Autumn Musings!

Saturday 7th November 2015

We are well and truly in the middle of Autumn, the leaves are all changing colour and falling constantly. It’s nice driving along in my Electric Car with the colourful trees on either side of the road and hearing the leaves rustle as I drive by.

Although once the leaves get wet, I always seem to have them stuck to my wheels, I guess they are attracted to it being environmental friendly. My garage floor is covered in leaves that have hitched a ride home with us. The amount of leaves that I removed from the wheel arches when washing the car last week was quite ridiculous. The leaves also seem to mange to sneak their way in under the bonnet too, I really do not know how they manage it. It’s a dangerous time of year – I find myself frequently dodging falling acorns, although I wasn’t quite so lucky the other day when one landed on the car – with such a thud as well!

It’s getting close to that time of year when I have to start thinking of using the heating system in the car and watching those miles go down. I have been enjoying my regular 95 miles of estimated range, often going up to 100 and I’m quite happy with my 5.7miles/kWh average consumption.

So far I have resisted the temptation to put on the heating as it hasn’t really gotten cold enough – just yet, although a couple of mornings it has been close! One thing I do find in the BMW i3 is that it is very well sealed so the need for a lot of heating isn’t necessary and often just the seat heater is enough to keep me warm. Although, some might say that just using the seat heaters goes back to the MINI E days and the need to conserve the battery power. As back then in the good old days, the charging infrastructure was somewhat missing. It was charge at home, at a MINI E friends house or turn off the heating to be sure you could make it back home. Ah, those were the fun days – it might have chilly on some days but you knew you were paving the way for the future EV’ers, we were being Pioneers!

I think the reason I am most loathe to turn on the heating is that I do not like to see my estimated range go down, it reminds me that I only have an 80 mile range Electric Car and that I cannot travel as far on one charge once the temperature starts to go down. Here on the East Coast we still do not have the charging infrastructure that we need to make the 80 mile range EV more viable. Big sigh!

I am still prepared to wrap up warm and not use the heater though in order to make my miles go further. I know I am in the minority of EV drivers in this regard but, until there is a good charging infrastructure that is reliable and I feel that this is what I have to do. It can actually be quite cosy, wrapped up warm with a blanket and the seat heater on – just ask my sidekick.

The only downside to driving with out the heater on in the BMW i3 is the fact that, as the car is so well sealed, it steams up very quickly. This means I have to put on some ventilation just so I can see where I am going, or open the window a little teeny, tiny bit. I usually opt for the widow option. That little bit of fresh air feels so nice at this time of year especially now the humidity is so low and the sound of the crunching leaves is so appealing.