.

I’m driving the world’s first Invisible Electric Car.

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5 responses to “The Incredibly Invisible Electric Car

  1. The factory plug graphic is a little abstract and I dont think most people realize what it represents. Most think its a gas Mini with some custom graphics probably. I’d buy a customized magnetic sign or bumper sticker with a clear message about the Mini’s all electric capabilities. Enjoying your blog.

  2. Steve Schibuola

    Yup. I’m experiencing the exact same thing. Just this morning on the 405, a Mini convertible S(same metallic grey, with white bonnet stripes – and I noticed this much detail about HIM from only my rear-view mirror!) was behind me for like 10 minutes. Then he just passes without so much as a glance over. Even if he thought maybe the plug-in symbols are just an ad for Wired magazine or something, after looking at my rear-end for 10 minutes, did he really not notice that I HAVE NO TAILPIPES!?

    I know most people are on auto-pilot during their commute – but this just raises it to a whole new level. Maybe your stealth theory is true.

  3. Yep, Stealth is right! I’m #230 and my experience is the same. One guy asked me what the graphics meant. I told him it was an experimental electric car and he proceeded to tell me about the Mini Cooper he and his son are restoring, an old 60’s gas model.

    It’s OK though, I still feel great driving it!

  4. YES!! I feel your pain!! Even with my most blatant license plate, people don’t notice or care. The one time another Mini (gasoline) noticed me, and I tried to impress them by zooming off after a red light, my car did that popping into neutral/shutdown thing, so I can only imagined what they were thinking as they drove by. Oh well.

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