Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How Cold Is It - My mini-e Ramblings

I have not written anything for many months - but I have been driving. Overall I am still happy with the car. I have had no problems at all. But after 6+ months of driving I have a few observations.

1. My commute is 40 miles round trip and the car is perfect. Even with limited range in the cold (more about that later) I have no problem getting back and forth from work.

2. I still really need another car. I would have loved to take the mini-e on trips, but the limited range and long re-charge times make the car impractical for anything but commuting and local shopping.

3. Now that the weather had turned REALLY cold in NJ I find that the maximum range I can expect is around 70 miles. Again, this is no problem for my commute, but may present problems for people that go a little further.

4. As much as I hate to say this, I think the all electric model as an individuals sole car is not here yet. I would like 400+ miles range and less than 15 minute charge times (or easy replacement battery technology). Perhaps the Chevy Volt model is a good interim approach. Charge my batteries when they are low from the gas engine. This will be used infrequently if the electric range is sufficient but would eliminate the need for an alternate car for longer trips.

5. Now that the announcement has been made that there will be options to extend our leases, I would expect the cost to be significantly less (Free would be nice!!!). We shall see.

6. It is really a pain not having any storage space (backseat or trunk). We knew about this going in, but it still something that I miss. I have had a few boxes that I needed to take to work several times and was forced to take another car because even a few boxes did not fit on the seat next to me.

7. The people using the cars in California are not getting the "fun" we having in east with the cold.

8. The Snow Tires that were put on the car work and are needed. Before they were put on, the car slipped like crazy. No problems now.

9. I only have about 3,500 miles on the car, but in the same 6 month time-frame I have driven other cars more than 3,000 miles (where I would have taken the mini-e if I could have).