Model S Pick up day… 0215

Today is the day.

We’re on a morning flight out of LAX to SJC to pick up our new Model S.

It’s approximately eight hours and forty minutes until our appointment to tour the Tesla Factory AND pick up our S85 Model S… Yes, it’s 0215/2:15 AM and I’m writing on my blog because I couldn’t sleep.

Stay tuned…

I’m hoping to at least provide updates on flickr for pictures…

One day more… (and it’s not Les Miserables)

One day more…

In twenty four hours my teslamotorsclub.com signature line will be changing from:

Dennis – My Blog (mainly Active E for now and Tesla stuff as it grows…)
BMW Active E, Signature Green Roadster #40, and an 85kwh Tesla Model S with delivery of early November in Blue/Tan, Pano Roof, WITH Sub-zero Package in Southern California… Because COLD is a relative term.

To something closer to:

Dennis – My Blog (mainly Active E for now and Tesla stuff as it grows…)
BMW Active E, Signature Green Roadster #40, and an 85kwh Tesla Model S in Blue/Tan, Pano Roof, WITH Sub-zero Package in Southern California… Because COLD is a relative term.

Stay tuned. I’ll probably be updating the blog more often and/or teslamotorsclub.com and my new Flickr group – Tesla Model S Delivery weekend.

Until we pick it up and start uploading pictures, I’m using a picture of me at the Hawthorne supercharger as a place holder.

Can you tell that I’m excited?

30,000 Miles…

One less than 30,000 Miles:

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and finally, 30,000 Miles:

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So, what’s been up.

Well, I TRIED to meet up with the West Coast Active E Facebook folks in Morro Bay on April 7, 2013. However, since I was busy on Saturday and didn’t head out for a Range Insane 240 mile drive from home to where the meet up is, I decided to ICE it with my BMW 328iC. I guess we run what is known as a hybrid garage and I figure that to supplement the Active E, a convertible and SUV are definitely two types of ICE vehicles that are not quite EV ready (as of April 2013).

So, to match some of the capabilities of the Active E, I had to wire up my portable Sirius radio to the convertible and wired it up.

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As I documented in other locations, the dangers of going to a FB meetup when I don’t have FB is that when plans change, I may not be updated. So, after driving 240 miles one way, I missed the Active E folks by about 15 minutes. I actually got to see Mariel and Edison drive by as I spoke to Tom Moloughney to see if he can get me in touch with the West Coast guys. At least it was a beautiful California day and my wife and I had a fun drive with the top down for a bit of the journey!

The day after the meetup, dropped off the car for 30,000 mile service, a little early at 29,650.

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This service took a little longer than the 25,000 mile service as I actually had a transmission malfunction a few weeks ago that required me to go to the battery switch to reset it. Unfortunately, even after four days in service, they didn’t find anything “wrong” with the car.

So, got the car back.

Did a little driving around and got to 30k.

So, what have I learned this past 10,000 miles… I really enjoy EVs and I am really intrigued by the new Fiat 500e and so happy to live in California where Fiat is offering this vehicle.

With one year left… Tips on extending the BMW ActiveE experience! – DriveNow

With less than one year to go on my ActiveE experience, I KNOW that I will be jonesing for more ActiveE driving.  I’m sure that the Model S that we have reserved would keep me rEVolutionary.  However, one never forgets ones first…  EV love!

So, what do I recommend?

BMW and Sixt’s JV in San Francisco – drive-now.com.

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My experience with drive-now was not positive because of USER ERROR and not their fault… Though, I was initially irritated with the process.

So, I looked into this product several months ago when they first launched. At the time, drive-now was in a few locations throughout the city of San Francisco and required that subscribers show up to a registration center to join them. This process stuck on MY idea of what the process is. At the time, I provided feedback via the Active E forums that the drive-now should go ahead and provide stations near the airports and/or mail the FOBs to subscribers directly.

Flash forward to when I signed up. Apparently, they listened to my suggestion, but I assumed that they only took the first part of the suggestion which was to locate these centers by the airports. So, I was on a trip a few weeks ago to Napa and thought that it would be fun to rent an Active E for the trip. I was arriving in San Francisco International on Saturday morning and figured to go ahead and sign up for the service on Wednesday prior to my arrival.

Since I had an early lunch seating to make at the French Laundry in Napa, I figured that I would just pick up my rental ActiveE on Sunday as I erroneously assumed that I would be picking up my FOB at the SkyPark Parking, located at 1000 San Mateo Ave, San Bruno, CA.

