My experiences testing MINI's new all-electric vehicle around Long Island
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  • End of Week 1

    Posted on June 22nd, 2009 Stu 3 comments

    I can’t believe it’s only been one week since I picked up MINI E 277. Unfortunately, the weather here on Long Island hasn’t been very good so I haven’t gone on any long trips yet. My first 300 or so miles have been really enjoyable and once the weather clears up and the charging cable gets installed I hope to venture further from home.

    One thing I did notice was a feeling everyone is calling “Range Anxiety”. I keep looking at the meter and wondering whether or not I’ll have enough juice to get through the day. I have to admit that this is my fault more than the car’s. I simply don’t know how far anything is from my home. Yes, I know how long it takes to get places but the actual mileage never concerned me. Is my Range Anxiety is totally unfounded?

    One evening I stopped at a diner on my way home from work. The gauge said I had 26 miles remaining. “That’s not much,” I thought. “Maybe I should check Google maps on my iPhone and see how far I am from home.” I did just that and discovered I was 7.5 miles from home! I just never needed to know before.

    As it turns out, I’ve never dropped below 19% charge in all of my travels. The Range Anxiety is mostly in my head. Of course, the other aspect, conserving power because of the long charging times, is real. It will go away once the charging cable arrives.

    As for the 100 mile range, I’ve seen some discussion about being misled by MINI’s claim of 150 miles. Nothing in MINI’s literature says that the 150 mile number is anything but an ideal figure achieved on a test track. All of my advanced reading about the car accurately put the range at around 100 miles. The actual mileage will vary based on many factors including traffic conditions, overall speed, amount of hills, etc. There’s also some miles in reserve at reduced speed once you get towards empty that have to be counted but not relied upon. I have never had any illusions of getting more than 100 miles on a charge.

    Hopefully, this week will bring better weather and more drive time.


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