The early Lakers exit and the Councours de Claremont 2013

So… I’m still stinging form the early Lakers exit this year.

However, this blog is about my ActiveE, EVs, etc.


So, what do the Lakers exit and my ActiveE have to do with each other… Well, this year I decided to do some EVangelizing at my Alma Mater’s 2013 Concours de Claremont. It was held during Alumni Weekend in early May and I thought to join them on the field to display our cars. As you can see from the picture above, there were not so many of us this year, especially compared to last year’s attendance. The event was also sparsely attended this year. Perhaps it has to do with the weather as it was more overcast and rain threatened all weekend.

These stationary sort of car shows are fun, but I think the Plug in Day events are better. Really, the EV smile only clicks in AFTER someone drives an EV and it’s harder on stationary shows.

Here’s a nicer shot of my ActiveE beside a very clean jaguar and Porsche.


Still the only EV at this event. Next year, I plan on attending with a Tesla Model S, unless I can be convinced that the i3 aesthetics aren’t nearly as bad as I think they are.

Here’s a nice picture of my neighbor, the ICE Jag… He really has such a clean engine.


One of the benefits of an early Lakers exit from the playoffs was the fact that I was able to spend the entire show on the premises, last year I had to take off early to catch the game at 12:30pm. I got to meet and talk to some of the students, alumni, and faculty and explain why they should look at EVs for their vehicles. I also got to meet a fellow member of the Electronut family. A Freshman at the school’s father is a fellow alumnus and he, the son, stopped by to say “hi.”

If you’ll notice, I again plugged the car in at 120V as the school is just over 50% charge to get to and I figure at slow speed, it just gave me that much more juice to ensure that I got home for a half-day’s slow charge. However, it is important to note that my alma mater actually installed several Blink Network chargers not too far from the field that we were using for the show. I just don’t like to pay for public charging if I don’t need to. This is definitely a BIG improvement over last year, so I should at least praise them for providing the facilities, should I need to use them. Additionally, these pay chargers are cheaper than the ones on Chargepoint at the Pomona College location (on a per hour basis).

The Concours de Claremont 2012

I’m not really a car guy… Never was… probably never will be. I somewhat understand the rudimentary concept of horsepower, torque, all that stuff.  However, I basically know that it’s time to switch mechanics when they try to charge me for “changing the air” in my tires… Needless to say, not a car guy.

When I primarily drove ICE cars, I was fine with my old station-wagon, dubbed the Red Bomber by my friends in college. It served my purpose. I got from point A to point B and loaded the car with a bunch of stuff or friends. As I got older, and started to get nicer and nicer cars. I can appreciate the power that “the ultimate driving machine” gave me. Additionally, my lack of car knowledge makes me the ideal consumer to have the included manufacturer service plan for new and CPO BMWs. This fit has made it that BMW has become and continues to be my favorite car manufacturer. This is one of the reasons for trying to get into the ActiveE program. Lastly the fact that the ActiveE DOES drive like all my other BMWs makes me a big enthusiast for this car.

So much so that I did something this past weekend that is very uncharacteristic of me. I entered a car show.

Yes, you read it correctly… I entered a car show.

My alma mater had its Alumni Weekend this past weekend and Sunday morning was the 2012 Concours de Claremont. Having seen old pictures of the event, I figured what the heck. The ActiveE is 1 of 1100 worldwide and 1 of 700 I’m the nation, that’s pretty rare. Additionally, I wanted to help promote the fact that being Accidentally Environmental has its benefits.

So, I entered the car show.

I didn’t know what to expect and I had a lot of fun. To draw attention to the fact that the car is electric, and to ensure that I got to downtown LA (my next stop for the Lakers Playoff Game 1 Round 1 vs. Denver Nuggets), I asked that the organizers arranged to get me a 110v location to plug into and grab a few electrons on slow charge during the few hours that I participated in the Concours de Claremont.


The only unfortunate thing was I had to park a little apart from the other participants of the Concours de Claremont –


As you can see from the flickr set, I was the sole electric vehicle there.  The cars were a fun eclectic bunch.  One guy from the 1960s brought in his first car (1960s Volkswagen Bug)

and his ninth car, a very nice Benz


I was impressed with 1991 Lotus Élan, a vehicle that was even more rare than the AE (563 in the US).



Lot’s of car guy talk, which I politely listened in on and participated when I could. Many of the usual questions about the car and the program. Of course, the BMW Electronaut welcome packet with its easy to hand out cards arrived a few days after the event. But it’s definitely more fun talking to folks.

The younger generation were definitely more open to the overall idea of electric cars, but the older guys were definitely impressed with the savings and performance of the car.

Thanks to John and Steven for putting together an enjoyable Sunday morning to help me show off my ActiveE in the Concours, my only regret was that I had to take off early to make it to the Lakers game at Staples Center! (Luckily the Lakers won that game, so it was a very good Sunday indeed.)