EV Thanks on Thanksgiving 2013… 50,000 all electric miles!


So, my favorite EV News site at transportevolved.com asked what do you have to be EV Thankful for… (Interestingly they’re based in the UK, but with a LARGE audience of the American EV Community)

After over 21 months of EV driving and meticulous postings of my electric mileage, it’s finally happened. Sometime in the past few weeks I’ve passed 50,000 all electric miles of driving!

I would have been more precise, however. Sharing EVs with my wife, I can’t tell which are her driving miles versus my driving miles. I do know that I drive 95-98% of the time, so I can claim most of the miles.

So… What does that mean… Well, I’ve calculated a cost of approximately $0.008 per mile since I’ve moved to Solar power on my roof. Well, let’s assume that with the addition of the Tesla Roadster and Model S to the fleet, my costs have gone up to $0.012 per mile. I’m using this figure because both the Roadster and Model S exhibits more Vampire Drain (defined as the energy consumed by the EV while idle) than the Active E has in its approximately 48,000 miles of service. So, using this figure, let’s say that we’ve spent approximately $600 during these 50,000 miles. Well, I’ve used paid EV Charging Networks as well. Not too often, but enough to approximate an additonal $50, let’s double this figure to be really conservative. So, we’re talking $700 for the 50,000 miles. Now, if we had driven all those miles in our least expensive ICE (Internal Combustion Engine (gasoline engine)) car was at $0.15 per mile. These same miles would have been $7,500 in energy costs.

So, I guess after 50,000 miles, I have at least $6,800 to be thankful for.

What else do I have to be EV Thankful for… Frankly, living in Southern California has given me the ability to choose amongst the widest selection of Electric and Plug-in Hybrid vehicles on the market. I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to drive this gallery of electric vehicles.

Ranging from failures like the Coda (which I reviewed early on the blog’s existence) and Fisker Karma.

Coda
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Fisker Karma
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To California Compliance limited production run EVs such as the Honda Fit EV and Fiat 500e.

Honda Fit EV
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Fiat 500E
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Is the Spark EV a compliance car or production?

Chevy Spark EV
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To hand converted beauties like the ZElectricbug.

ZElectric Bug #1
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To full production EVs, like the Mitsubishi iMiEV, Ford Focus EV, Nissan Leaf, Smart 3rd Gen ED, and my latest temptation the BMW i3. Not pictured are the Chevy Volt, 2nd Gen Toyota RAV4 EV, and the Plug-in Prius.

Mitsubishi iMiEV
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Ford Focus EV
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Nissan Leaf
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Smart 3rd Gen ED
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BMW i3
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And of course, our EV fleet… The Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model S, and the one that got me hooked on EVs our BMW Active E.

Our Tesla Roadster
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Our Model S
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Our BMW ActiveE
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So… EVeryone in the EV world. From rEVolutionaries and those that are curious (join us, the water is fine)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Reflections on the Model S Fremont Factory pickup experience…


It has been two weeks since we first got our Model S.

So… would we do it again?

A resounding Yes.

Unfortunately, I as with other members of the public that have gone on the Tesla Factory tour, I have agreed to a non-disclosure. I can disclose that it was very interesting and quite impressive. The gentleman that led the tour, Anish, was very informative and engaging. He addressed fellow tour group members questions, pointed out interesting things in the factory and was lively.

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As for the Model S pickup experience. There are definitely things that can be improved. I lucked out in that Anish, our tour group leader, was actually the Delivery Specialist to hand over the keys to us. He was a good sport regarding the last $1 that I owed Tesla being paid in cash. He took some time with us throughout the process but it definitely felt like he was hurrying us along.

Wanting to learn from previous Model S owners, I printed out the very handy Delivery Checklist that was compiled by @NickJHowe. Anish saw the list and was dismissive of it and told us to just “get him at his desk” after we’re done doing the presentation “his way.” Though I appreciate his time (as well as mine), I had a few things on the list I wanted to cover and I felt that the guide was a good way to tackle this.

My wife had a question on the way the Panoramic Roof was installed and Anish brushed us off and said that this was a minor thing that should “settle”, if not, take it to the Tesla Service Center for repair. Guess what… That turns out to be a two day job that we now have to schedule and do when the Service Center can get to it.

[added these photos November 27, 2013]

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[The glass does not sit in place properly and the gasket is sunken in.]

Lastly… The downside to the “soft-sell” aspect of Tesla’s program is that I didn’t even realize that there is a 4 year or 4+4 year Service Plan (or 50,000 to 100,000 mile Service Plan) that Tesla offers. As well as an extension of the warranty for an additional 4 years. Apparently this option has to be exercised at up to thirty days after taking delivery of the car. I stumbled upon this when I logged into my account and now have to figure out what that means and whether or not it’s worth it for me.

Taking the long drive last weekend from Fremont to Santa Rosa and back down to Southern California is definitely a good way to “shake down” the car and get the feel for it at distance (as well as some traffic.) We encountered some “wind noise” from the front driver’s window that turned out to be a misaligned glass. After less than two weeks of driving the car, this is what the glass has done to the gasket around the window.

