5,000 Miles


I really wanted to catch the moment when it clocked over on Monday, but I missed it – a Springsteen song came on the radio and all attention to detail vanished. But here are some facts and details about driving 5,000 miles on electricity:

– In a tank at the Boonton Hess station, there are currently about 222 gallons of gas that I didn’t burn.

– People who know it is electric always get an excited tone in their voice, like when they first hear the family is going to Disney: “Really?!? So it doesn’t take any gas, at all?!?  Wow.” The few who have been able to drive it all marvel at the regenerative braking, the silence of the motor, and the torque, but after that the most amazing thing is that it drives and acts exactly like a gas car.

– People who don’t know it’s electric don’t give it a second look. On the one hand I feel good that I’m not a traveling sideshow and can sing loudly, or even do the other most popular thing to do in a car, without having all of I-287 looking at me; but on the other hand, part of this experiment is to try and show my neighbors that an electric car is a viable thing. So a wee bit more recognition would be good – more on that coming soon.

– It took me a little over 3 months to reach 5,000 – but for the first month I wasn’t driving it everyday (see High Octane Recharging). My goal is to put on a total of 25,000 miles before the year is up. So I need to average about 100 miles a day for weekdays, and 50 miles/day on weekends.

– My early impressions of the pros and cons still hold up (see 1,000 Mile Review) – I love the “one-pedal” driving, I still don’t miss my old gas station, and I’m still pleasantly surprised at the difference a near-silent motor makes. I’m also still doing a lot more calculations then I ever had to do with gas (“If I drive to my son’s baseball game, and then to my daughter’s soccer game, will I have enough juice to get back home?”).

– I’m really interested to see what the next 5,000 miles bring – and I’m pretty sure that I’ll reach one of my goals during this period: to run out of juice and have to call in the MINI Roadside Assist crew. Why now?  Because winter is coming, and I’ll need to use the heater – which might just take the last 10-20% of my battery range out, and there goes the “safety” on my daily 90 mile commute. Gotta remember to put a pioneer blanket and some snacks in old #217…

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