Monday, December 17, 2012

BMW i3 is just a year or so away

Two new BMW i3 videos:

Video 1

Video 2

P.S. Rolled past 21,000 miles today in the ActiveE. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Had a great time viewing the i3 Coupe in Los Angeles

As my mileage climbs towards 20,000 in the ActiveE, the joy of driving an electric BMW hasn't waned a bit...actually it continues to grow. As I've mentioned before, it's easy to become so use to the torque, instant acceleration and quiet, non jerky ride, you forget not everyone is having such a fun and exciting driving experience. During my recent scheduled service visit, I was given a 2012 128i. Almost 600 miles and a week later, I can say it's a very nice car BUT it's no ActiveE and I'm pretty sure if you gave someone each car for a week and asked which one they like better, most would choose the ActiveE.

With that said, it was wonderful to see the new i3 Coupe Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show this past Thursday. While it was a concept and the 4 door version will be available first late next year, it was exciting to see that BMW has yet another EV in the works. Some folks have asked why doesn't BMW just use carbon fiber to lighten up it's existing lineup of vehicles and kick out some conversions. While I believe BMW will increase the use of carbon fiber in it's entire line, I'm in the opposite camp regarding design. I love driving something different with it's own unique design....especially if it's not only cool looking but has a purpose such as flat floors, increased interior space, batteries under the floor, etc that a design from the ground up provides. You can't do that with a conversion. I have zero interest in driving a conversion. Here in Southern California, even with all the stickers on the ActiveE, I still tend to blend in. Folks who do ask about the car do so because of the stickers and or my license plate, KNOW GAS. I'm then able to express my enthusiasm about driving electric and hopefully get the person thinking about an electric vehicle. I consider myself an ambassador, spreading the joys of driving electric and love talking about the ActiveE every chance I get. On the other hand, I totally understand that some folks prefer a more subtle approach. Fortunately, there are conversions galore with the Focus, Leaf, RAV 4 EV and upcoming Fiat 500 Electric, etc.

BMW is taking a different, bold approach that hopefully will inspire Audi, Mercedes and others to kick their design studios into gear and get cars on the road too. As Oliver Walter, Head of Product Management BMW i3, mentioned at the recent Electronaut (ActiveE drivers) briefing, BMW can't do this alone, it's going to be a group effort. In speaking with Oliver directly, I was excited to hear him describe the i3 as The Ultimate Electric Driving Machine. He continued with...."the i3 is still a BMW and folks expect a BMW driving experience with 50/50 weight distribution, top notch handling, etc." Kudos to Oliver! I wish everyone at BMWi much success!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ActiveE is back!

We're once again rolling in the ActiveE. The drivetrain malfunction mentioned in previous post was likely caused by the relearning process after the reprogram which was done at the recent service.

I put 200 miles on the 2012 328i convertible loaner. While a nice car, I just don't like driving traditional gas powered cars anymore. The brief lag when you punch it off the line and the brief lag as it climbs through the gears is non-existent in the ActiveE. You really get spoiled driving the ActiveE with the torque and constant pull to 90mph. The quick, smooth driving experience is wonderful. It becomes so normal that you really need to switch to a gas powered car now and then to remind you just how awesome the electric driving experience is compared to traditional gas powered cars. Once you drive electric you won't want to go back. Saving money on fuel is great too but the driving experience is what really seals the deal.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The mysterious drivetrain error returned

Was greeted today with something I haven't seen in forever...the mysterious drivetrain malfunction symbol which prevents the vehicle from starting. Being a veteran of mysterious symbols since the MINI E days I took it in stride and attempted to start again after a few unlocks and locks of the doors and waiting a few minutes. Only after letting the car sit for about 5 minutes did the symbol clear and I was ready to go. I called the head ActiveE tech, Randy, at Long Beach BMW and asked if I should bring in so he could pull the codes and got the affirmative. Was given a 328i convertible loaner, no complaints there. I'm sure we'll be back on the road in no time.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

As the holiday is upon us, we rolled past the 15,000 mile mark today. Counting the miles from our MINI E, I've now driven 65,000 pure electric miles over the past 3 years. What a great feeling!

