20,000 Miles in 7 months in my MINI-E - North American Motoring


MINI E Talk (2010) Discussion of the electric, zero-emissions field trial MINI. Only 500 to be leased by MINIUSA!

20,000 Miles in 7 months in my MINI-E

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Old 02-04-2010, 10:20 AM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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20,000 Miles in 7 months in my MINI-E

I'm driving MINI-E #250 in New Jersey and loving every mile I drive it. I really wasn't an electric car advocate until I was picked to be in this program. (I filled out the application without expecting to really get one) I've driven the car almost 21,000 miles in seven months and use it for everything from commuting to hauling hundreds of pounds of restaurant supplies at a time. It's proven to me that I can definitely live with an electric car and now I actually prefer it over the ICE counterparts. I'm on pace to drive it 35,000 miles in a year which is much more than the average person drives their car so the "short range, city car" myth has been busted for sure. There are plenty of others in the program that have almost as much miles as I do so I'm not a freakish aberration of what the vehicle is capable of doing.
If anyone would like to read about my travels with the car, I have a blog that details my year driving it at: http://minie250.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:28 PM
mrspeed33 mrspeed33 is offline
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That's a lot of EV miles

Wow, 21K in 8 months? That's great. It kind of blows up the common thought that you cannot drive an electric car far because of the range issues. If you hit the 35,000 miles in one year like you predict, you may have driven your MINI-E more in one year than anyone else has in any other EV. I've never heard of anyone driving one that much in one calender year. The future is looking bright indeed.
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:49 PM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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Thanks, I may not hit 35K now though. I'm guessing around 33,000 now. I hit a huge pot hole and messed up the front right wheel and some stuff in the drivetrain. I've already missed two weeks of driving so I'm hoping to get it back soon and continue racking up the miles.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:24 PM
Project Mangler Project Mangler is offline
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Nice blog and glad you're loving your MINI-E, but should clear up a couple things: 500 MINI-Es is not the largest roll-out of an all electric vehicle by a major manufacturer, GM leased 800 EV-1s. And at 20,000 miles, you'd only be looking at one or possibly two (free!) oil changes if you follow MINI's guidelines, so that's only 10 quarts of oil saved. Of course, some of us who are interested in having our cars last longer than MINI's 50,000 mile warranty change ours more frequently.

Thanks for posting, I've been curious as to how these cars have behaved. Sounds encouraging! And +1 for that license plate!
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:10 PM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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I'll have to take your word for how many EV-1 were leased. I always thought it was around 500 but I don't even remember where I got that info from. The MINI-E program is up to around 620 cars now with the cars in Germany and the UK. I'm pretty sure there are some going to France in the near future, but it will still be under 800. As for the oil though, I will stand by my numbers. I have a Toyota Tacoma pick up and I do oil changes between 4,000 and 5,000 miles. I'm sure I could let it go a little more, but I've always been strict with my oil changes and I've never had a problem so that's what I do. I would have changed my oil about 5 times so I would have used 30 quarts of oil. I have had a few other people say things like "well if you had a Prius you wouldn't have had to buy that much gas" I don't have a Prius, my other car is a Tacoma so that's why I use it as a comparison. Thanks for the kind words about the blog. I do like the car a lot but I am trying to be fair and "tell it like it is"
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:23 PM
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jcauseyfd jcauseyfd is offline
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Despite the high mileage, I don't think it does anything to dispel the range problem. As you note in your blog, you have a unique situation with the charging station at your place of work. In my case, if the range maxes out at around 115 miles, I couldn't even make it to the closest MINI dealer and back, much less many other places I drive to. Nor would I be able to participate in any of our club drives.

