Another Lakers inspired post… Just hit 33,333+ miles…


The challenge with driving a ton of miles is picking “significant mileage” for these posts… I can pick the even 5k or 10k blocks… And that’s fine and dandy. However, I find myself STILL smarting over the season that was for my Lakers.

So, at first I thought I could be Magical and lucky with a post from 32,888 miles

A very "magical" and "lucky" combo...  If you're a Lakers fan and of a certain Asian persuasion - 32 and 888

or maybe one Kobe and Kareem Abdul Jabbar inspired…

Who is that on the Lakers that is trying to chase the NBA's scoring leader!

even Magic and Kareem

The Captain and Magic!  Two retired Laker Jersey numbers on my ActiveE

or just Kareem…

The Kareem inspired mileage

Or just a repeating 33,333…

33333 or 300 miles after the Kareem Shot

Either way… I do drive a lot.  And I figure, I’m a day or two off from my 15th month in my ActiveE.

So, what have I learned since 22,222… or 30,000 for that matter

  1. I drive with a lot more space between myself and the car in front of me…In order to maximize the really aggressive regenerative braking that I get on the ActiveE, and enhance my single pedal driving that I enjoy.  I’ve found that I tend to leave a LOT MORE space between myself and the car in front of me.  This is fine for a lot of things, but I have to be MINDFUL of folks that would zip in front of me!  People in the Southern California area see the space that I’ve left between myself and the car in front and want to cut in front of me to get to that spot.
  2. A converted BMW does have some drawbacks…Around the world (at least in California), fellow BMW drivers seem to be the subject of derision in that we, as a stereotype, tend to be more aggressive and use our “ultimate driving machines” as they were meant to be driven.  The Active E looks like a 1 series with all sorts of racing striping on it.  Thus folks expect me to drive very aggressively.  Which I do, on more than one occasion.  However, when I need to push the mileage and have to try to “hyper” mile the car, I have to drive rather conservatively.  I may seldom drive over 65 mph, sometimes closer to 60 mph on Southern California freeways.  Fellow drivers DO NOT expect a BMW to drive in this manner and tend to embolden others to take out whatever frustrations they may have on said BMW driver and I’ve had many a driver attempt to goad me to be more aggressive with my vehicle. (which I would have gladly done if I were NOT trying to extend range than speed).  People will honk at you for no reason, and you just have to adapt to it.  They’re just not used to BMW drivers who drive in such a conscientious manner (in my case when I try to hyper-mile.)
  3. I love driving the EV so much, I had battery problems…  on my X5… 

    This was covered in the post, but be mindful of starting your gas cars every now and then so that they don’t die on you.  As a family, we’ve been closer to 80% Electric to 20% ICE in our hybrid garage and continue to try to increase that.

  4. I’ve changed from cursing at traffic to looking at how “efficiently” I’m driving!I’ve become more “zen” at my travels.  I plan my trip more and I welcome the time that I hit traffic as the opportunity to be more efficient in my use of energy.  It’s kinda weird.

Anyway, approximately nine months left until I have to return my ActiveE.  Wondering what I’ll have to rename my blog to once I get my Tesla Model S (still holding on to hopes of a Fiat 500e or BMW i3 as well.)  Enjoying the rEVolution and hitting the “sunnier” part of the year.  I am anticipating actually getting a refund from Southern California Edison for the power generated vs. used for my home from the PVs on the roof.  Fingers crossed.

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).

Elon Musk is right… At least for the car purchasing experience…

Elon Musk is right, or a review of my bad Ford Focus Electric test drive experience(s).

I’ve test driven the Ford Focus Electric vehicle three times, while visiting FOUR Ford dealers in the span of six months. The car is ok, not really what I would have bought, but if the price is right, who knows.


My first experience was at the dealership at Cerritos Ford. Which is where most of these pictures were taken. I did this test in August of 2012 and the salesman was honest enough to mention that he knew NOTHING of electric cars, but was glad to show me the car anyway.

We took it out for a ride, and the dealership had quite a selection of colors, about four of them in stock with several others of the same trim available. I had hoped that since it looked like a small station wagon, that there would be space in the vehicle, alas, it did not.

The rear storage area closed –


The rear storage area open –


This experience was neutral at best, but it really was because I ended up training the sales rep on some of the virtues of ANY EV, not specific to his model.

Several months later, I found myself around Santa Monica waiting for the better half as she was involved in a business dinner. I took the opportunity to drive Santa Monica Blvd to see if there were any EVs to test, and ended up at the Ford dealership there. This was in December and “deals” were to be had. Once again, the sales representative who approached me was barely trained. This time, the gentleman who initially assisted me just started working in car sales that week. This trip was memorable because the “more experienced” sales person who came up to assist the newbie who initially was with me made it sound as if Ford had dropped the price to $15,000 out the door AFTER all incentives were applied. Needless to say, color me intrigued. Alas, the “more experienced guy” was DOUBLE DIPPING on some of the incentives, and I walked away from the dealership.

Some nice shots of the screens for the Focus Electric –


Another few months later, and I was driving down the 405 and noticed a Giant Worthington Ford advertisement for the Focus Electric. I figured, why not see if the prices have dropped. I got to the dealership and there was ONE Focus Electric on the showroom floor. No one knew how to sell the vehicle and they were not doing any test drives. This was in January or February, not really a HOT sales time of the year, and no one was able to try to sell a vehicle that they were advertising on a BIG sign on the side of the freeway.

My last experience was with the Focus Electric sales was last month. I found myself on the 405, as I often do, and decided to check out South Bay Ford. I had a little bit of time to kill before I had to pick up the better half, so I figured to see the C-Max Plug In or the Ford Fusion Plug In (along with the Focus Electric) and get a small charge on the Active E while I played with the new Ford EVs.

Here’s a quick video I shot, turn up the video because the Leviton charger was making some really weird sounds as I charged on it (I interrupted it and just left it unplugged, it just sounded awful.)

Regardless, the sales person was more adept at the products and the differences between them. However, he really didn’t speak so well of the Focus Electric. He seemed to be more comfortable with either of the plug in hybrids.

I have never owned a Ford. Probably never will, but it’s hard to try to convince someone when a majority of the sales staff don’t know the product. As has been documented in Tesla’s challenge with direct sales in Texas and other states, they purport that the existing dealer model is ill equipped to take on the paradigm shift that EVs make vs their established ICE products. This point was further illustrated to me as I found out SOME features of the Focus Electric that WOULD be of interest to me was recently posted by Michael and Pamela Thwaite on their blog. Their coverage of the ONLINE capabilities of the Focus Electric would’ve scored points with me, had I been properly marketed to by the various Ford sales people that I have been with over the course of the last six months.

Let’s hope that BMW’s establishment of a sub-brand, BMW i, to focus its EV efforts will lead to a world where a predominantly ICE based automobile manufacturer can gain greater traction with its EV platforms. Nissan seems to do well selling its Leaf within one brand, I’m sure that not all strategies fit all organizations. I’m just hoping that BMW’s establishment of BMW i and its insistence on selling its purpose built i3 and i8 with such a radical design departure from the BMW aesthetic that some BMW owners (such as myself and my better half) expect will not be a misstep.