BMWi World Tour – New York City Stop – 42nd and 6th Avenue, Across from Bryant Park – The second floor

So, the first floor of the New York stop of the BMWi focused on the upcoming i3 and i8 Spyder, the second floor was more lounge and other types of experience.

My wife and I met Karim, a nice young guy fom the BMWi team who was quite personable and was on his first trip to New York City. Aside from the pleasant company, the lounge in the second floor provided a section on non-BMW products that they identified as “Good Goods” by designers and businesses that have developed sustainable products for use. Such as wood jewelry, urban gardening, designer headphones made from fully recycled metals, and large wood ceiling fans. All of these things promote more Eco-Friendly products.

Additionally, there was an art installation entitled the Red Paper Heart that is activated when the viewer inserts a finger in a slot and the installation begins a light show from that.

I took stils instead of video –

Initial state –

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After I followed the instructions

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All this eco-friendly design studio was tied to the BMWi Lab which is where the BMW designers seem to have tied in the entire thing to the design of the BMWi vehicle line.

Recyclable components are what is shown here –

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Now, it just so happened that the morning that we flew in for the BMWi Born Electric Tour was part of the sustainability Hackathon that they were holding in the cafe section of the second floor and I had an interesting conversation with Charlie Oliver. Charlie was working with others to assist BMWi’s DriveNow carsharing service come up with a solution for inventory management and enticing users to plug the Active Es that they rented for the short-term so that the inventory is always available for use. She seemed to have a good grasp of the problem and I hope that she and her team were able to come up with some good ideas for DriveNow to solve this problem. Another problem that was related to this issue was also the management of the fleet so that it is more evenly dispersed throughout the Bay Area. It would seem that a good number of the fleet would end up at the same locations.

BMWi World Tour – New York City Stop – 42nd and 6th Avenue, Across from Bryant Park – Initial reactions and pictures

A picture is worth a 1,000 words…

This one is worth a whole lot more

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Yes, that’s the BMW i8 Spyder Concept Plug in Hybrid. Apparently, it’s only rated for 22 miles electric. That’s the down side. The price, not yet released, but I’m sure it’s an arm and a leg and perhaps more.

So, I was a little bummed that I was invited to an event on Tuesday that I was unable to make, so I’m hoping that the LA Auto Show event will be just as awesome. So, stay tuned.

We got to the BMWi World Tour location on 42nd and 6th Avenue slightly around 10:20am this morning EST after having left the Lakers leading the Suns at the end of the 3rd Quarter on Friday to catch American Airlines 30 from LAX to JFK departing at 11:40 pm PST (2:40am EST) and arrived at JFK 8:05 am EST (5:05 am PST). Upon entry to the exhibit, we were greeted by the staff and Mark from New York accompanied us as we walked around the bottom floor and we talked i3, EVs, i8, and our specific experience as Electronuts (those that use foursquare, use your check in and get some coffee/cappuccino on the second floor.)

Mark was very engaged in the conversation and he did his job well, he asked many questions as it related to our ActiveE and I finally saw the i3.

Here is one of me with the i3.

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Unfortunately, the better half just does not like hatchbacks and she wouldn’t mind the i8.

Here’s a picture of me with the i8.

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Mark accompanied us around the ground floor and gave specs on the carbon fiber build and the fact that the i3 will have a 22kWh battery and yet have the same range as the ActiveE. My wife asked about additional range and Mark mentioned the Gas Range Extender.

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According to Mark, the void to the right of and beside the electric motor is where the range extender will be expected to reside, so adding it should NOT take much space away from the i3.

Here’s a close up of the interior of the concept –

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And here is the i3 concept with both doors open –

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Mark had spent a good deal of time with us downstairs, and we proceeded to go upstairs for the coffee and the gallery space. As I’m going to need to rest a little from the red eye, I’ll cover the upstairs and our few minutes with Karim on a subsequent post.

In the meantime, here’s my flickr stream of this space.

Additionally, I forgot to check out this interactive wall that BMW created to “transform” 6th Avenue traffic into i series vehicles.

Lastly, even with as much caffeine as I tried to drink at the BMWi World Tour stop, I know I start to get loopy when I decide to ham it up on a photo booth they had set up.

Now to take a short nap and recharge.

Got car back earlier than a week… Sort of…

It looks like the permanent fix requires a back-ordered part and since I’ve stressed to my local BMW dealer my challenge to try to catch up to Tom Moloughney’s EXTREMELY CHALLENGING pace (really, 96 miles a day! Ugh) I got the car back this morning at -20 before next scheduled service (climbed to -60 by the time I got to the office). The countdown for service was not reset because I need to get back to them as soon as the part arrives.

So, I’m at 20,040 ish and waiting for the final fix for the Spline issue. The part is back-ordered and they let me go back on the road. Not sure if any of the software fixes are applied to take care of the GFCI issues with some public chargers and whether or not launch control was removed.

I’ll let you know once I get back from my weekend in New York where I intend to catch up to the BMWi World tour at Bryant Park this weekend. Too bad I couldn’t fly in for the Tuesday event for my fellow Electronuts!

At least with the car back, I’ll get to park at LAX for FREE!

