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.


  1. Bravo!
    You guys are blazing a trail that many American families will follow.

    Living close to services and “relocalizing” is this generations answer to urban sprawl. The time and money saved is invested back into the family and community enriching both while improving the air quality for us all.

    My hope is that the options for public transit will increase greatly and be more diverse in the next decade giving more families like yours the ability to do what you guys have done.
    Best post ever!
    Congrats and best wishes. We hope to get there one day.

  2. That's great Todd! I can't go to a one car family just yet since my wife and I both work. Plus her parents live 210 miles away in Vermont so The ActiveE isn't a good choice for visiting them. I'm hoping the next car we get all be a PHEV preferably with 4wd. I'm jealous that you can get away with just one car, that's a huge savings.

  3. Congrats; We shed the last gasser when we realized that a ZipCard in the pocket or at least a passing familiarity with the local rental place was enough to cover us in the unlikely event that we need to take a long trip. It just doesn't happen as often as so many think - I've said this before but, I don't keep a personal jet in the back yard in case I might take a trip to the UK and I don't keep a gasser in the garage on the off chance that I might take a road trip.

  4. Thanks Peder!

    Tom, totally understand. A PHEV 4wd sounds pretty cool!

    MPT: Great point about the jet!

    I hope to never buy a gasser again.

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  6. Happy to Masonvilion! Thanks for following the journey!

  7. Wow! It’s nice that you have bought an electric car, since it is very cost-effective and family-friendly. I myself have driven an electric car before and was completely amazed how much money I have saved! In the next few years, I am sure a lot of people will opt to buy an electric car with the paradigm shifting from power to eco-friendliness and fuel economy.

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