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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Signed Installation Contract

I Signed the Installation Contract with CFCI today for them to come and install the Charger, it was a $0 bill for me, but I still took a day to really think about it and make sure I'm really serious about getting the MINI E, before any work is done. Up to now its just been talking about this and seeing what needs to be done, now this is getting REAL.

I must admit I've had my doubts about getting the MINI E, mostly its been the expense, I know I can afford it, if I didnt get it I'd just save the money for my Volt down payment, but its still a lot of money. Then there is Range Anxiety, what if It wont drive the 80 miles I need it to, because I'm not driving as efficiently as they assumed, or it wont get that range on a cold day, so many what ifs.

And the delays havent helped, when you go into a show room to buy a car the salesman will do anything to get you to sign there and then, because they know once you leave your unlikely to come back. With BMW's MINI E program, only the most committed or those who should be committed, can keep their enthusiasm and interest up for 8 plus months any day of which we could change our minds and say no I dont really want it, and I've had those days.

I've seen a lot of people dropping out in the last few weeks, mostly because of the installation expense, I've heard quotes of upto $5000 to install the charger in a detached garage, if I had to pay that much I'd be out too. This is a serious problem with the mass adoption of the Electric car, as many people dont have a high voltage line in their Garage needed to charge an Electric Car quickly. I think the government should step in now and regulate that new buildings have high voltage lines installed to the Garage for future electric cars, it would be such an inexpensive thing to do when homes are being built, and such a big expense latter. I think there should also be a tax break for installing chargers in homes, as this is a big step towards going electric.

I've also been wondering if they will have as much trouble with this in Europe as we do in the US since they are all 240v in the home, but I think they have a lower Amperage so they may still require updated wiring too.


  1. Hi Robert,
    in Germany, the current is 230v on three prongs. The households typically carry 35A per prong. Following P=U*I with P being the power (watts), U being the current (110V or 230v) and I being the Amperes you can see that they will likely not run into the same problem. As you may know though the Mini E trial in Europe (Berlin) is handled through public charge stations as it is more common to rent than to own and there is more condos which simply don't allow to have a "gas station" in your garage.
    In my view the garage solution as Mini E pursuing here in the US is a provisional one because to make the EV a viable option, you need to have a charge station network and very little time to charge the car. Right now, it still takes 3 hours to charge the car, but going forward that's where most of the progress will be made, which in part is only a question of power supply (beef up the line to the charge station to carry say 480v) and battery intake per minute.
    It is unlikely that private households will be a permanent solution to host these charge stations. Rather, this may be an option for those who can afford it and like the independence, but once you're out there, there is a need to fill up.



  2. Klaus,
    Thanks for the information on power in Germany, household power there seems very strong, I remmber getting my finger inbetween the prongs while plugging in the Xmass tree as a kid, it was a very bad shock, that made me very warey of electricity. Accidental shocks in Germany must really be nasty.
    I think the charge at home setup is going to be with us for a long time, it will be a long time before public charging becomes common place, and topping off at home seems very conveniant to me, and will probably be less expensive then a public charging station, if the install costs arnt high.

  3. Glad to see others in the program. I am well on the road to the trial myself. Wall charger install is set for next Wednesday. I have been lucky with the experience in that it looks like the install will not cost me. Went for a test ride and I am more enthusiastic than ever. Plan on blogging and more once the program starts. For now though been twittering about the experience (@ev_mini).

    We have to plan a meet up once it all gets going. Or likely a couple for each region :). It would be good to work on a network of testers so we can pool chargers for extended range weekenders. I am at the beach... just saying.