A thousand miles later… and waiting a week… (estimate)…

It’s been a 1,000 miles since my Little Milestones post eleven days ago. I guess I estimated too low… I was planning on dropping my ActiveE off at exactly 20,000 miles (as I’ve done at 5,000; 10,000; and 15,000 miles) not this time…

Brought it in at 19,999 miles…

Less than a mile short of 20k mile goal for service this morning!

another view…

Another shot of my ActiveE at 19,999 miles

So, if you’re planning on dropping your ActiveE off for service at Long Beach BMW right now, you might have to wait…

So, what am I in for. A permanent fix for the Spline problem is in play. The dealership confirms a conversation that I had with my visit to Tom Moloughney last month that they have developed a “plug” to ensure that the lubricant in the spline stays put and does not spin off as we use our Electric Motors. Additionally, the latest version of the software will be flashed into my car to minimize the GFCI faults at some public chargers.

Hopefully this update doesn’t remove Launch Control (as fun as it is to get the Checkered Flag.) As was reported on this ActiveE Forum post or perhaps Ardie is being punished and Launch Control will still be there when I get my car back.
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Either way, dropped the car off around 9am PST today, November 12, 2012 and was promised to get it next week. Hopefully sooner. So, fingers crossed…

National Plug in Day 2012… Part 2… The Cypress event for Orange County.

Part two of my 2012 Plug In Day experience was down in Cypress.  The Orange County event was held at the Mitsubishi North America headquarters and there was plenty of test drives around.  This was an opportunity to try out the Mitsubishi i (formerly the MiEV) and see their Level 3 ChaDEmo charger in action.

One of the first things that I saw after I parked at the OC event was a Sparrow.  Prior to my ActiveE, I was familiar with the Nissan Leaf, GM EV1, Chevy Volt, the Tesla Roadster and that was pretty much it.  As I waited to be allocated my ActiveE, I started reading up on previous EVs and the Sparrow was one that caught my eye.  It would never be a vehicle I would be getting, but it harkens to some of the trials and tribulations of EV predecessors to the current generation, after all, as George Santayana has written, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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A Sparrow at OC's National Plug In Day event!

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The Orange County event had more EV conversions than the Los Angeles County event.

A converted Geo Metro –
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A homebuilt 3 wheeler –
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A converted Miata –
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A converted VW Pickup Truck –
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There was some speeches and now Congressman-elect, and former GM EV1 Driver, Allan Lowenthal was there to meet with his constituents.

The Orange County event provided me with the opportunity to test drive the Mitsubishi i (formerly the MiEV) and a Honda Fit EV (from Toan Ngo). I also let a few interested parties test drive my ActiveE.

The Fit EV –
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Here’s a shot of the Mitsubishi i from previous trip to the same site in Cypress –
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In all it was a successful day, filled with EV enthusiasts and curious folks who, hopefully, will become EV enthusiasts.

National Plug in Day 2012… Part 1… The El Segundo event for Los Angeles County.

There just have been too many things going on…

I attended my first National Plug in Day event in September and I had a lot of fun meeting fellow EV enthusiasts and even let a few folks test drive my ActiveE.  I actually attended both the L.A. County and the Orange County event as they were both well within range of my ActiveE.

For the pictures that I snapped at both events, I created a Flickr set to view these in.

The Los Angeles County event was held in El Segundo at the Automobile Driving Museum.  As part of the effort in encouraging ICE drivers to switch to EV, there were test drives provided by various EV drivers (Nissan Leaf, Plug In Prius, and Tesla Roadsters seemed to be participating) and I let the few folks that asked if they can check out my ActiveE have a ride as well.  I met with a few other ActiveE Electronauts and had a good time talking with them.

Here’s a few shots of the line to test drive –

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and another

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Inside the parking lot of the museum were a bunch of other cars including a Tesla Model S.

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To make you feel like you’re there… Here’s a panoramic I shot.

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I planned on being at the event for the first two hours, so things were starting up when I got there. It was a festive scene with a DJ spinning in the back of the parking lot, Several EVs were well represented, including the Volkswagen EV Golf, Nissan Leaf, a new Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi i (formerly MiEV), an ActiveE, Chevy Volt, Plug in Prius, Honda Fit, Fisker Karma, Tesla Roadster, and the rockstar – Tesla Model S. Blink Network was there getting people signed up and giving out some nice black baseball caps. The museum displayed their old EVs as well.

Across the street from the parking lot an Electric Motorcycle setup was provided.

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There was a guy who also converts ICE to EV and he featured his converted Porsche.

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Here’s one of the reasons that we do this… Future EV drivers-

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In all, it was fun, quick trip as I had to make the drive to Part 2 of my day, which would be the Orange County event at the Mitsubishi North American headquarters.

Election Night!

I am an Electronut!

After an evening of showing election maps and their various red and blue states for the Presidential election, instead of focusing on the outcome, it made me think of one of my favorite ActiveE websites…

I am, of course, talking about, the website that is tracking the mileage of FB connected ActiveE Electronuts

Looks like Tom is still a TON of miles ahead of me, but this is definitely the map that I am obsessed with tonight…

So, I figured to publish the spreadsheet of my mileage.  It would seem that I am one of the leaders in the West… As I am driving to get to my 20k mile appointment Monday, November 12, 2012, I continue to hope that the service will be a quick one and I will get back on the road soon after.

PS: Congratulations to President Obama on his re-election and to Governor Romney for a hard fought battle.  It is always impressive that for most of our country’s existence this change of power has been mostly bloodless (yes, I understand that the Civil War was fought, and it was not the direct result of an election result, however, it DID split the country.)