Saturday, March 21, 2009
Miles Electric Vehicle
We've had the Miles for about a week now, and are starting to explore its' benefits and challenges as it arrives stock from the store. Overall, we like it. As an around-town car, it does what you need it to do....
However, the below lists our challenges thus far.
1) Range - I observe the range is at best 50% (downhill, tailwind) of 40 mi. Example - this morning I arose, discovered a drill was missing, and went journeying to replace it. I visited True Value Hardware over at the Junction, the Black&Decker factory store over at 2100 Airport way, Home Depot on 1st Ave, Sears on 1st Ave, and finally Target over at Westwood Village. I left the house with a 100% charge, and returned home with a 40% charge. I am hard-pressed to believe that I traveled more than 10 miles.
Explanation on Dealer Contact: The 2009 model employs the new DeltaQ charger which has not proven to work out well in conjunction with the current battery set. Miles is developing a new charging algorithm, and requests that affected users log critical information to assist in diagnosis. The charge measurement instrumentation is suspect. Ongoing, but hopeful.
2) I am not observing any benefit, charge-wise, from the regenerative brakes.
Explanation on Dealer Contact: resolving the possible instrumentation issue may resolve this issue. Ongoing, depending on resolution to issue in (1)
3) Intermittent Creep Mode - On ignition, following the "Enter car, place key in ignition, place foot on standard brake, release emergency brake, turn key in ignition" sequence I am observing intermittent "creep" mode where forward and reverse speeds max out at roughly 3mph until I stop the vehicle, express my sincere frustration, turn the key off w/ my foot on the brake, and remove the key, and then turn the key back on. After completing this ritual 1-3 times, all returns to normal.
Explanation on Dealer Contact: "I'll look into that - it sounds like a programming or manufacturing issue."
4) Rust - I am observing initial rust signs around the charge port, under the port door and around the door open detection switch and screws.
Explanation on Dealer Contact: This is a common issue, resolved normally with a bit of Rustoleum. I suggested switching out to brass screws, as well, as they are not noted for rust.
A general design suggestion, I would *gladly* pay to have the proprietary charging socket replaced with a standard male grounded three-prong power jack that I could simply ram the female end of an extension cord onto - it's rather nervous-making to leave an $80.00 charge cord dangling at curbside at night in less than ideal neighborhoods.
Dealer response: They can make this change for $190.00 total, or I can buy the part for $30.00 and do it myself. I anticipate doing it myself.
Mom is beginning to drive the Miles with caution, and I am using it when she's not, in order to avoid burning gas. We like it, the both of us. So far, I'm happy with dealer responses, and proposed resolutions.