When I think back to when we first got the MINI E and those initial worries about range, will this work for our family, etc, I chuckle. Instead the excitement and fun factor are the things that come to mind. It's the pure burst of power off the line, the instant passing power and acceleration you feel when entering the freeway and the quietness after a busy day at work.

Sure, driving electric has all sorts of environmental benefits and cost savings. Do I like only spending $3.00 to drive 100 miles on average, absolutely, but don't forget the fun factor when spreading the word among your gasser friends. I sometimes get caught up in all the numbers instead of reminding folks, the ActiveE is a blast to drive and by the way, you'll save money on your fuel and maintenance costs.

Here's to many more fun filled gas free miles!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We rented our first vehicle since getting the ActiveE

The ActiveE as our only car has been working out great. After 14k miles of driving all electric, we just rented our first car since getting the ActiveE for a trip to San Francisco. A Toyota Camry was $180.00 for a week from Enterprise via with unlimited mileage. In 5 days we drove 1001 miles.

Surprisingly after driving all those miles, we saw one Volt and that was it. Not one Nissan Leaf, ActiveE, Tesla, iMiev, or Ford Focus. We did see a Tesla charging station at Harris Ranch off I-5 headed north and two Level 2 AE chargers at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on the first level as you enter the garage towards the very back.

We timed our service visit so our ActiveE would be in the shop while we were out of town. Glad we did, because we have a spline issue. Dealer hopes to get car back to us next week sometime.

When you run the numbers, it's a pretty amazing deal to just rent vehicles when you need to take a long trip. You don't have to worry about mechanical issues, tires, depreciation, splines (lol) or anything else.

We're rolling in a 328i for the time being and looking forward to the return of the ActiveE.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

BMW i3 and BMW i8 Driving Experience Videos

Two new videos to check out. Love the clean, bright interface. While the ActiveE is fantastic these two upcoming cars look Super!

BMW i3 Video
BMW i8 Video

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Welcome! Thrilled to be mentioned in the BMW email update!

We've been having so much fun driving the ActiveE, it hit me when I received the email from BMW today that I better do an update. We're now at 12,600 miles and what a pleasure it's been to continue driving 100% Electric with BMW.

We recently took a trip to Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, CA. This was quite the adventure. It was approximately 85 miles and while we knew that they had recently installed 6 brand new Level 2 Chargers, we weren't sure if they'd be available. As luck would have it, all 6 were wide open. We had a nice meal, played some slots and zipped back home after a quick stop in Old Town Temecula where two more Level 2 chargers were available for our use. Props to the 91 Express Lanes for allowing Electric Vehicles a free ride.

Yesterday was our 6 month anniversary with the ActiveE. It's our only car and we've yet to have to rent another vehicle for a longer trip. The 100 mile range has worked out perfectly. Leaving the house every morning with a full tank (aka battery) of electricity is fantastic. I don't miss stopping by the gas station every three days one bit.

We have 18 more months with the ActiveE and our goal is to drive, drive and drive some more.

Hope you'll continue to follow along on our journey.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

10,200 miles and climbing

With more and more places to charge, the miles just flow by. Who would have thought just a few years ago that you'd be able to charge your car at Walmart. As I've said before, most days I'm simply opportunity charging but this day I really needed the extra juice as it turned out to be a 112 mile day of errands and work. It's times like these when having Blink, Chargepoint and other chargers available in public places really makes the difference.

The location of this particular Walmart is:

2770 Carson Street
Lakewood, CA 90712

Two Blink chargers are located near the disabled parking. Here is a 360 video of this particular location.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Clean Air Vehicle Stickers and Second Service Visit

A true miracle happened this past Friday when the Clean Air Vehicle stickers arrived from the California DMV which allow me to travel in the carpool lane solo. We've had the car since January 16th so that's roughly 4 months and a week. I spent way too much time getting the decals. Numerous factors all came together to create the perfect storm leading to the delay. I hope when the i3 arrives, the process will be painless.

