Monday 27th February 2012

The sun was shining and it looked like it was going to be a nice day today but, it turned out that the sun was the only nice part of the day. The reason was, the ActiveE wasn’t well.

Driving to my exercise class this morning, I pulled up to a set of traffic lights when the car suddenly lurched forwards quite considerably and posted the message on the display “Drivetrain, stop carefully”… again! The red car appeared on the dashboard and the same words we saw on Saturday were displayed on the center screen. There I was, stuck at the lights with a queue of cars behind me. I put on the hazard lights, turned the car off and took out the key. Why do people sound their horn at me? Do they think that I’ve stopt here for the fun of it?

I rang Michael, very cross, mainly because of where it had stopt – at the traffic lights of a busy intersection. I couldn’t pull over, I couldn’t do anything, the car just wouldn’t work.  Whilst I was on the phone with Michael, I locked the doors with the key and unlocked them again hoping that would help ‘reset’ the cars electronics. The red car still showed and nothing appeared to change so, I put the key back in anyway and turned the car on – it worked!  I was very surprised as only four minutes had gone by at that point. I quickly hung up the phone and set off driving again. I drove very gingerly for the rest of my journey… just in case.

Michael arranged with BMW Morristown for me to take the car up and have it checked out, maybe it’s really sick and can’t repair itself? Obviously, its long rest on Saturday wasn’t enough.

I got to BMW Morristown and handed the key over, reluctantly. What if they don’t give it back? I gave the service guy all the details about the fault and he said, “It could take a while, it probably won’t be ready today but, we’ll give you a courtesy car.” I don’t want a ‘petrol car’, that would be awful. (editors note: For the full effect. you have to imagine Electra Girl saying awful in an awfully English accent)Are you going to give me the ActiveE demo car?” I asked, “I’ll demo it for you if you like!

I was given a BMW 3 series in white – really! Is that the only colour you have? I guess that Electra Girl has to hang up her “Electra” name for a bit, can’t be called Electra Girl while I’m driving a petrol car and I certainly don’t want to be known as Petrol Girl… oh that’s really awful!

When I drove out of the garage, the car was making strange noises and shaking – my electric car does neither of these things; it drives quietly and smoothly.  I drove home rather noisily and without regen. Ugh, I have to use the brakes, what a waste of energy! I am so used to having regen that I really miss it. Controlling the car is very different from a normal electric car, even pulling away from the lights just isn’t smooth. I’m not enjoying this at all. Once home, I was feeling a little sick and headachy – time for a cup of tea.

I realised, as I sipped my tea, that it was the shaking and vibrating of the engine that was causing the problem. I guess that I’m just not used to it anymore, I’ve been driving electric cars for over two years now and I find it very weird to drive anything else. I hope they fix the ActiveE soon, it may be white but I do miss it.

At 3:30 in the afternoon, BMW rang to say they are keeping the car overnight.

O ActiveE, ActiveE, wherefore art thou ActiveE?

There’s an empty space in the garage tonight… The Tesla will be lonely.

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  • John C. Briggs

    Thanks for the update. Always nice to hear the bad as well as the good about electric cars. I love how you say “normal electric car” to turn the world on its head.