Doh! I need to drive 85 miles/day


One of my goals when I started this program was to try and drive 20,000 miles in an all-electric car. “Why 20,000?” you ask? Because it sounded good, and it seemed within reach -naively I took 20,000 miles, divided it by 365 and figured i’d need to drive about 55 miles a day. Since I have a 90 mile commute 5 days a week, it should be easy I thought.

The first “doh!” that I didn’t account for was that I’d loose about 6 weeks off the calendar because MINI couldn’t get the high-voltage recharger installed at my home – relying on just my standard household outlet, i’d need 2 days of plugging in just to drive one day to work. I also didn’t plan on losing a few more weeks for service calls (1 broken fiber-optic cable, installation & removal of snow tires, 5,000 mile checkups, etc.). Then there were the times I couldn’t drive #217 because she’s only a 2-seater, or I had to travel more than 100 miles, etc.

About a month ago I was doing some more quick calculations though, and I was still comfortably in line with my expected turn-in date of July 15.

That was before I got today’s second Doh! MINI now says my turn-in date is June 15 – which roughly coincides with my pick-up date of June 15, but doesn’t include the extra one month option they’d promised me to ensure I had “12 full months of zero-emissions driving with fast recharging…”. The representative I spoke with on the phone said that I could request my extra month, but “so far I’ve processed two such requests and both were denied. Prepare for June 15.” [why is it that the “end” of anything is always a hard reality? At the glorious and sun-dappled “beginning” of this process I spoke with fun and excited representatives who couldn’t wait to get me in my MINI E – and now at the end, all I get are brusque phone messages telling me to call a number, where the gruff-throated rep who answers sounds like a repo man who has had a bad decade?].

The rational side of me knows full-well that if I make 19,200 – or even something several hundred miles less – I could hardly count this experience as a failure. And yet, there’s something so compelling about hitting that nice round figure of 20,000, that the irrational part of me – which is to the say the single biggest part of me – would be very disappointed.

So from here on out I’m going to hunt for miles like a spoon hunts for ice cream at the end of the carton. By my calculations, I need to make 85 miles per day. I’m good for 90+ during the week for work, but the weekends may be tough…better go download some audiobooks 😉

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3 responses to “Doh! I need to drive 85 miles/day

  1. Hi Gordon. I too set a lofty goal in mileage, but mine was 35,000. I’m going to fall short for mush of the same reasons you may. #250 was in for service for well over two months if you combine all the days, and I too had to do the first month charging on 110 so I could only drive every 2 or 3 days. I’m going to end up with about 32,000 miles so I came close. I think I would have hit 40k if I didn’t lose any days at all so I’ll try to do it the second year.

    As for your desire to keep the car for a full 12 months charging on 220v, personally I would hold them to it. We were all promised that from the beginning. We took the cars and dealt with the inconvenience of not being able to charge it so BWM could have the cars on the road by the June 20th CARB mandate deadline. You were promised you could keep it for 12 months from the date your charger was installed and inspected. If you want to keep it, then they are obligated to let you. Everyone that I have spoken with at MINI & BMW have been very receptive and accommodating. I think if you contact them directly and explain the situation, I’m sure they will honor their word.

  2. Hi, Ive just got an Electric Mini #576 on a 6 month trial in the UK.
    Reading through your site with great interest
    Did you drive you 90 mile commute on 1 charge? or did you have a charger at work?

    Curious as my commute is around 90 miles and driving this weekend, I only just managed 80 before I took it home to recharge.

    • sorry for the delayed response Matt! I regularly made 90 miles on one charge – as I’m sure you have discovered yourself now, the chargeometer varies with the type of driving, the ambient temperatures and how much you use your heater. However, I would strongly advise you to “push” the limits, as I would regularly get another 5-10 miles of regular driving after it zero – and only once did I push it to the point where the engine governor kicked in and limited the speed to 15mph.

      Would love to hear how your experience is going –

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