Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5,000 miles later...

Yeah. So it's been a while since I posted here. I've been out driving—and mostly enjoying!—my Focus Electric! As my daily commuter car since June, I've now logged more than 5,000 miles on the clock. And now that it's "broken in" and I've become acclimated to the car, here are my initial pros and cons of driving my battery-powered Ford Focus Electric.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Range Anxiety"

I got to work today at about 8AM--just over 40 minutes of driving the roughly 23 miles to my office.

I pulled into a spot near one of the outdoor 120-volt outlets in the company parking lot. And because my co-worker with the plug-in Prius hybrid wouldn't be here this week and I might need the juice to go beyond the remaining 50+ miles of range I had left, I decided to plug in my Ford Focus Electric.

The result?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hot times in a cool car

(Image: WikiCommons)
So, we're in the middle of a heat wave in NYC.

I hate heat.

I don't like the 90-degree (Fahrenheit) temperatures and high-humidity weather. And I definitely don't like exerting myself in this hot environment!! (Sweat! Ewww!)

And neither does my car.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Passing the first milestones

Happy Friday the 13th!!! I don't suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia, but I do note that today and yesterday were monumental days for me and my Ford Focus Electric—in good ways!

Milestone One: Passing the 500!

From one of the many info screens on the Focus' dashboard.
(Sorry for the morning sun glare!)
It's been three weeks since I've officially taken ownership of the car. And in those short 3 weeks (one of which was the July 4 vacation week!), I've traveled over 500 miles! While the first 50 or so were on the odometer already (a lot of test driving on the Michigan track before delivery to the dealer?), I've personally logged over 500 miles— most from my daily commute.

Needless to say, the car is still running smooth and very quiet! I have to become reacquainted to the fact that walkers in shopping parking lots do not hear me approaching as I hunt for a spot for the FFE. Thankfully, there's plenty of other traffic noise (so why do folks want to make electric cars noisy again?) and I get to act less like a typical New Yorker driver. (BTW: The Focus' horn produces a deep and loud tone, thank you very much! ;-))

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Everything old and new

I talked to the folks at Clipper Creek yesterday. They say the humming noise from my charger "should be normal" given the 3 year age of the device.

Still, the guy said I might want to open up the box (carefully, of course) and push the "test" button a few times. Apparently, that causes the "connector" in the box to activate, as if I wanted to send 240 volts of electricity at 32 amps to charge the car.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Smooth buzz

The battery gauge on the right said I arrived with 55-miles to spare.
Well, I rewired my Level 2 charger after I got home yesterday. Seems to be working fine... Except there is a slight buzzing noise when I plug it into the car and start thre charging process.

Still, it did juice my Focus Electric completely. And according to the MyFordMobile website, the car was ready to go a full 73 miles by 2AM. (This is the Microsoft "Value Charging" system managed online, which still needs some work, IMHO, despite winning "awards" at CES.) But when I got into the car thus morning, the display said it had a full charge of just 66 miles!!

I wonder if "preconditioning" the car to 70-degrees (while the muggy ambient temperature this morning was 75-degrees) had anything to do with it?

Guess I'm going to have to call Clipper Creek. :(

But I still made it to work with more than enough power to spare—nd in a mere 40-minutes rather than the usual hour commute time.

Man, I am gonna love summer "traffic." :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My slow and pokey electric car

(Image: Wikipedia)
So,  I'm in the right-most (i.e.: the slowest speed) lane of a two-lane stretch of highway this morning. That's where all "slow" cars—especially battery-powered, electric-only ones, right? Never mind that I  just want to safely savor the luxury of my Focus Electric's leather interior and high-tech gizmos without getting in the way of all the "fast movers" and other vehicles "in a hurry." (Me? It's called "rush hour" but sometimes I just don't have the desire to get—or try to get—to work at light-speed!)

Anyway, directly in front of me in the right lane is a slower van. (I've got my cruise control set to 55 MPH and I'm catching up to you? Seriously?)

The good and the bad of this morning

Today was my first actual drive to actual work under "normal real world" circumstances. That is, if you can consider commuting on the New York City roads "normal"—especially after the July Fourth holiday and fireworks show from Grucci (sponsored by Macy's).

As such, this "first drive" for me is a mix of news that is good and bad (well... Maybe "not so good") and (to me) beautiful.

First the "bad"...

"Free" ride

I started out from my home to get to work with just a 53-mile range on my Ford Focus Electric (FFE) this morning. There's a bit of a story why I couldn't charge at home last night—despite "fixing" my 240-volt EVCS during yesterday's holiday heat. (There's a longer post about that in the works!)

Anyway, as from my last post, I plugged into my company's outdoor 120-volt outlet and used the FFE's included Level 1 portable charger.

My first morning commute to work

So, the morning trip is just under 30 miles. You can't see the right of the dashboard display because of sun glare, but it says I have a 30 mile range left if I don't charge.

While that's enough reserved power to get me home, you can bet I'm going to be charging from the company parking lot while I work today. :(