As luck would have it, our car went in for its second service visit at just under 9000 miles, before I had a chance to even drive in the carpool lane. Thankfully, the service went smoothly with no surprises and I picked up the car this morning. Drove a 2011 328i loaner and put 101 miles on it. Fuel cost was $21.50. Those miles in the ActiveE would have cost approx $3.00 in electricity from my in garage fuel pump, aka charger.

One soon becomes so accustomed to the wonderful driving experience, smooth starts, quiet drive and instant torque that after a while you start to take it for granted. A loaner car helps you quickly realize just how fantastic the ActiveE really is. I would say it's as drastic a difference as say driving a 325 and a M3. I'm not saying the ActiveE is as quick as an M3, it's not. I'm referring to the overall differences one feels when driving the two vehicles. It's like night and day. Speaking for myself that's how I feel. I find myself looking forward to driving the ActiveE and missing it when I have to drive something else.

Time to put the hammer down and start putting on the miles!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Charged up in Santa Clarita, CA

While public chargers are sprouting up all over the place, one city they so far haven't is Valencia, CA. However, 9 miles away in the Kohls parking lot in Santa Clarita right off the 14 freeway is a ChargePoint Level 2 charger, free for public use provided you have a ChargePoint card available via their website. Yesterday, I met my Mom and her husband Gary there for a early Mother's Day lunch at the Chili's near there. Charger worked great. The drive from Long Beach was 63 miles with a slight incline and a few hills towards the end. I kept the cruise control set at 67 or so and didn't have much traffic. I arrived with approx 35 miles left. I only needed to get back to Burbank for work where I could charge for 8 hours via a regular outlet but after charging up with the ChargePoint Level 2 charger, I could easily have made it all the way back home to Long Beach. An added bonus....the drive to work from Santa Clarita was mostly downhill meaning I used less battery power per mile than I did to drive there.

As the 8000 mile mark quickly approaches, I continue to LOVE driving the ActiveE!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New charger installed

New charger installed

Just had the ChargePoint charger installed via a grant from the ChargePoint America program. If you're in need of a charger, jump on it quick before the money runs out. What's great about the ChargePoint charger is that you can view your usage online, get email or text messages when your vehicle is charging, has a problem, etc. Very cool!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Consumer Reports likes the ActiveE too!

Nice to see some positive press from none other than Consumer Reports.

Our family continues to love the ActiveE. 7000 miles is just around the corner.

Still anxiously awaiting the carpool lane stickers. The only thing better than driving emission free is driving emission free in the carpool lane.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Proud owner of a 1981 Electric BMW!

Despite my numerous phone calls to the California DMV to head this off, my plates and registration arrived today listing the car as a 1981 Electric BMW. I picked up the ActiveE on 1/16/12. At least they got the mode of transportation correct and the good news is that my second year registration should be super cheap with a 31 year old car. I'm heading into DMV on Thursday morning to swap the plates they sent for my personalized KNOW GAS plates from the MINI E. I'll mention the year thing but if it's a big deal, will just go with the flow and enjoy my 1981 Electric BMW for a couple of years. Since the mode of transportation is correct, I can now apply for my Car Pool Lane stickers, woo hoo!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

91 Express Lanes offer Electric Vehicles a free or discounted ride

A BIG thumbs up to the 91 Express Lanes for offering Electric Vehicles a free or discounted ride. Unlike other Toll Roads in Southern California, they are the only one that I'm aware of to offer this. Click here for more info and to get an application.

