High-Octane Recharging

Friday saw my high-voltage cable installed, and I was able to live off the “fast stuff” all weekend. I can’t overemphasize the difference it makes in the usability of an electric car, to be able to recharge it within hours instead of days.

Pre-32A recharging, I would consciously calculate every trip and have to run that distance against the number of hours I’d need to recharge in order to use #217 the next day. So for example, if I wanted to run around town and then out to my daughter’s softball game on a Sunday – and yet still be able to commute with it on Monday – I’d have to run this formula:

• drive about 20 miles, use approx. 20% of the charge

• 2%/hour recharging = 10 hours to FULL

• Must unplug by 7:30am – therefor I have to plug-in at 9:30pm

This weekend, for the first time, I was able to just drive #217 whenever and however I wanted to, knowing that I could  wake up the next day and not be greeted by the blinking yellow recharge-indicator light. On Saturday that meant:

• Run some errands during the day (9 miles)

• Motor into Brooklyn to see some friends (36 miles)

• Give a couple of demo rides (3 miles – revving the engine)

• Stay out late playing pool, make a late-night munchie run (2 miles – really revving the engine 😉

• Drive home at 4am (36 miles) showing 12% charge left

• Make the 9:30am church service on Sunday with a full-battery

IMG_0813Per the program’s requirement I do own another vehicle so I could just use that whenever  the batteries are running low, but in the spirit of being a pioneer I really want to use #217 as my primary vehicle as much as possible. After all, the reason I’m testing an electric car is because I hope to help prove that it is a viable alternative in the very near future. Viable to me means not having to substantially change my life (“Hey guys, how about we hook up next week when I’ll have 100%?”) because of the charge-state of my batteries .

Now, thanks to this fat cable, I’m able to do just that.


2 responses to “High-Octane Recharging

  1. Very cool. We’re doing a series of videos on how to convert a 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman to electric drive. If they really make you give yours back, you can build one.

    Jack Rickard

  2. Pingback: 5,000 Miles « The Electric Ride: MINI E #217 Road Test

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