It’s said that all good things come to an end, and so it is with our field trial test of our BMW Active E, Buzz. It’s hard to believe that two years (25 months, if we’re being specific) have already zipped by. Doesn’t seem possible.
When we signed up to participate in the Active E field trial, we had several motivating factors. My commute had changed and I was looking for a vehicle that got better mileage as gas prices here were pushing (and are pushing again!) up towards $5/gallon. Of course, any hybrid might have been a reasonable solution, but as scientists, we were keen to do the experiment with an all-electric vehicle. We were intrigued to see how an EV would (or maybe wouldn’t) fit into our lifestyle. After test-driving the AE and feeling the way it handled, and calculating that we could get about 1000 miles on $40 of electricity, we were on-board!
Our experience with Buzz was overwhelmingly positive. It didn’t take us long to lose our initial “range anxiety” that’s common to first-time EV drivers, and Buzz became our all-around town car. Dog beach, out to dinner, Costco, commute, everything. Similar to many in the AE community, we had one software failure early on that required an off-site “reset”, but otherwise, Buzz never faltered. Great vehicle.
We’re picking up our new i3 on Monday and so last weekend, we took Buzz on a last driving tour of some of our favorite spots along coastal San Diego. It was a gorgeous day for a drive.
We started with an early lunch in La Jolla and made our way down to Bird Rock, where Buzz got a great view of the ocean and birds. We continued down through Pacific Beach, Mission Bay, Ocean Beach and stopped at Sunset Cliffs, for another grand view. We kept heading south, eventually making it to the end of Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument.
Before heading in, Buzz said he wanted to drive down the road where the “school bus crash” in the second season of Veronica Mars happened. Who were we to say no? As always, the views were Cabrillo were spectacular. It was a good way to end the day and our trip.
Naturally, over the past week, we’ve found ourselves immensely sentimental about turning Buzz back in. And our plan had been to drive him in tomorrow (Monday) afternoon and drive out with our new i3. Buzz, however, really wasn’t ready to go it seems and on his last full day with us picked up something on the highway that blew out his right-rear tire. Fortunately, no injuries or damage, but instead of a triumphant drive off into the sunset, he’s riding a flatbed down to the dealership.
After 17,000+ great miles, I think Buzz deserved a better last ride than that, so I’m sure we’ll remember the coast trip as the official version.