My experiences testing MINI's new all-electric vehicle around Long Island
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  • One Down and … How Many To Go?

    Posted on May 28th, 2009 Stu 3 comments

    The first MINI E was delivered last Friday to a luck Peter Trepp in California. Congrats, Peter. Peter’s been busy with the press when anyone can drag him out of the MINI E. Read about it all in his blog.

    That’s one of… Well, wait a second. I thought there were 500 cars with half going to California and half to New York / New Jersey. From that, 50 were to be allocated to municipalities leaving 450. Now I hear that the 50 for Germany are also included in the original 500. That leaves 200 cars for the public on each coast. Wow, I guess I was even luckier than I thought to be picked.

    To update everyone on my status…

    • The garage is coming along nicely. I got rid of a lot of junk and I could probably squeeze the MINI E in now if I had to.
    • My contract is signed with no cost to me. I’m now waiting for an appointment. They may be going a bit slower since the charging cords probably won’t be ready for the initial installation.
    • I’ve been told that east coast cars will be arriving mid-June. Just a few weeks to go!

    Needless to say, after hearing about Peter’s fun with the car I can’t wait to get mine.

  • …Back to Test Drive Day

    Posted on May 21st, 2009 Stu 3 comments
    Do I Look Happy?

    Do I Look Happy?

    The MINI E demo cars have been making the rounds to dealers on both coasts. On May 19, I got my chance to drive one. Car 149, the one from the NY Auto Show, was at Habberstad MINI in Huntington, Long Island from 1 to 3 PM. I got there just shy of one o’clock, of course, and the car was out on a run with employees. When it returned, I got a few photos and then it was my turn. Cori Close, my Motoring Advisor, showed me how to slip the odd shaped tab that acted as a key into the slot in the dash and press the Start button to turn on the car. The gauges lit up but there was no other indication that the car was alive. The only noise as I slowly pulled away, I believe, was the power steering unit when I turned the wheel. There was a slight whirring sound as I accelerated and I doubt I’d have heard that at all if my window was up. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Test Drive Day

    Posted on May 20th, 2009 Stu 2 comments

    The MINI E demo cars have been making the rounds to dealers on both coasts. On May 19, I got my chance to drive one…

    Stu will be back with his test drive review shortly.
    Right now, we interrupt this post for an important news bulletin… Read the rest of this entry »

  • New York Event for MINI E Pioneers

    Posted on May 18th, 2009 Stu No comments

    To some, blogs are like graffiti. They seem to be everywhere and everyone has their story to tell. However, once you start to write a blog, you realize that they are more like cave drawings. You discover that people have to actually hunt to find your blog and recognition comes slowly. That’s how it’s been for My MINI E. I write and I pray that others will find it, read my entries and find what they read interesting. When you suddenly discover that your blog is being read it can be quite a surprise.

    That is one of the things that happened at the MINI E Event in New York City on May 13. I arrived at the IAC Building around 7:30 PM and wondered how I was going to find the authors of the other blogs I’ve been reading. They would be the only Pioneers I had any knowledge of. I spoke to several people, including BMW and MINI representatives, during the cocktail period but no luck. Then the presentation began. Marc Alt was introduced as the guest speaker. He is a proponent of green design and would speak about sustainable energy sources and how the public can help pressure corporations to move in a more environmentally beneficial direction.

    Who's business card is that?

    Who's business card is that?

    The big surprise was when he opened his slide presentation with a picture of my MINI E Pioneer business card! My friend Raj and I were sitting in the first row and it took both of us a few seconds to realize what was happening. Marc proceeded to talk about my blog as well as others he’d come across and how we’re helping to spread the word about electric vehicles. He pointed out that the MINI E Field Trial is not just a personal experience, it is a social event. He commended me on my attempts to reach out and meet others in the field trial and promote sharing of charging stations. I have to admit that I had the idea for extending the range of the MINI E by charging them at other Pioneers homes since I signed up but I wasn’t the first to publically mention it. At any rate, I had no trouble finding the other bloggers after that. They found me. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Excitement Grows

    Posted on May 12th, 2009 Stu No comments

    MINI held their Los Angeles event on May 5th. Response by attendees on various blogs and forums has been enthusiastic. Some even said they were going to bow out until they went to the event. The LA Times printed an interesting article, “Mini E lease program has electric vehicle fans all charged up,” on May 11th. It explains America’s sudden excitement about electric cars.

    Now that the US Automakers’ political power is waning, small companies are able to finally compete without fear of expensive lawsuits from the “Big Three.”

    MINI E Pioneer Business Card

    MINI E Pioneer Business Card

    As for me, I’m psyched for the New York Event tomorrow. I can’t wait to meet the other MINI E Pioneers in the area. Attendees at the LA Event talked about the possibility of charging up at each others’ homes to increase range when getting together with other MINI owners for a drive. I’d like to do that here, too. Otherwise, my MINI E will be unable to get very far off of Long Island.

    To save time and effort, I’ve created a MINI E Pioneer business card with my email and blog addresses. I’d like to eventually replace the picture with one of me in my own MINI E.

    I’ll be back later in the week to post about the event and share some pictures. If you’re attending the New York Event, please stop by and introduce yourself. It’s going to be a fun night.