What happens when there are no more degrees?


Last week, we experienced single digit temperatures in NJ. On 1/7/14, it was 4 degrees F when I left home for work and the range estimate was 53 miles when I departed. In addition to the 18 miles of my trip, I consumed some range using the defroster intermittently to keep the windshield clear. By the time I got to my office, the range estimate was 28 miles and I was hopeful that I’d have enough to get home at night.

When I left the office at 6:00, the outside temperature was still in the single digits and the range estimate had dropped to 7 miles – damn! It was too late to get a charge at the office (if I could find a source) and not enough miles to go anywhere useful. And I did not want to get stranded on a dark road in 4 degree, windy conditions. I called my wife who came to get me; she brought me home and back to the office in the morning. I left the car at the office.

The next morning when I arrived, the ranged had dropped to 4 miles!! I described my situation to the facility manager and he was very gracious. It turns out that there used to be a garage at the other end of the building that is now used as a staging area. I was able to pull in and connect to a 110V outlet. It took 5 hours to get to 99% charge and another 3 hours to get to 100%. The estimated range was then 35 miles and I easily made it home.

Thankfully, it has not been that cold since. If it happens again I’ll surely try to recharge during the day.

On a happier front, when I was running errands this past weekend, I saw my first Fit EV on the road, parked at Starbucks. I did a u-turn and pulled up and waited for a while but did not get to meet the driver. I was astonished to see that our cars came from the same dealer (Planet Honda) and have consecutive license plates: mine is 90X-DAW and the other car’s is 89X-DAW!!

Finally, I got a call from my local Honda dealer about my Bluetooth problem. Before they replace the unit, the manufacturer (Mitsubishi) wants to see it in my car, so they are sending an engineer to inspect it this week. Apparently this is a large scale problem and they are looking for an engineering solution.

Happy New Year.

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