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I may be among the last of my fellow trial participants to hit the first 1000 miles in the Mini-E.  I believe that shows me that a smaller electric commuter car really does suit my current needs.

MP gave the car a nice bath to celebrate the occasion.

The most notably new thing with the Mini-E is how much it has just become a normal part of our lives.  I don't tend to really think about it as all this new, environmentally friendly technology much anymore.  I am now finding myself a bit surprised when people want to ask me about it when I am driving around.  It's our going around town car.  When I am popping up to the hardware store to grab something, I don't really think of it as  any kind of an environmental statement. There are still those kind of proud moments.  But it is a testament to the production aspects of the car, that it often feels quite ordinary.  My wife and I both like driving it and have adapted to its quirks like any other car.  I really think that is a good thing.  You don't really need to "compromise" much or be willing to put up with edge technology to have this fill a functional role in your daily life.

We really haven't had any problems fortunately.  A couple of times it hasn't started right up and we had to fiddle a bit.  One time it dropped to Neutral at a light.  But overall, it has been a nice car.

Issues like the "range anxiety" are still there when we push the edge of range.  However, I have a feel for the cycles now and much like a Prius owner who has graduated away from watching the computer mileage, I just don't think about it too much.  Charging is simple and is just part of the parking the car routine.  I made arrangements to charge at work even, but haven't used it yet since I really only need to charge every 3-4 days and top it off every night. I like the regen braking now, but still think an option for tuning it would be good.  You get used to never braking around corners or stop signs and grow to like it.

Not to say there are no complaints.  The "roll back" on slight hills is still a pretty large annoyance.  Given there is a hill assist feature (which works on hills of unpredictably steepness), it should be easy to fix.  I don't understand why you would ever have that feature.  No one, not even manual transmission enthusiasts, like rolling back when "in drive".  It is a bug in the software that needs stomping before the car is ready for prime time.

So I am pretty certain now.  Give me a commuter car like this with some updated software.  Improve the range slightly so I can get to say OC comfortably (20 more miles would do it). Engineer the battery storage to give me a bit more room (storage for a cooler or a case of wine as a guide).  Put a bike rack on it so I can go mountain biking at time.  Then I am good to go. Sign me up.  I will be ready to buy next July...


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