Thursday, May 31, 2012

You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

After 2 ½ months and 2800 miles behind the wheel of the 100% Electric BMW ActiveE, one of the many questions that folks ask me related to the ActiveE isn’t even about the car itself.  It’s ‘how did I get one of the 700 ActiveEs’?  The short answer is ‘I got lucky’.  Prior to taking delivery, I’d been driving the same ’96 Audi A4 for 14 years.  It was still a dependable daily driver that rarely required fixing.  I had no car payment, few repair bills, minimal property taxes and cheap insurance as I didn’t have collision or comprehensive on the vehicle.  I also tend to think of myself as being ‘green’, and my Audi was the ‘ultimate’ green vehicle – it already existed, so I didn’t need to get a new car and put more demand on the earth’s resources.  My plan was to drive it until it needed to be towed to the scrap yard.

Not scrap heap worthy yet, so donated to the Yosemite Conservancy
With a 16 year old vehicle, even a dependable one, you never really know when the day is going to come when it needs to be scrapped.  As a result, I’d frequently contemplated what car I might get when that happened, but could never really put my finger on what would be next.  As previously documented, while the concept of a ‘green’ car excited me, none of the green vehicles I could afford did –I’m just not a Prius or Leaf type of guy.  So how did I get here – you know, being the guy that’s perfectly happy with his current daily driver that wasn’t yet ready for the scrap heap, to the guy with a shiny new EV and this blog?

It comes down to one thing – somehow I ended up on a BMW mailing list.  I’d never owned a BMW, but somehow my name and address ended up on a promotional mailer from BMW detailing the field trial, the ActiveE and asking me if I wanted to be one of the 700.  Prior to receiving that mailer, I was completely unaware of Project i, the Mini-E or the ActiveE, but my decision was made almost instantaneously – this was my next car, it was electric and had the looks and performance characteristics I desired.  Of course, it would only be my next car assuming I could clear all the hurdles BMW had lined up faster than all but 699 others.

So clearly I was able to clear those hurdles fast enough as I’ve got the car.  But why a blog?  I’d never even read a blog before, let alone written one.  In the end, starting this blog really came down to one thing – EVs are TOO IMPORTANT to the future of this country.  We can’t let them fail or be killed again – and as an early adopter and an Electronaut I’m effectively an ambassador for the EV movement.  It’s my responsibility to do everything I can to show people (friends, family, coworkers, strangers – at least the ones that approach me anyway) how well an EV can fit into their life.  If this blog helps convert one person from an ICE to an EV, then I’d like to think that I’ve lived up to my responsibility as a BMW Electronaut.

And that, my friends, is how only a mere six weeks after finding the BMW promo mailer in my mailbox I found myself blogging about my experiences behind the wheel of this [not so] large automobile.