When our fledgling company moved to different (larger, nicer) lab space last year, it changed my commute. I lost the freeway portion of the drive and have one that is 100% surface streets and stoplights. It takes less time, and the only downside seemed to be that I had less time for audiobook listening.
Well, there was that and the fact that I saw my gas mileage drop from all the starting and stopping. And with fuel in San Diego now permanently over $4/gal, The Beloved and I began discussing whether it might make sense to exchange one of our cars for something more efficient — some sort of hybrid or electric car – to be the around-the-town car, so to speak.
Then one day last fall, we received an email from BMW announcing a program in which people could volunteer to essentially beta-test their new all-electric concept car, The ActiveE.
The ActiveE is built on the 1-series frame (which I will admit that I’ve been eyeing for sometime now) and the company is running a field trial of about 700 vehicles in certain cities in the United States. One of those cities happened to be San Diego. We signed up for updates and learned that it was going to be a first-come first-serve enrollment program that was offered first to those that had field-tested the electric Mini-E, then BMW owners and the general public.
We signed up and a couple of weeks ago completed the application when it became available to us. A few days after that an electrician came out and scouted where the charging station would go in the garage (right next to where we lean our old push mower).
After that, I went over and turned some paperwork into the dealership and took one for a spin. I mean, I hate to diss my current car, but the ActiveE was remarkable. I really didn’t think that an electric car was going to be as good as the cars that we currently were driving and that there would be some compromise between performance for the energy savings. Surprise – it was better! Super crisp handling and great acceleration. Maybe the only odd thing is how utterly quiet it is, being all electric. It’s like a ninja-car.
Of course, the downside to taking the test drive was that I started to get my hopes up that one would get allotted to us (I’d been trying to be very pragmatic about it). And that got a little worse when I took The Beloved by last weekend and she drove it and loved it as much, if not more, than I did. She preemptively named the car that we would get Buzz.
Well, the email came on Monday and we’re in! And today, the electricians came back and installed the charging station in the garage. Our allotted car should be arriving in the next couple of weeks.
The range on the ActiveE is about 100 miles, and I can imagine that we’re going to be learning a lot about the location of other chargers around Southern California. And one of our dogwalk conversations this week has been to figure out where the first excursion with Buzz ought to be!