9,999.9 Anxious

2nd June 2012

We’re at 9,999.9 miles, but only for a moment as the counter rolls round to 10,000 miles, making it time for the ActiveE to go for its second service.

I have to admit to learning something recently and I’m not sure I want to put that into words but, I feel that I need too. Firstly, let me say how much I still miss the MINI E and would be more that happy to have it back again, after all it’s just so much fun to drive. Yes the ActiveE is fun to drive too but it does’t have that quirky fun that the MINI E had. Well here goes… I believe the MINI E is where range anxiety came from.

The MINI E would often say it had 120 miles of range but would quickly lose those miles, especially on the motorway and when using the heater. The MINI E also seemed to pick up miles when stopped and turned off (I’d often return to the MINI E and find myself with a few extra miles) but they weren’t “sticky” miles and disappeared very quickly. We’ve found that the ActiveE reports a more accurate mileage and also seems more conservative with its miles. I know the ActiveE is more aerodynamic than the MINI E was and has temperature controlled batteries so it should do a better job of managing its batteries, but it seems an awfully lot better. Read below for our adventure with the ActiveE and see just how good its range is… well for a 100 mile range car that is.

The scenario – We were going away for a night to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Greenwich Connecticut and a quick check on Google maps, says that it’s a 68 mile “ish” trip  – but we were undecided as to which car to take? Hmm decisions, decisions! The Tesla – certainly no worries on the range with this choice. Or the ActiveE – we’ve recently seen range as low as 78 and as high as 95, so could be close. The journey should be within the range of the ActiveE, as long as there are no major detours. Well life is for living, so decision made, we’ll take the ActiveE and see how it goes. We had rung ahead to check with the hotel to see if they had anywhere to charge, they said they had plenty of sockets that we could use, so there would be no issues with charging. We figured if we used around 70 miles we would need about 20 hours charging time charging on 110v; Perfect! Oh hang on, we’ve never used the 110 charger, does it work? We’ve only ever used it as a prop at Green Fairs. We tried it out a couple of days before the trip and thankfully it works.

Anxious… Funnily enough with everything I’ve said we actually weren’t, I’d have thought we would be (and at one time we would have been), but there was really no need to be. What’s the worse that could happen? We get low on power and need to charge up somewhere. We’d already looked and there are enough charging stations to choose from should we need to. We had our reading devices with us so if we got stuck having to charge we’d just sit and read for a bit. Now, if we had taken the MINI E I think we would have spent the whole journey anxious, and that would have been no fun. We would probably have made it there just fine, but it would have been close. Plus, we wouldn’t have had the charging options for the MINI E, no J1772 on the MINI E.

The ActiveE was fully charged before we set off, it said we had 91 miles of range and the SatNav reckoned it would be 68 miles although we were going to take some back roads so we knew it would be a little longer. We had the AC on the whole time with an outside temperature of 28*C. After a journey that was quiet, smooth and comfortable, we arrived at our destination with 44 miles remaining and the consumption at a lean 4.4 mls/kWh. So you see, there really is no need for any anxiety.

The hotel was lovely and our room had a view of the harbour. Breakfast on the balcony overlooking the harbour… bliss.

The ActiveE had been plugged in for 21 hours when it was time to check out and head home. We’d checked in a couple of times in the evening – we’ve never been able to get the iPhone app working – and as we walked to the car the blue “charging” light wasn’t on and blinking so hopefully that meant it was fully charged. We got in, put the key in and pressed Start and were greeted with a full charge with 96 miles of range. Our return journey was 80 miles, a little bit more of a different route on the way back, and we had 16 miles remaining when we arrived home. The outside temperature was 31*C and we had the AC on for the whole journey. The AC had worked hard and despite the gentle return journey the consumption was down to 3.9 mls/kWh.

We have more trips in the planning stage now that we know the range and reliability of the ActiveE.