Thursday 1st March 2012

Electra Girl is back…

I have been four days without my ActiveE and it’s been a very long four days.  I have the car back today and I am so happy.  I have been driving a courtesy petrol car and it has been awful, the car shakes and vibrates all the time and changes gear with such force. No one should have to suffer in this way, why would anyone want to drive one? – I must sound awfully ‘privileged’ when I say that but, whilst I consider it a privilege to be on the cutting edge of a wave of new technology I have to ask, How did we get to the current status quo? When did we get so complacent that we were ok with just building the same old car technology over and over again but with more cup holders? Tell me, if we had taken more time to solve the electric car challenges in the 70’s after the last fuel ‘issue’, would we still think petrol cars were a good idea now? There is clearly a better alternative that we should all be driving today – everyone, not just the ‘Privileged’. Back to the plot…

The ActiveE drives so smoothly and quietly, it’s wonderful.  I am so happy, oh did I already mention that?

Apparently in the last four days BMW have completed a lot of diagnostics on the car and have applied all the latest software updates.  But it has been a mystery what they have been doing until I received the call that the car was finished today.  During the four days all  phone conversations with them were the same, “What are you actually doing?” I ask, “It’s hooked up to the BMW laptop, BMW are in control now,” they say. I had one interesting phone call from them, it was to ask me if their technician could take the car home for the night… I ask, “Why would that be necessary?”  They said “To put some miles on the car as suggested by BMW.” Umm, let me think for a millisecond… “No is the answer, there seems no point to that and you can drive it round the block a few times, that’ll put a few miles on it.” I also told them that we’ve only seen the problem twice in 2,400 miles.  I think that the four days should have been two at the absolute most.

On our journey back to the BMW garage we had to fill the courtesy car up with petrol, not quite sure how this works anymore, do I do this myself?  Apparently I go to a petrol station and ask them to fill the car up.  Not as easy as plugging the ActiveE in each night in the garage.  First we have to find a petrol station near BMW so as not to use too much petrol afterwards, otherwise we get charged at $6.00 a gallon… daylight robbery that is!  The petrol station is unpleasant, it smells strongly of petrol and when the attendant took the nozzle out of the car he slopped some on the ground… Yuk!  $41.00 later… Ouch! That’s a month and a halves worth of electricity for the ActiveE, we left for the BMW garage.

Looking forward to tomorrow and driving in peace and quiet again and getting back to being Electra Girl.

Even though it is a pilot program and there is a lot of new technology involved, do you want to be kept informed of every step or do you want to leave them to just get on with it and call you when it is finished?

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  • Peder Norby

    Well said,
    Yep, you really miss the smoothness of the ActiveE when you are forced to drive a gas car. Unfortunately that is my lot in life the next few years as my wife has commandeered the ActiveE and I went from the Mini-E to the Ford Escape :{
    If I’m on my best behavior she lets me drive it occasionally. I’m rarely on my best behavior.

  • Chad Schwitters

    I recently had to rent a gas car when I was visiting LA.

    The noise, smell and vibrations were annoying, but I expected them. I could live with it for a short trip.

    As I was driving, I saw a sign and realized I was in the wrong lane. There was a car next to me, so I hit the accelerator to pass him…

    …and the car SLOWED DOWN! I honestly thought I had killed it. But of course, it was just shifting. After a second, it started speeding up…slowly and noisily, as the RPMs built. I barely made it in time.

    It is amazing what we put up with simply because we’re used to it and think there is no alternative.

    • Now we know better, we just have to let everyone else know… Our work is cut out…