Sunday, May 24, 2009

MINI E #111

The very first MINI E has been delivered to its very first customer. I am excited and humbled to report that the first MINI E was delivered to me this past Friday. As you will read below, these last few days have been a thrilling kick-off to my one year pioneering experience. There have been many pleasant surprises along the way including a very special car number - 111. Pictured above is my MINI E #111 on my front lawn near sunset this evening (more pictures will follow soon). However, being first to get the car means that I will be the first to return the car one year from now - but I'll try not to think about that right now.

Last Thursday, I went to Bob Smith MINI for my first test drive. Just before my test drive, the MINI team pulled me aside to give me several bits of good news. First, I had been selected to take delivery of the very first MINI E. While it wasn't clear why I was "the one," it didn't matter much as I was too shocked to ask questions.

As if that wasn't enough, the next bit of good news was that they were going to delivery my MINI E the very next day. I didn't care that I had to navigate ugly Friday traffic before a 3-day weekend in Los Angeles; I was going to be there no matter what.

Now the hook. With my permission, MINI wanted to put me in front of local and national media outlets to announce the new car. Of course, I was happy to oblige. They also asked me to hold off announcing this news on my blog until the press had a chance to begin their coverage (sorry for the delay). At no other time has BMW or MINI asked me to modify or script my blog in any way, but I could understand this request.

They told me that I would be getting a good car number, but I didn't know the number until I arrived at Bob Smith MINI on Friday around noon. Walking up to the dealership, I saw it. It had just rolled off the transport truck and had not yet been "dealer prepped." Nevertheless, all I wanted to see was the number. And there it was: 111. It seemed an appropriate number for the first delivery.

Friday turned out to be a busy day. Not only was I picking up my new car and going through MINI's first delivery of a MINI E, I was also being interviewed by NBC TV. Although I was unmistakably nervous, it was largely a stress-free experience and a lot of fun being a MINI E ambassador.

Once it was all done, however, I was rewarded with a nice long, slow but fun drive home. Again, it didn't matter to me that there was traffic; I enjoyed it the entire way. You might think that everyone would notice this special car. So far, no one has noticed. But that's okay, I know.
For you MINI E Pioneers out there, you will quickly get used to not having to use the brake pedal. It's not bad at all.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and want to see my interview, it will air on Tuesday, May 26 on KNBC Channel 4's Today in LA between 5:00 am and 6:00 am. There may be more after that, but that's all I know for now.

I was also interviewed by Chris Woodyard at USA Today for an online photo and article that will appear in tomorrow's online edition. There may be a print article later in the week. I believe the article can be found in the Money section of USA Today. I will post a link to the article when it becomes available.

I was also interviewed by the Palisadian Post, a local news paper here in Pacific Palisades. Their paper is out on Thursday's and will hopefully feature a picture of MINI E #111.

Finally, I was interviewed by the Manhattan Beach Sun for an article that will go out later this week.

I owe some big thank you's to the people at BMW/MINI not only for selecting me to be the first recipient of this amazing car, but also for making the delivery process run so smoothly. The customer service and apparent preparation was very well executed. Thank you especially to Nadine at MINI and Kirsten at Bob Smith MINI for all your help. Thank you also to PM (you know who you are) for being my chauffeur.
Miles: 81
Problems: None
Charges: 2 (very easy)
Test Drives for Friends: 11
Top Speed: Undisclosed
Speeding Tickets: 0
New Car Smell: Still there
Visits to the Gas Station: 0
Stay tuned for much much more.


  1. Congrats Peter! I'm still awaiting cable and visit from city (Long Beach, CA). Hope to have car soon!


  2. Peter!

    The wait was worth it, I can tell by the writing!

    Love the stats!

    Major kudos and congrats and....enjoy the ride of your life!


  3. Peter! Ohhhh! I love this report! Kudos and Congrats to you my friend! JSR

  4. Congratulations from Spain Peter. One thing, 81 miles and two charges...did you recharge with many miles or nearly empty?

    I want one!!!!!!! ;)

  5. I got the car with 5 miles on it and it was fully charged. I have not drained the batteries very low yet, about 50% was the lowest so far. I'll be doing a blog about driving longer distances very soon.

  6. Hi Peter,

    congratulations ! I had my test drive last wednesday but they did not tell me yet that I would be the first on the east coast.... Question to you: When I did my test drive the battery went down from 61% to 55% in just 2 miles of driving- did you experience the same when using the accellerator?


  7. Congratulations Peter,
    looking forward to reading more reports, probably going to be a few weeks before we get them on the east coast.


  8. Hi Klaus,

    What I have noticed with battery depletion is that it depends very much on whether you are driving the car "hard" or "soft". I think when most people first drive the car, they find it to be so responsive and fun that they race it a bit. However, once you ease into it, you'll notice a more efficient use of energy. I plan to try a few different driving styles soon and will report my findings here on my blog.


  9. My accountant called today and said I'm good to go for the $7500 fed tax credit as long as BMW/MINI signs it over to me as they are the car owners.
    Other wise our TRAP money is off to Germany!

  10. Congrats, Peter!

    I know how it feels to be surprised like that. Check my blog for what happened to me at the NY Event. I was wondering who your publicist was. Now I know. :)

    There has been no media coverage on the east coast at all yet. I hope BMW/MINI gets the word out soon. I like the idea of people recognizing the car. I guess I'm a few weeks away from getting mine. Oh, and I would't say, "No," to number 222. Hint, hint. :)

    Good luck, have fun and keep us posted!


  11. Cheers Peter! Can't wait to begin the journey-within the next few weeks. I think distance will be one of the games-I will try to get to Lake Arrowhead from Hollywood-but may get an extra charge in Monrovia just to get up the HILL. Keep us informed about your driving ranges.