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We’re on waiting for parts and service tech mode, so it’s going to be another couple of weeks to resolve this as well.

I have a few nits that will probably continue to reiterate itself as I write about the Model S ownership experience, so please bear with me. (I will probably keep complaining about the missing coat hook.)

The entertainment system is very well integrated. However, it seems strange to me that it only handles one bluetooth input. The Active E and other vehicles can handle multiple bluetooth devices connected at a time and it is disappointing that the vehicle can only handle being connected to one device at a time. Now, I am not saying that the Active E can play two different bluetooth sources at the same time. What I am saying is that the Active E can connect and switch between two devices at a time. Whereas the Model S has to be manually connected and disconnected.

We took the 101 route back to Southern California as an overnight drive and we could have done this drive quicker had I pushed the car and hit only a couple of Superchargers along the way and not the five stops that we took.

The only real negative as for the pickup experience has been the “one on one” with Anish. We felt hurried and that he didn’t really adress concerns. I felt that my mother had a better experience with Jeb from Nissan of Duarte when she picked up her Leaf a few months ago.

Announcing… The new blog title


Since I first started publishing my thoughts on this blog, I had chosen the title

My ActiveE made me Accidentally Environmental

The trials and tribulations of a BMW ActiveE driver in Southern California

Well…

As I indicated in a previous post, we’re adding to our focus…  I would have been happy to pursue more experiences with the Active E, solely, alas, I am finally letting go of the idea that I may be able to keep my Active E.  The i3 is launched and scheduled for delivery in the United States (if my source at one of the local LA dealerships is to be trusted) on March 18, 2014.  (Yes, the day after Saint Patrick’s Day.)

So…  Without further delay…

My ActiveE made me Accidentally Environmental

And Tesla made me a rEVolutionary!

It was either that or

And Tesla Model S is the vehicle that BMW should have made

I really like palindromes… 47474 miles today…


It’s about a week before the LA Auto Show event for Active E Electronuts and I hit a fun palindrome. As many long-time blog readers have picked up, I’m a big Lakers fan. But that also means NBA basketball in general and the #47 is Andrei Krilenko’s number… Now, he’s NOT a Laker, never been a Laker, but I always liked his nickname of AK47 (since he’s Russian and the assault weapon.) It’s a somewhat memorable nickname. So, when I saw that I was nearing this number, I thought to take a photo of it.

Besides, I also shows that EVs are no push overs and can hold their own on the open road.

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A few things to note in the half mile that I travelled between these two shots is the relative ease that the BMW Active E handles the speed. It’s barely pushing the eDrive motor.

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Additionally, it was one of those sunny Novembers that make folks move to Southern California… that’s 86 to 87 Fahrenheit (30 to 30.5 Celsius) at 10:40 am.

As much as the Teslas are so fun to drive. I really will miss my Active E.

Pictures of our Model S getting the Glistening Perfection treatment!


The second stage of taking delivery of the vehicle was to protect the aesthetics of the vehicle.

So, click here [warning, not for the faint of heart], to see some of the work that’s being done on the Model S.

Glistening Perfection is doing their thing, but man it’s a little strange to see the car in this state as it gets taken care of.

This is a public service announcement! – Electronaut Event alert…


I’ve been piling on the Tesla Model S coverage, so it’s understandable that I need to do something to balance this out. Last month’s Electronaut newsletter had a save the date for the Los Angeles Convention Center event for Active E drivers to attend and have a chance to test drive the new BMW i3…

I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for a while now and was wondering why I haven’t heard anything from BMW.

Since I’ve been on the road this past weekend, I haven’t had time to look over my Spam filters… And… Lo and Behold. The invitation was sent last night.

Luckily I caught it on time and was able to secure a reservation to the event.

So…

Watch this space.

In the meantime, check out the i3 coverage on Electronaut #1, Tom Moloughney’s i3 site or the first drive report from my favorite EV site – transportevolved.com.

So… Just had one full day of S getting the “treatment”


Today is the start of the second day of no Model S… And it’s going fine…

Instead of opting for the factory installed Paint Armor, we decided to follow Mark and Anna‘s example with their Model S and had Moe Mistry of Glistening Perfection apply the Xpel Ultimate wrap on our car.

Here are our cars, side by side at Glistening Perfection on Sunday…

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Theirs is the one with the plates…

We opted for the whole car wrap and tint.

What that means is that we wait for the car to be serviced, then we get it all nicely detailed, wrapped, etc. No worries of paint chips for at least the ten year warranty of the Xpel Utlimate.

One of the cool things that I found out is that Moe removes the badges from the car, wraps it, then reattaches brand new ones to the car. This then provides the best protection as the film does not bunch up around the badges.

It also provides an opportunity…

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I’m thinking of removing the 85 on the bottom right of the rear. I figure, no need to really advertise what model of the S that we’re driving. It’s an S. If one isn’t driving the P85 or P85+, no real need to have any other badge than Model S and the Tesla logo.

What do you think?