List of MINI E blogs

Posted in Electric Car, Mini-E, MiniE, Solar Power on June 12, 2009 by nobullsavage

A list of other mini e bloggers that will keep you from going through pages of GoogleBlogSearch looking for real MINI E owners.

Please let me know as you learn of others, and I will add them! (111) (140) (017) (085, also solar) (304) (277) (269) (183) (486) (030) (230) (418) (053) (014) (148)


Posted in MiniE, Solar Power on June 11, 2009 by nobullsavage

I live about 17 miles from Bob Smith Mini Cooper, the dealer where I picked up my MINI E.  Most of those miles are on Topanga Canyon Road (TCR,  That is a good thing when you are in a MINI of any kind, as the road is nice and curvy.

On the way home with 019 I also appreciated the 1,300 foot drop that TCR takes over 11 miles from the top down to the Pacific.  For that drive I never touched the B.R.A.KE. pedal (see my original blog, below, if this is confusing) until I reached the red light at Pacific Coast Highway.  When I left the dealer my “miles remaining” indicator showed 90, at the top of Topanga, it read 88.  At the bottom of the canyon it showed 91 miles remaining, basically “regening” about 3 miles over the 11 miles of downhill driving at an average speed of about 40.

For almost that entire drive down Topanga the “Power” indicator was on the plus side.  I learned on that drive that I could put a little pressure on the G.A.S. pedal to maintain my speed at the limit and still “regen”.  It was a very cool new way to drive.

When I got home a couple miles later and another 350 feet up from sea level the car still read 90 miles available.  I think there are several reasons for this seeming “free ride” home from the dealer:

  1. The elevation change, net downhill.
  2. Improved “mileage”(explanation follows).
  3. Cooler batteries.
  4. Display increments (90.4 and 89.6 both read as 90).
  5. Measure is approximate.

The computer inside the MINI E must calculate the remaining miles by looking at the charge in the battery and then dividing that by the “mileage” the vehicle is getting, probably averaged over time (I don’t know exactly what the parameters are for that).  The “mileage” on the display is expressed as Amp hours per 100 miles, shown on the display as XXAh/100.  The average mileage my MINI E showed when I picked it up was 78Ah/100 miles.  I assume this is below average, as the car had not been driven under optimal conditions before I got it.  I have recently reset the display and I will let you know what I average later on.

That drive home along Topanga was optimal in more ways than one – all regen, no use of that pedal on the left, and lots of nice curvy road.  This lowered the Ah per 100 miles (to 76), and thereby raised the “miles remaining”.  It also raised the corners of my mouth, while lowering my blood pressure.

I have seen the yellow turtle.

Posted in MiniE on June 10, 2009 by nobullsavage

Part of any new car test (at least for me) is to learn where “Empty” really is.  I do this with most of my cars, and I have actually only run out of fuel twice in all the times I have done this.  (Kids, please don’t try this at home, unless you have a really long driveway.)

On my Clubman S, I found that I could go quite a few miles with just —- showing on the miles ‘til empty display.  I went much further than I intended, actually, as the gas station I had set as a waypoint in my GPS was closed.  The next place to get gas was 38 miles further down the road. (No, I was not in the middle of Death Valley, I was fully 100 miles from there, as the buzzard flies.)  That was a long 38 miles, and the car took 14.53 gallons to get full, more than a gallon over the official capacity.

My other electric car, the GEM E4 NEV ( has a little symbol that lights up when you near the “dead battery” stage.  It is a very appropriate symbol – a yellow turtle – because when it comes on the car slows down appreciably.

The MINI E uses a more proper technology symbol – a battery that seems to be just half full (combined with sounding the very polite MINI Cooper warning bell).  The car also begins to act like that yellow turtle – sluggish and a little ill (or maybe that was me?).

With the GEM I drove up the street I live on.  And I do mean up – all the way to where Kobe Bryant used to live.  The car completely ran out of juice and would have stopped if it hadn’t started to roll backwards.  That was a bit awkward, but I survived.

With the MINI E I drove up again, but I chose a hill that was not as steep, and I watched the battery percentage reading and miles remaining numbers closely.  At 3 miles remaining I turned around and headed for home and was quite surprised to see the mileage and battery charge continue to disappear.  I was going down hill, and the system indicated that it was recharging, but still the numbers dropped.

Near the bottom of that hill I saw this (sorry about the blurries):

---- mls

---- mls

After I turned onto the street to head home I checked the battery percentage and the battery temperature.  The indication was that no charge remained, and the batteries were at 98 degrees F, a full 35 degrees above the ambient air temperature:

98 degrees

98 degrees

I made it home, though, so I was not able to become the first person to call the special MINI E roadside assistance number.  Yet.

I decided to forgo charging when I got home, and I let the MINI E sit while I had a glass of wine.  When I went to check it again the charge read 3% and the miles remaining read 5, so it was just messing with me.

A new way of driving

Posted in MiniE, Solar Power with tags , , , , on June 7, 2009 by nobullsavage

I was fortunate to be among the first dozen MiniE recipients, and have now had my car for about 10 days.  They take a little getting used to, so I thought I would help out you new owners a little by letting you in on a few of the things I have learned so far.

First of all, I have noticed that some of the blogs by new owners refer to the great handling of the car and the great ergonomics of the interior and how cute the car is.  These people have obviously never owned a Mini Cooper before.  They are ALL like that.  What I want to do here is focus on the things that make the MiniEs different from their petrol-powered road mates.

You will notice that there are two pedals used to control the electric motor.  The number of pedals is not unique, but their function is.

The right-most pedal, commonly called an “accelerator” in vehicles that haul around tanks full of liquefied dinosaurs, makes the car do two things – Go And Slow.  I like to refer to it as the G.A.S. pedal (pronounced “gas”).  As you apply pressure to the pedal the car will go; as you reduce pressure on the pedal the car will slow (and eventually stop).

To the left of the G.A.S. pedal you will find another pedal that Basically Removes All Kinetic Energy from the vehicle (which conveniently spells out another easy to pronounce acronym – “B.R.A.K.E.”).  When you use this pedal on the East Coast it will bring the car to a complete stop.  This pedal is not used in California.

One of the things I have noticed from the other blogs about the MiniE is that they are filled with statics – references to “charge” times, Kw per 100 miles, even the number of speeding tickets the driver has received while driving the MiniE.  While numbers might be important to some people I plan to ignore all of the numeric output from my MiniE’s computer (and only the DMV will know how many tickets I get).

One number is important, however, and that is your side scuttle number.  It says so much about your MiniE, telling you about its desires, Life Path and destiny.  My MiniE is number 19, suggesting that it entered this world with strengths allowing it to become a leader (like a 150Kw power plant).  It was also born with individualistic desires and significant creative inspiration, but that is true of all Mini Coopers.  I will let you know how my MiniE acts on those desires and inspirations as they manifest on this plane of existence.