Mini E drivers united last weekend in southern Cailfornia to take part in a mini meet and greet where driver's of the prototype electric vehicles discussed several aspects about the car.
Of those on hand was Edmunds.com staff member John O'Dell. The unofficial meet and greet took place outside of Santa Monica in nearby Culver City. The location was 42 miles from O'Dell's starting location. The trip consisted on mainly freeway miles at speeds ranging from 70-80 mph.
Upon arriving at location, O'Dell's Mini showed a remaining range of only 34 miles. Without sufficient juice to return home, the vehicles was recharged under a solar canopy charging station in Culver City. As it turned out, all other Mini E drivers on hand also had to utilize the solar charging facility prior to returning home.
Though the Mini E is rated at nearly 100 miles per charge, real life usage shows a range of more like 80 to 85 miles per charge with some drivers reporting only 60 miles per charge.
Even with a range of merely 85 miles, Mini E users have found it to be sufficient for 90 to 95 percent of their normal driving routines. As O'Dell states from comments garnered in Culver City, "Weston and other drivers said, though, that even when they are not hypermilling to see what kind of range they can eke out, the Mini E provides quite sufficient range for 90 to 95 percent of their driving. It turns out we all have to plug in said driver Stefano Paris, who finds he uses his conventional gasoline car so little these days that he's had to hook up a trickle charger to keep the 12-volt battery ready to crank."
Adapting to an electric vehicle and its associated range will be difficult for some drivers, but most drivers who currently own electric vehicles have noted that the process is easier than expected. Certain sacrifices must be made and at times pre-arranging for charging is necessary, but typical drivers will be able to utilize an EV for their day to day needs with little worry.