Update 4/2/12

After speaking with the 91 Express Lane folks earlier today, I discovered yet another bonus. If you're a FasTrack customer and don't generate more than $25.00 worth of tolls in a particular month, you're charged a $2.00 fee. The folks at the 91 Express Lanes don't charge a monthly fee of any kind for Electric Vehicles. However, you can use the 91 Express Lanes transponder on the 73, 241 and any other toll road in California. (you will still pay the full toll when using a FasTrack toll road as they don't discount for Electric Vehicles but the money for the toll will be subtracted from your 91 Express Lanes balance). Since I'm an infrequent user of the Toll Roads, I've been paying a $2.00 fee to the FasTrack folks for years. Happy to see that go away when I close my FasTrack account and open a 91 Express Lanes account instead.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

5124 miles and the fun continues

Yesterday I rolled past 5124 miles in our ActiveE. I'm happy to report, the mysterious Drivetrain Malfunction and various other odd messages have not returned since my service visit back on 3/6/12. I've driven 1558 miles with no issues. Having the ActiveE as our only vehicle has been working out perfectly. We've been able to take the car everywhere and have yet had the need to rent another vehicle due to distance or other concerns. Leaving the house everyday with a full tank of electricity is fantastic. I don't miss stopping at the gas station every few days one bit. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Great time today in Los Angeles at Helm's Bakery

It was great to see fellow ActiveE drivers along with Volts, Leafs, a Tesla and a Zero Electric Motorcycle earlier this morning at Helm's Bakery in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The long wait continues for the Carpool Lane stickers

As wonderful as the ActiveE has been, a boondoggle at the dealer and DMV has put a halt on my plans of cruising in the carpool lane. For whatever reason, it took almost 8 weeks for the DMV to show anything in their system in regard to our ActiveE that we picked up on 1/16/12. Then, once it showed, the VIN # was associated with a 1981 gas powered BMW, lol. I finally was able to speak to someone today who explained how that most likely happened. In my VIN#, 8 characters back from the end is a letter, "B". The "B" means "1" in DMV "A" would be "0", "C" would be "2", etc. This number represents the year. As the computer systems are a little behind the times, when the VIN# is typed in, all the info will autofill and if the person doing the entering doesn't catch it, the year 1981 will autofill in as the year. This is what happened to me. Whether this happened at the dealer or DMV headquarters, who knows. Getting this fixed takes time, like up to 30+ more days time. Once this is resolved, hopefully the "E" (for Electric) wil be entered into the box for engine type. If not, that will require even more time to fix.

The above brings me to a suggestion for BMW before the i3 rollout begins. Insist that each dealer who carries the "i" brand have a dedicated person or persons thoroughly trained in handling DMV paperwork related to an EV. All DMV related paperwork from EV sales/leases will be handled by that person or persons and no one else. Ideally, this person would be able to process this paperwork either electronically or in some other quick manner so that the new owner can apply and receive his/her carpool stickers ASAP. This last step in the vehicle sale/lease process is a crucial step and one that I never even thought about until I was boondoggled.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Two months and 4246 miles later

Can't believe it's been two months already since we took delivery of our ActiveE back on January 16th. What a fun time it's been! My East Coast Comrade and Friend Tom Moloughney, the first person to take delivery of the ActiveE, just wrote a very detailed blog posting about his experiences and thoughts over the 5000+ miles he's driven. Be sure to check out his post as I share many of his same feelings on the strengths and weaknesses of the car.

One of my favorite features of the car is the strong regenerative braking. After the most recent software update, I'm in heaven. It couldn't have come at a better time as this past week I drove 500 miles of mostly stop and go traffic. There's no better way to experience just how wonderful regenerative braking is than when your 40+ mile one way commute takes 1 1/2 hours. While I hate driving in traffic like this, the single pedal driving that the regenerative braking allows, makes it bearable and as relaxing as possible. No more moving my foot back and forth between the gas pedal and brake pedal over and over again. I'd find myself worn out once I arrived home simply from the traffic. It's amazing just how more relaxing the ActiveE makes Los Angeles stop and go traffic. I know it sounds crazy but once you drive a car like this, you'll never ever want to go back to a typical gasoline powered car. Another bonus of the ActiveE, despite what some articles may say, when you're driving in traffic like this you actually use less battery power. Rather than using $2.25 worth of electricity to drive 90 or so miles, on days like today I only pay $2.00 or so. Hey, every quarter counts!

