From June 2009 to June 2010 I had the privilege of Driving an All Electric MIMI E for a year, it was a great experience, and got me hooked on electric cars. I've since moved on to other electric cars which I will blog about.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Installation Email

I got an email from Clean Fuel Connection asking when over the next two weeks would be a good time for a site visit, so they can inspect my homes electrical work and make an estimate of the installation costs. The only problem is I might be away on business for the next two week, my schedule is a bit up in the air at the moment, hopefully I'll be able to work something out.

The email also had three attachments, a flow chart showing each step in the process from credit approval through taking delivery, looks like you sign the forms just before they start the electrical work. There was a Brochure on the charging station from Clipper Creek, and a FAQ sheet. The FAQ sheet states that the time to charge up the batteries with the charger when they are fully depleted is 5 hours, but a 20 mile trip would take 50 minutes to recharge. These numbers dont make sense to me they had advertised that with the charger it would take less then 3 hours to completely recharge. And using the 20 miles in 50 minutes number that would mean it takes 5.8 hours to recharge from a 120 mile trip. Either these numbers are incorrect or the original charge and range data was way off, I suspect they may be using a less powerful charger then the one used to generate the original charge time estimates

The FAQ also mentions charge times for a 120v outlet 5 hours for a 20 mile drive, over 24 to fully charge which is in line with the original numbers. But noticeably absent is any mention of the ability to charge from a 220v outlet, I hope that was just an oversight.

Hope to hear back from them soon.

Also saw this article about solar powering a MINI E, it sounds like the author in CA has already had the charger installed. So maybe CA will be seeing some MINI E's delivered in April rather then May as we'd been led to believe.

I spoke to a neighbor who is an electrician and he said all the houses have 100A Electrical Service and since we live in a condominium development with all the electric underground he's not even sure it can be upgraded to 200A. this has me very worried, Id assumed since the buildings were relatively new they would have 200A service, I really hope he's wrong or my place is small enough that I dont need a 200A service.

[addendum 2]
I got a call from Green Power Technologies it sounds like they are the East Coast coordinator. Had a very informative discussion with the representative who will be managing things, and have an inspection scheduled for Monday. He also informed me they had two Chargers a 40A and a 60A so even if I only have a 100A Electrical Service I should be good, as long as Im not drawing too much. This also explains the differences in charge times, I know MINI was using a 60A charger for their MINI E data sheets, but it sounds like the Clean Fuel Connection's FAQ was based on the 40A charger. I had been getting worried that I might not be able to get the MINI E, but I feel much better about things now


  1. The guy representing Clean Fuel was here this morning to inspect the hook-up in the garage. I'm good-to-go. I had an electrician install a 220V 50A line last Saturday. Hopefully I can move up a few notches on the list since I don't need any electrical work done -- the charging station can be tied in at any time.

    Ordered a vanity place yesterday. NO C8H18. (My wife is a chemistry teacher.)

  2. Glad to hear things are moving along for you. I had two things happen yesterday. First, I had two tickets to the NY Auto Show waiting in my snailbox when I got home. I'm looking forward to seeing an actual Mini E in person. Second, I had a message on my answering machine asking me to call back and make an appointment for an inspection.

    I have a similar situation with the power. Although the electrical box is conveniently in the garage, I may only have 100A service. Your news was very reassuring. Hopefully, the weather will be nice and I can get a good shot at cleaning out my garage.

    Are you going to the Auto Show? It would be fun to meet other participants there.


  3. Stu,

    I'm in California - Orange County, so I won't be at the New York Auto Show. And yes, the inspection motivated me to clean my garage. Couldn't believe all the junk!

    - David

  4. Hello Robert,
    thank you for sharing your experiences with us here on the blog. You wrote that they want to "inspect my homes electrical work and make an estimate of the installation costs". Do you have to pay for the installation and for the wallbox as well?
    Can you post the flow chart they send you?

  5. David,
    Congratulation on passing the inspection, I want to get a vanity plate too, but NJ doesn’t have an online system to get one and its pretty hit and miss.

    I also got tickets to the Auto show, we are planning on going there Saturday the 18th if you’ll be there email me your number and we can meet up.

    BMW has said they will pay for installation of the wallbox, but the customer is responsible for any upgrades to their electrical work that maybe needed or if the installation requires running cables a long distance. Most of the problems people seem to be worried about are their Electrical panel is not rated at 200A and the load of the Charging box combined with all their other electronics may trip the breaker. Or their Garage is a significant distance from their Electrical panel.
    The Flow chart and FAQ sheet are publications of Clean Fuel Connection, I wont post them without their permission, Ill see if I can get it.

  6. Robert, thanks a lot for the fast reply, the explanations and your efforts. I really appreciate it.

  7. Robert,


    I'm Peder Norby, (I wrote the piece on EV world) and I had my inspection the other day, It will be a very easy install at our home as I have a 200amp service and a sub-panel already in my garage.

    I also have set up a blog/journal to tell the story of the next year or so.

    I'll post a link to here on my site.

    look forward to the delivery of the car and getting to know other mini-e drivers.

    Carlsbad Ca

  8. Peder,
    Thanks for posting on my site, I've added your blog to the list of MINI E bloggers. I think I miss read your piece, it sounded like you already had the charger installed, but I dont think anyone is at that stage yet.