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ElectraGirl’s Guide to Living with Electric Cars


ElectraGirl LogoI’ve been a keen advocate for healthy low-impact living and for supporting local and organic producers for quite a few years, so adding electric cars into the mix seemed like the natural next step. I even signed up as vice-president of the New Jersey chapter of the Electric Auto Association. Am I mad?  Who knows?! As there are a lot of writers writing about organic foods and low-impact living I decided to write about electric cars from the perspective of an EV widow – which I pretty much became with the first EV to arrive in our family.

I’ll be writing about living with Electric Cars from my perspective, just me, a girl who likes Electric Cars, knows quite a lot about them, but doesn’t know everything. There’s just so much to know. I’m still learning and I’m getting the hang of the lingo. I know that 5.4 M/kWh is good and that 3.1 M/kWh is not good and means someone has been driving too fast – and that would be one’s husband! But at the end of the day I drive electric cars because they are fun to drive, good for the environment, and they make me happy to be a part of the future of transportation – and we all know that’s Electric!

Here’s a little background on how I got here and how we became a 100% electric car driving family, and on how we seem to have managed to accumulate our own personal fleet of Electric Cars.

Let’s start at the beginning – that was five years ago with the arrival of a rather nice looking Electric Car…

Washing the CarsElectric Car Number 1 – The 2010 Tesla Roadster, arrived on our doorstep in August 2009. My sidekick is super happy and I rather like the car too, but know that I won’t be driving it very much. At the time I was driving a 2006 Audi Avant S Line: very nice but consumes petrol. We also had a Honda Insight, which my sidekick thinks I should be driving all the time as it gets better MPGs than the Audi. I succumbed to driving it as we would compete on who could get the highest MPGs. I did, of course, much to the annoyance of the queue of cars behind me, but they will be getting much better MPGs too! Three months later and we found ourselves at a local meet-up of MINI E’s (BMW’S electric MINI). There was talk of some spare MINI E’s – we looked at each other and decided that we should just get one. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

Electric Car Number 2 – The 2009 MINI E arrived in December 2009. Now we had his and hers electric cars, his… a Tesla Roadster, hers… a MINI E – everyone’s happy.

The Honda Insight was promptly sold the minute the MINI E arrived on the scene. We held onto the Audi for those family trips out, but…
Six months into owning two Electric Cars, we discovered that even though the two EVs only had two seats each, when we went out as a family of four we would take our two ‘2’ seater EVs as it was cheaper and so much more fun. It was at that point that we said goodbye to the rather nice looking Audi – the last petrol powered car we would ever own. In six months we had driven it 17 miles and that was to the dealer and back for a service. What was the point in keeping it any longer? We sold it and never looked back.

This was the moment we became 100% electric.

Electric Car Number 3 – The 2011 BMW ActiveE arrived in January 2012 and was the replacement to the MINI E – not a good replacement, but there was no option to keep the MINI E. So it was get the ActiveE or something that burnt petrol, which obviously was not an option.

Electric Car Number 4 – The 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV arrived February 2013 and was just too cheap an offer to pass up on – a two year lease for $95/month! – whether we really needed it or not. The children love the i-MiEV and it is their preferred EV.

Electric Car Number 5 – The 2013 Ford Focus Electric arrived April 2013 and was bought as the replacement commuter car so that the Tesla Roadster wouldn’t get beaten up on the awful New Jersey roads. Another compliance car, it cost less than the maintenance for the Roadster.

Electric Car Number 6 – The 2014 BMW i3 arrived May 2014 and replaced the ActiveE. This was the EV never destined to see the inside of our garage, but opinions can be swayed and minds changed apparently or obviously, depending on how you look at it.

i3 Electronaut

Conclusion – I think we rather like Electric Cars in my family!

I’ll be writing about Electric Cars from my perspective and you can think of me as your Agony Aunt for all things Electric Car related – as long as they are not too technical!

Send me a note at ElectraGirl@TransportEvolved.com



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  • Dennis Pascual

    Will you still be posting on electragirl.com?

    • Electra Girl

      Of course I will. This column will be for a weekly thought or response to the news or questions sent in. Let’s see.

  • offib

    This is pretty cool! I’ll be keeping an eye out for this and read some more. Thanks, Dennis for showing the link.

  • I assume by “M/kWh” that you mean miles per kilowatt-hour. In standard units “M” means meter or mega, but not miles. Also, you said “I know … that 3.1 M/kWh is not good”. What’s not good about it? Hypermiling is important if you need the range, or if you are driving a gas car (because you’ll use less gas). But when you are in an EV that is powered by the sun (solar panels on your roof) or the wind, have some fun. Driving an EV should be fun!

    • Electra Girl

      I do mean miles/kWh, thanks for pointing that out. EV driving is lots of fun and part of that fun is seeing who can get the highest miles/kWh.

  • Surya

    Why was the Active E such a bad replacement? I understand it was slower than the Mini E, but wasn’t it also more practical?

    • Electra Girl

      The MINI E was so much fun, that anything that came afterwards just didnu2019t compare. The ActiveE was okay, but just okay. It didnu2019t have the same fun aspect of the MINI E, it was heavier and didnu2019t handle as well. Yes, it was more practical with 4 seats and had much better insulation but it lacked the fun element of the MINI E. Both made by BMW but totally different cars.

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