Friday, June 15, 2012

The Emotional E: Fun vs. efficiency

The Active E guru (sensei, maestro, etc.) Tom M. set out a list showing how the consumption rate (which is expressed in miles per kilowatt-hour or "mls/kWh") translates into the expected range of the Active E.  The more efficiently you drive, the farther you go on a single charge.  It is based on usable battery power of 27 kWh (the E has a 32 kWh battery pack, but only 28 of those kWh's are available to use and about 1 kWh is apparently held in reserve).  The list went something like this (I say something because now I can't find the list, but this should be the same since its based on 27 kWh):

          2.2 mls/kWh = 59.4 mile range
          2.7 mls/kWh = 72.9 miles
          3.0 mls/kWh = 81 miles
          3.3 mls/kWh = 89.1 miles
          3.8 mls/kWh = 102.6 miles
          4.0 mls/kWh = 108 miles
          4.4 mls/kWh = 118 miles

Knowing your range is important, but how does the Active E make you feel?  There is an emotional connection that everyone feels almost instantly when riding in, and especially when driving, the Active E.  It's quiet, has smooth, instant acceleration, and can beat just about any car off-the-line.  It moves without a drop of gas nor a hint of exhaust.  And it handles like a BMW.

I notice myself struggling between an all out urge to hit the accelerator and have fun (efficiency be damned) or feeling the serene nirvana of achieving the best in efficiency the car has to offer.  So I thought it might be interesting to translate the mls/kWh into the emotional feeling that accompanies it:

         2.2 mls/kWh = whoo hoo, I'm having the time of my life
         2.7 mls/kWh = trying to be serious, but still having fun
         3.0 mls/kWh = moderate restraint, not happy, not sad
         3.3 mls/kWh = repeat with me "must not floor it, must not floor it, must not..."
         3.8 mls/kWh = I am turning into a robot...
         4.0 mls/kWh =  come on! You're killing me!
         4.4 mls/kWh = I am at peace with efficiency.

Choose your level of fun vs. efficiency and drive accordingly.


  1. Thanks for the props Keith. For me, it comes down to what I need to do that day. If I know I need to stretch the range a bit, It's all about the efficiency. However when I know I'll only be driving for a bit and have range to spare, then I'm pounding on it and driving it like a sports car. Gotta have some fun once in a while!

  2. You have to know the rules of efficient driving before you know when to break the rules. I am still learning to be efficient. It's growing on me. I am also learning not to worry about it when I don't need to be efficient, since most days I only commute 45 miles or less. I know you have talked a lot about that Tom. Thanks for the comment.