Another feature that goes hand in hand with the regenerative braking is the lack of gears. The smooth acceleration and lack of a transmission creates a very quiet cabin. All the better to listen to Pandora or your favorite music. This creates a very relaxing driving experience.

While I could go on and on, Tom did such a great job in his blog, I'll just hit one more plus for me....the instant torque! Despite being such a heavy car, the quick smooth rush off the line is awesome! I love getting the jump on sports car of all types. Sure they catch you eventually but the look on their face as they try to figure out what just happened is priceless.

For those still waiting to get the car and those just taking delivery, you're in for a fantastic 24 months of driving. Enjoy it, the time will fly by before you know it!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The importance of EV Only signage

As others have mentioned, it's wonderful that more and more businesses are installing Level 2 chargers with most being free to use. What's not so great is that some businesses are not taking that last very important step and putting up some sort of signage to indicate these spaces are for EVs only. I'm always one to look for the good in people and I like to think that most folks won't intentionally park in a clearly marked EV only space.

Today I ran into one of these situations at a set of Blink chargers at a Ralphs in North Hollywood, CA. I found the manager and first of all thanked him for installing the chargers. I then showed him this picture and encouraged him to have some signage installed. He said he'd pass it on up the ladder. I'm always one to express my thanks first and then follow it up with a suggestion. If you come across a similar situation in your travels and have a few minutes to say something, hopefully this kinda thing will become less and less frequent.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new

On my way back from Crystal Cove in Newport Beach, CA this morning, I came across this abandoned gas station. Couldn't resist snapping some photos. While I'm not one to wish anyone to go out of business and I don't think gas companies are going anywhere soon, it really hit home that the ActiveE is definitely new technology and the gas stations represent old technology.

Friday, March 9, 2012

ActiveE software update and 5000 mile service

We were without our ActiveE for a couple of days while a software update and the 5000 mile service was done at Long Beach BMW in Signal Hill, CA. I was thankful they did the service even though we're only at 3600 miles as this saved me another trip to the dealer. We drove a 328i loaner and I put 250 miles on it. I paid $45.00 in gas to drive those 250 miles. In the ActiveE, those miles would have cost around $7.00 in electricity.

When you drive the ActiveE, you quickly become accustomed to the smooth, quick, shiftless ride and kinda take it for granted. Switching to a gas powered BMW every now and then reminds you just how wonderful it is to drive the ActiveE.

One thing that stands out from the software update is the Regen Braking is slightly stronger. It's not as strong as it was on the MINI E but it's stronger and I like it. Driving in a single pedal manner is fun and something I quickly adjusted to with the MINI E. There are many things I love about driving an EV and this is one of my favorites.

Hope the next time I see the dealer will be in 5000 miles but since these are prototypes you have to be flexible.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

We're now a 100% Electric Car family!

2 1/2 years ago when my wife and I picked up the MINI E, we did it strictly as early adopters and had no idea of the joy and excitement we'd feel from driving a 100% Electric Car. We soon found that the only time we were driving our 2006 Ford Freestyle Crossover was when the three of us (2 adults and 1 EV loving little girl) would go somewhere together as the MINI E had no backseat. Most of these trips were just a few miles in length. We're fortunate to live in an area with great public transportation and stores, restaurants, banks, etc all a short walk from the house. During this time we drove the MINI E 51,000 miles (with no public charging) and the Ford 2000 miles. Most of the 2000 miles consisted of a few trips to Vegas and Palm Springs with the rest made up of short trips within Southern California as a family of three. This got us thinking....