Otherwise, sounds like a good experience. I hope MINI continues their development efforts on this.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:28 PM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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Yes, These aren't for everyone. The range will prohibit a lot of single-car families from having one until we see 200+ miles per charge. However I think there are a lot of people that would be very happy with a 100 mile EV. So far I am.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:19 AM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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The All Cars Electric blog just posted about my adventures in the car and the mileage I've put on it. They didn't contact me so I guess they just got the info from my blog and from the Edmunds Inside Line post about me. If anyone wants to check it out is at:
http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/...oblem#comments
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:45 AM
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I have driven almost 20k in the year I have had mine and it blows my mind cause I don't know where I was driving that I racked that many miles. I have never driven a car or truck that I have put this kind of mileage on. But hopefully it has been holding up well for you and is working out.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:48 AM
mrspeed33 mrspeed33 is offline
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There was a guest post by this guy on Edmunds Inside Line, you can read it here:

http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtest...ini-e-250.html

Interesting
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:54 AM
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Tom, what do you think you'll replace the MINI with come the end of the lease?

And, for the $850 a month lease payment you're currently paying, wouldn't some of those costs even out some against a "regular" car, say a regular MINI Cooper, that easily gets up to 40 mpg, only requires an oil change every 15K and no paid maint for the first 36K and so on?

At $850/mo in 2 years you would own a Justa Cooper outright, and would have paid little to nothing for maintenance or oil changes, and would have spent about $1600 on fuel for 21k miles, compared to your $650 for electricity. Seems a worthy trade-off to me, at least until and unless they get the range upped considerably and the cost down considerably too. Plus, there's more cargo room in a Justa since you have a real backseat.....

All in all, there are tradeoffs, it just comes down to those you can live with.

You say you've taken it out of state, how long did you have to park it before you could drive again? Overnight, right?

I do agree that they make good city cars, and of course having the charging station at work made all the difference in your usablility - something the average electric car user would not be able to do......but that's what this program is all about, learning how they would work in the real world....
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:19 PM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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Dave,

I'll probably be keeping the car for another 15 months so I haven't really thought about it. BMW is offering a one year extension for those interested in keeping the cars. We will find out the details next week. The lease payment is expected to be much less than the current (Crazy) $850/month. The people in the program, myself included, didn't do this for financial reasons. We applied because we wanted to be part of what we hope will be the beginning of a new direction for the automotive industry. I wouldn't have agreed to 2 or 3 years of $850/month. I think part of the high price was to discourage people that weren't really serious about the program from applying.

That being said, it turned out to be relatively inexpensive. The payment included insurance and I got the first few months lease payments waived because there were issues getting our chargers approved by local inspectors. (although I was still using it) I drive the car hard and have already burned through a set of run-flats so what would that have cost to replace? $1,200?

I've saved a few thousand on gasoline already driving 22,000 miles in 8 months vs my Toyota Tacoma(not comparing to a MINI because I don't own a MINI). At $2.50/gal I was spending $4,200 on gas for 30k/year. The MINI-E will cost me about $900 in electric for the same 30K.

I've driven to Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York from New Jersey. I didn't have to park it and charge at all. I did the round trips on a single charge. If I keep it under 65mph I can get 110-120 miles in weather over 60 degrees.

As for being a good city car, I don't drive in the city much at all. I drive mostly highway commuting from Chester to Montclair and Oradell. The car does go further in city driving though, it loves stop and go traffic with lots of regen, the opposite of an ICE car.

