Early 2023 Family Portrait

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Well-known member
Apr 27, 2012
Pittsburgh, PA
So, as you can tell from my signature, I’ve been collecting EVs over the last decade. As I had plans to sell two cars, I decided to take a family portrait of the fleet early this year. It turns out that there’s almost no market for used I-MiEVs, and my niece has claimed dibs on the Bolt when she gets her license. So, all cars remain under my ownership for the time being.

From left to the right, we have:

1. Bear. My first car, and my first EV. Loved every one of the 52,000 miles on it, never let me down, and always puts a smile on my face when I drive it. It’s been to dozens of events, the last of which was a manufacturer auto show that had several people wondering if it was a new model coming out. Had the battery replaced in 2015 after a cell failure, but has been almost maintenance free besides washer fluid, windshield wipers, and tires, though I have re-painted the wheels once and both I-MiEVs are on their third 12 volt battery. I’ve also discovered that my recent range loss is a problem with the front left brake, so I’ll need to investigate that. Lately, both cars are having shifter problems and my lubrication trick is no longer working, so they will need to go up on a lift for that plus an undercarriage de-rust. That said, I plan to never sell this car and will keep it as long as I can even if it stops working.

2. Koorz. Purchased used in January, 2015 for $10,000. It formerly belonged to forum member applewins in Michigan (Grand Rapids, IIRC), who sadly was killed in a motorcycle crash a few months before my purchase of the car. The car started as a dealer demo unit, which is how a silver car ended up with the MiEV plug decals normally only available on the blue/white SE model. It made its way to a GM dealer in Lima, Ohio, where I purchased it and trailered it home. Michigan life, apparently without a garage, had permanently reduced its range to the mid-50’s and added a fair bit of brake pad wear, which I found out by almost rear-ending someone sitting still at a green light. So, I’ve had to put brake pads on this car. It’s lived a mostly sedentary life with me, having accrued less than 10,000 miles in my 9 years of ownership. Family members have put as many miles on it as I have. My Dad got a job about 3 miles from home after retiring, so he drove it to work for several years. It was amusing that such a short range car could handle a week of commuting on one charge and got by totally fine with level 1 charging. I had attempted to sell this car this past summer, but even Nissan LEAFs are going cheaper than what I wanted, so I decided that keeping it was the best choice. Never know when I might need a reference body panel to scan and 3D print.

3. Photon. My 2017 Bolt LT. Test drove one in Bakersfield, CA and nearly bought it on the spot, but had found that the first batches arrived back home that week. The day after the Model 3 launch event, I went and bought the Bolt. 47,000 miles later, it’s also had a battery replacement under recall, which restarted my battery warranty at 41,000 miles and gave me a range boost from 238 to 259 miles. Car’s been pretty trouble free but did have two flat tires. One was a screw in a parking lot, the other was road debris that ended up splitting a rim nearly in half. The second flat also required a new wheel bearing and a (poorly done) front end alignment. I’m also having some brake issues, namely a lot of noise from the front left caliper and a weak pedal. If I put the car in neutral and stomp the brake pedal, it goes almost to the floor and provides medium braking performance. Other than that, it’s a solid vehicle that I’m glad to have owned and experienced. It should serve my niece well.

4. Tesla Model 3. I haven’t come up with a clever name yet, but been thinking about Bullet Bill (from the Mario franchise). I purchased this car used at probably the worst time, paying $50k for a 3 year old car, but I knew this car’s history and being a friend of the previous owner. If you’ve ever wanted to hear a success story for Bitcoin, this is one of them. It multiplied a $17,000 investment enough to buy the Tesla.

2 years later, I’m more and more grateful to have purchased this one and not a new one. The new Teslas are great, but this one has more comfortable seats, real leather on the steering wheel, ultrasonic parking sensors, and already had the “new Tesla” quirks worked out. I’ve put 28,000 miles on it for a total of 40,000 miles, and it became my daily driver almost instantly. I initially passed on the purchase offer, but as the Bolt battery saga dragged on and the recall expanded, it was a bet that GM was going to buy back all the cars and I’d be car shopping anyway. The worst case plan was to put the Bolt in isolated storage and minimize driving to not have the battery go thermal, keeping a copy out in the wild and saving it from being EV1’d (crushed). Fortunately, we all got new batteries and the fleet lives on. I had an Autopilot computer upgrade done in April to enable my use of FSDbeta and have the car do more driving itself, which are the only service visits it’s needed. It had to go back after a couple weeks since the front sensors unplugged themselves from the computer. Apparently the tech didn’t click that connector in all the way and thermal expansion pushed it out. The driving experience is unlike anything else, and I really want to take the car to a track or gymkhana and try to find its limits. This car has unbelievable handling. It’s also the only car that I’ve had to explain how to open the doors 🤣.


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