Fast forward to January 16, 2012 when we picked up the BMW ActiveE. Here was a vehicle that had room for four, standard J1772 charging capability, heated seats for my wife, all the latest techno stuff for me and most importantly a backseat for Miss Hailey. After quickly putting 3200 miles on the ActiveE in 6 weeks, I noticed that we'd put a grand total of 50 miles on the Ford and those miles came from one trip to the airport to help out some friends. As a family, we'd gone zero miles in our Ford. What would a wise man do in this situation...

Sell the Ford! Today, we sold the Freestyle and are now a 100% Electric Car family. In looking at the financial numbers and our driving needs, it made way more sense to simply rent a new car for those times we need to travel a long distance, where taking the time to charge won't be possible. No more depreciation from the Ford, no extra insurance, no maintenance worries or in our case, as the Ford was out of warranty, no unexpected repair bills...and my personal favorite...MORE GARAGE SPACE. :)

While you may be saying to yourself this would never work for our family, give it some thought, especially you new ActiveE drivers. Over the next two years, keep track of how often you find yourself driving a gas powered car rather than your ActiveE. Perhaps you won't be able to go to a one car family but maybe from a three car to a two car. What you discover may bring a big smile to your face.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ChargePoint adds another Burbank, CA charging location

Happy to report that this site is now up and running.

I charged there during my lunch break today at 5.4 kwh with no problems. This is a great location and close to the 134 Freeway. Just exit at Pass Ave.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yet another reason why I love driving the ActiveE!

As the gas prices climb, I'm thankful to be driving a 100% electric car.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Charging in Burbank, CA

Tried to get a Level 2 charge today at 327 N. Pass Ave in Burbank, CA but was bummed to find that both ChargePoint chargers at this location were down. They should be working soon but probably best to call ChargePoint first before stopping by. The website showed them being functional. I called in to alert them. Looking forward to this location being up and running soon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2000 miles on electricity rather than gasoline!

As we close in on our first full month with the ActiveE, we just crossed the 2000 mile mark earlier today. Driving on electricity is wonderful. The technology and refinement that BMW has put into the ActiveE is top notch. I'm so happy to be testing this vehicle, knowing that when the BMW i3 arrives, most of the bugs and such will be worked out and finally everyone who wants one will be able to lease or purchase a BMW Electric Vehicle.

Something about driving a fast, smooth, exciting vehicle makes me smile. No matter what crazy stuff has happened during the day, I find that when I get behind the wheel of the ActiveE, it all melts away and the fun driving experience takes me away. Peaceful, Quiet, Fun, Fast,'s quite the package. For those awaiting delivery of their own ActiveE, it's worth the wait, I promise.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Plugging in at work with the portable charging cable

I was going to write a little something about hitting 1000 miles but I'll be at 2000 tomorrow, so I thought what the heck, I'll wait and write about that then.

For now, click here to view a video where I show you the two different charging levels of the 110 portable charging cable.

When I shot this video I hadn't found the manual. Here's the official word from the manual: The cord set provides a selectable charge rate based on the minimum current capability of the interface plug and the cord set conductor sizes. The standard charge rate is 12A and the reduced (2 lights lit up) charge mode is 6A @ 125V Max. Depending on where the vehicle is being charged, the charge rate may need to be reduced to below the maximum current rating to prevent tripping the upstream circuit protection. This can be accomplished by pressing the big orange button as I do in the video which will select the low charge rate.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Loving the ActiveE as the 1000 mile mark approaches

Today I had a great time zipping around Southern California. I met up with fellow MINI E'er Jim Dow in Newport Beach and had a wonderful time visiting with Jim and his family. Jim and his son Jamie test drove the ActiveE and I rode in the back. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of space in the back and the amout of zip with four adults on board.

In my travels today I was able to use two more ChargePoint chargers free of charge. I'm having fun hunting these down and using them. One was at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA and the other was not to far away at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Check out the videos.

