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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One Month without my MINI E

Well its been one month since I started having problems with my MINI E electric car, prior to that I'd had 6 months of problem free driving. It has been in the shop for repairs most of that time, I had it back for a week before it died on me, then again for a couple days when I only got to drive it once.
I've been reading other drivers posts about driving the MINI E in the cold, and needing to keep the battery temperature up, but I havent gotten much real experience with driving the MINI E in the cold weather yet.
I have a tough choice to make about driving to my fiance's house on the weekends, I can either drive the MINI E, and park it outside in the cold with just the 120v charger to warm it during the weekend, or leave it in a unheated garage at home the whole weekend. Either way the battery is going to get cold.
During the holiday I flew to Flordia, during that time I left my gas burner at an airport parking lot, where it got very cold, I'm not sure there is a good solution to leaving a electric car at the airport for a few days, its going to get cold, even if it has an onboard heating system.
Anyway I'm looking forward to driving my MINI E again, my Z3 is nice and warm, but its amazing how sensitive my nose is to the stink of hydrocarbons.


  1. Funny you note how warm your Z3 is. When I had the loaner pickup, I couldn't believe hot hot the heat was. I had to turn it off after a few minutes. That's not the case with our MINI's. The heater barely gets the cabin warm on the real cold days and you have to leave it on all the time or you'll freeze. Unless your Jim Mcl (#458), he's got hot water bottles, heated socks, blankets, etc. I don't think he even uses the heater! That's part of the reason why he's still getting 100 miles per charge.

  2. Robert, as long as you get it charged before the batteries get cold there is no problem. When you start driving there won't be any regen until the batteries warm up but that does not take too long.

    A 900 watt space heater in the passenger foot well plugged into 120 volts keeps it warm enough to charge for me. If it is below freezing and you are parked outside the space heater needs to run 100% of the time. I left mine at work with the heater running 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off one night when it got down to 10 degrees F and it stopped charging at 40% because the batteries froze.

    If you have a 20 amp circuit, it can support the slow charger and the heater if nothing else is on the circuit. That is what I usually do at work during the day. I leave the heater on even during the day now, since it seems to charge faster and the gauge is more accurate when the batteries are warm.

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