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.