For those folks with an iPhone, I love the ChargePoint app along with the Recargo app. Both show detailed maps of where you can find chargers and work great.

I'll be sharing my thoughts on the first 1000 miles either tomorrow or Monday. Can't believe how fast the miles fly by in the BMW ActiveE.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rolling on the highway using Cruise Control

Unlike the MINI E, the ActiveE has Cruise Control. Leaving Burbank tonight around 10pm provided a perfect opportunity to check out the range while using Cruise Control. I was very impressed.

Drove 40 miles with 37 of those miles on the freeway and the cruise control set at 72 mph. 3 miles on surface streets to get home. ECO Mode on with rear window defrost, ac/heat to clear windows, iPhone playing Pandora.

When I left Burbank, I had 74 miles in ECO Mode. When I pulled into garage, I had 31 remaining. This was mostly a flat drive home with a slight decline going down the 605. Obviously going up a hill or going up a slight incline would change these results. The more I discover about this car, the more I like.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First family journey!

Just got home from our first family journey. As wonderful as the MINI E was, we could never go anywhere as a family (since it was just a two seater) and a trip like today would have required firing up the ole trusty Ford SUV.

Today we journeyed to Los Angeles to visit relatives. It was a 61 mile round trip that was 99% freeway. The trunk was packed up to capacity, wife had the heated seats going, ac on, daytime running lamps and our daughter in the back on her new booster and off we went. We hopped in the carpool lane and averaged 70 to 75 with one 80 mph 13 mile stretch with the cruise control on. The car is so quiet you don't realize just how fast you're going. The overall driving experience is even better than the gasoline version. BMW did a wonderful job with this car. We returned home with 21 miles in ECO Mode. I kept ECO Mode on about half the time.

A couple of things about this trip. I normally don't drive this fast but today wanted to really test the range. Also, if I knew right off the bat that I was going to be driving say 90 to 100 miles with no place to charge, I would drive at a more moderate pace and stay in ECO Mode. In other words, I would adjust for that particular trip. Some might say that's a sacrifice and wouldn't work for them. Trust me, it's not that big of an adjustment and the savings in gas, overall driving experience, wonderful quiet ride, etc. make it worth it. Plus, how often would most folks be taking a trip of that distance.

Tomorrow, we will have had the car one week. I'll past 500 miles on my way to work tomorrow. Now if I can just keep up this driving, I might just catch the King of EV Miles, my friend Tom Moloughney in the East. One can always dream. :)

Quick look at our charging set-up

Here's a video of our charger and time of use meter set-up at our house.

All videos on my blog are shot with my iPhone 4s and uploaded to You Tube in HD. You may need to select HD when viewing video to get the higher quality.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fits in a BMW backseat perfectly!

For those needing a booster seat, this one worked great and allows room for our daughter to buckle herself in. Most booster seats won't work as they sit right on top of the latch but not this one. The narrow design towards the bottom of the booster works perfectly. Thanks Wal-Mart!

Charging at a public charger for the first time.

I was in Burbank, CA today and took advantage of a ChargePoint free charge station near the Burbank Media Center Mall. Was super easy to use. The phone app that ChargePoint provides works great too! Thanks ChargePoint!

Here's a video with more info on the exact location in Burbank.

The ActiveE has arrived in Long Beach!

This past Monday we traded in our MINI E after 50k miles for Part 2 in the BMW Field Trial, The 100% Electric, 100% BMW, ActiveE and WOW, what a car. I've driven it 85 miles a day since then and have loved every gasoline free mile. The tech on the car is amazing and the solid, sporty driving experience is top notch. This will soon be our only car as we're selling our Ford and will rent a gasoline car for those times we need to drive a super long distance.

Here's a video taken this past Monday when we swapped cars.

It's not to late to be part of this field trial. You too can be driving a ActiveE. Click here to be taken directly to the BMW Sign Up page.

I'll be updating this blog on a regular basis and will include a lot of pictures and videos.