So, after a fun quick trip to Napa and Sonoma, we proceeded to SkyPark Parking at San Bruno to see if we could rent an Active E and pick up our FOB. So, we drove to the location, and told the folks there that I had just signed up for the service and would like to pick up the FOB from them. I did not properly read the e-mail confirmation of my membership that clearly stated that I should contact customer service should I desire to pick up my FOB at a registration center.

The folks at SkyPark tried to address this issue for me, but were unable to even get the process started.

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They couldn’t even pull up the website. As I mentioned, it would appear that had I read the email from the folks at drive-now, I would’ve realized that I was complicit in making this process more complicated, but I do feel that they need to realize that they need to ensure that the parties that represent them should have tools that work. Additionally, it would seem that even if the device worked, the app that they are using is coded in German and they need to re-code it in English for this launch.

Oh well. Needless to say, now that I did receive my packet (the following week after I signed up for the service) I am hoping that my experience will be more positive. I will just have to find myself back in the Bay Area. I am thankful that this program does exist as a hedge for the time that I have to turn my keys in to BMW for the end of my Active E experience. I held out for hope that they would at least offer Active E Electronuts a discount on the sign ups, alas, that did not happen.

So, what do I recommend. First, read their communications. If you are looking to use the service right away, make sure to follow the instructions. Otherwise, if you are flying into San Francisco or Oakland, make sure to at least sign up for drive-now a week or two prior to arrival.

Cheers from London! The permanent BMWi Store Park Lane, Mayfair, London

In London for a quick trip and decided to stop by the BMWi Store in Mayfair. Mayfair is a pretty glitzy part of London and the first location identified by BMW to present it’s BMWi sub-brand with a permanent and prominent location. Amidst walking by the Aston Martin dealership and others in the area, I have to admit that the strategy may just be the right one.

Outside –

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Inside –

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To view the entire set… My good friends at Flickr…

This location was originally set up prior to the BMWi World Tour that we visited in New York City and currently features older versions of the i3 and i8 Concept. What makes this location different than the World tour is the space is much smaller and the vehicles themselves are older versions of the i3 and i8.

The i8 at this location was the one featured in the film Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (AKA Mission Impossible 4) and was the first of the i series that I’ve ever seen in any media.

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It’s still a beauty.

Another difference is that the carbon fiber shell in this display was of the i8 and not the i3 as was seen on the World Tour…

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Front of the car –

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Back of the car –

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The young lady, Jess, who hosted our visit to the BMWi store explained that the biggest challenge that they have at the location was having to explain to interested parties that they would have to wait to take delivery of the i8. Some of the more affluent have tried to resort to offering more than BMW is asking for the car to get it delivered NOW. Alas, this writer does love the look of any of the BMW i8s, but will have to resort to considering the i3 or i3 Coupe if I were to stick with the BMW line.

With the location in Mayfair, I would think that BMW would be moving more of the i8s than the i3s… But, I guess time will tell.

Next time, I’ll have to try to get to BMW Headquarters and see the exhibit of 40 years of BMW Electrics that they tweet/G+ post from time to time.

Oh, and we’re ONE WEEK from my ONE YEAR Anniversary and the Active E is going in for “regular” service on Tuesday. Here’s to wishing for a quick turnaround!

LAX Parking… free no more… March 1st, 2013…

Thanks to fellow Active E Electronut Dr. Bob on the ActiveE forum, it looks like LAX will no longer be allowing parking and charging for free in Lot 6 and Lot 1 beginning March 1, 2013.  Also, looks like Helen Chiu (@yesthisishelen on Twitter) posted the following, which looks like a scan of the notice.

Needless to say, this was a nice benefit that was provided to EV and Plug-in Hybrid drivers that has been running at LAX for quite a while (especially since it was not until April last year that the chargers were upgraded to J1772).  So, this leads me to believe that this benefit was at least around for when most people charged with the old SPI chargers (and therefore GM EV1 or the older Toyota RAV4 Electric (not the re-launched based on a Tesla platform).

It was great to have this benefit out there, but seeing how California public facilities really need to be upgraded, I suppose it is to be expected that the LAX folks would be counting on increasing their revenue from ALL users of LAX Parking facilities.  This just means that I’ll have to plan my trips in and out of LAX with off-site parking in mind and ensure that I have enough charge to get home before I park.

LAX Onsite parking is pretty expensive.  Though the charging will more than likely remain “free”, the charge for parking would mean that one will need to consider OTHER charging stations near LAX.  I would suggest the Blink Network ones at Loyola Marymount University.  There are about fifteen that show up and cost between $1-$2 an hour to charge depending on the plan that you have.  The address to LMU is 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

For those that want to appeal the decision – parking@lawa.org is the email address for the folks at LAX Parking.

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.