It's been a real fun 8 months so far, I'm looking forward to seeing what the lease extension offer from BMW is.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:17 AM
thirdgear3 thirdgear3 is offline
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There's an article on this guy and how many miles he's driven this car in Der Spiegel, which is the most well respected automotive authority in Germany. I think he's driven it over 25,000 miles now in ten months. That's crazy miles for a car that has a 100 mile range. It appears that he was interviewed by [FONT=inherit]Thomas Geiger[/FONT] of Spiegel at the New York Auto Show a few weeks back. It's in German, but Google translate should do the trick if you didn't take 4 years of German like I did. It's a good article and generated lots of comments.
http://www.spiegel.de/auto/aktuell/0...687871,00.html
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:19 PM
jeffu jeffu is offline
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2,234 GM EV1s were made between 1996 and 1999. It had one of the highest consumer satisfaction rating of all cars. I was told by GM that the highest milage EV1 was in the 60,000 plus miles range. Mine was over 32,000.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:58 AM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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Hi Jeff,
The EV1 was a great car, it is inexcusable how GM treated it and ultimately crushed all of them. I know you were one of the lucky ones that actually leased one and got "hooked" on electric back then. I'm also very much aware of your "ousting" from this program which is unfortunate because I'm sure you would have liked the car a lot and would have contributed to the program. The article in Der Spiegel talked a lot about the high mileage I have put on the car (28,000 in ten months so far) and the fact that it is so uncommon because of the limited range of EV's. The author mistakenly wrote that no electric car has so many miles, which is completely wrong. As you noted, there were EV1's with as many as 60k and I know there are RAV4's with well over 100,000 miles on them. What he meant to say was that I'm going to finish up the year with the car with about 32,000 miles and nobody that he has contacted in the EV community could remember anyone driving any EV 32,000 in a single year. That's 90 miles a day every day of the year and there just haven't been many cars sold or leased that would be capable of doing it. The Tesla roadster could, but I'm not sure anyone would buy one and then drive it into the ground like that. The folks at Plug in America that I spoke to don't know of anyone that has driven that many miles in an Ev in a year either. I know you have been a big EV supporter for a while now, perhaps you know someone that has.
It's not a big deal to me, but people started asking me about it so I started wondering about it also. As far as I see it, the high mileage will help to debunk the notion that EV's are only good for low mileage, inner city driving, and not cannot be used by anyone that drives a lot. 32k a year is a lot of driving and the MINI-E is handling it with no problem.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:28 AM
thirdgear3 thirdgear3 is offline
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I was just reading Toms blog. He's over 31,000 miles and he still has a month to go on the one year lease. That's a crazy amount of driving for any car, let alone an EV with a 100 mile range. Think about it, it's 90 miles a day, every single day of the year. When you figure there had to be days he didn't drive it at all or it was being serviced, he must have averaged over 100 miles a day when he used it. I wonder what his electric bill is....
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:19 PM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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Hi all,

My first year lease just ended and I'll be keeping the car for a second year. I finished the year with 33,013 miles on it, which was the most in the program. The second most mileage was a little over 27K, which is pretty good also. I know of about five others that hit 20K. Not bad for a car with a 100 mile range! The car is a blast to drive, I wish more people could have the opportunity to drive an EV, it's really a lot of fun.

Tom
MINI-E #250
http://minie250.blogspot.com/
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:50 PM
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DooBahDoo DooBahDoo is offline
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Congrats. Glad you'll get to keep it for another year. Great blog...keep it up. If my current work/life situation continues I just might be able to make an EV work for me. Thanks for your efforts.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:31 PM
Project Mangler Project Mangler is offline
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Glad you're going another year. I know you have your blog, but keep us posted here too!
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:35 AM
praecurvo praecurvo is offline
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We (my wife and I) run a Self-Sustainable energy business and this is the best news currently regarding EV's. Keep it up and let's make this difference for our planet.
aaron
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:46 PM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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I've had the car for almost 15 months now and I'm approaching 40,000 miles (I've slowed down a little bit!) I did a blog post about approaching 40,000 zero emission miles if anyone is interested:

http://minie250.blogspot.com/2010/08...ion-miles.html

The car is still as much fun to drive as ever and I haven't had any noticeable reduction in range after over 600 charging cycles and nearly 40K
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:50 AM
MINIE250 MINIE250 is offline
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The Star Ledger, New Jersey's largest newspaper, did a story on me and the MINI-E a couple days ago. It actually appeared on the front page which was cool. Here's a link for anyone interested:
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...is_one_of.html
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:57 AM
praecurvo praecurvo is offline
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Good press!
aaron
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:42 PM
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Mondo Mondo is offline
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Curious if you've noticed any loss in performance or mileage as the batteries are probably getting a lot of recharges on them?

That's been one of my concerns... factoring in the cost of replacing the batteries after so many miles.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:30 AM
praecurvo praecurvo is offline
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To add to mondo's comment, I would also like to say that if one does have to replace the batteries, this may not be such a bad thing. With battery technology making enormous advancements, you may have a better battery to choose from when the upgrade is needed; most likely not for at least 150,000 miles with the Li Ion units.
aaron
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