You continue to must plan nicely and use charger downside fixing expertise when enterprise a protracted journey in Australia attributable to incomplete charging networks, as we now have beforehand written about right here and right here.
Arthur and Laurel Hunt just lately made a return journey from Yeppoon in Central Queensland to southern Tasmania of their three-year outdated Tesla Mannequin 3 SR+, stopping off to see household and pals alongside the best way. Their final vacation spot was Nicholls Rivulet, south of Hobart. They took their automotive throughout Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. They travelled 7,002 km, consuming 1,022 kWh of electrical energy at a median of 14.6 khj/100 km.
That is their story.
By Arthur Hunt, as instructed to David Waterworth
The primary day from Yeppoon to Brisbane down the Bruce Freeway, with a detour by way of Gladstone, was our longest, masking 706 km with charging at Miriam Vale (the place we queued for 10 minutes), Gin Gin, and Gympie. Since we had been passing by way of Brisbane, we booked a service for the automotive the subsequent day — the second service in three years. It was booked on the Tesla service centre at Mt Gravatt. The wiper blades had been modified and the brake fluid was checked — no top-up required. The cable to the rear digicam was changed underneath guarantee as a precaution although it had not malfunctioned. The battery was partly charged throughout the service and the whole value was solely $125.
As we had been staying in a single day on the Gold Coast, we made use of the brand new 75 kW Chargefox charger on the Miami Aquatic Centre to high up the battery — a giant enchancment over the older 50 kW Chargefox installations elsewhere.
We continued down the Pacific Motorway in the direction of Sydney, having fun with the liberty of an open highway. We charged on the Knockrow Supercharger earlier than staying in a single day with pals at Grafton and utilizing our first free NRMA charger there. We continued the subsequent day, utilizing the Tesla Superchargers at Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie earlier than one other in a single day cease with pals at Bonny Hills. The subsequent day was not our greatest. We had left ourselves in need of cost to succeed in the subsequent Supercharger at Heatherbrae, close to Newcastle, so we determined to strive the brand new quick Evie chargers at South Taree. Alas, we had not learn the nice print on the PlugShare app. After we had diverted off the motorway, we found the chargers had been put in however not but operational. So, we headed to the only charger at Nabiac solely to seek out it occupied by a Volvo taking over a cost for half-hour. After ready, we made a restricted cost there and reached the Heatherbrae Supercharger with 11 km of vary remaining and the co-pilot stewing. From Heatherbrae we had loads of cost to succeed in Sydney. An important instance of utilizing charger downside fixing expertise.
The journey was made a lot much less arduous through the use of cruise management and Autopilot as a lot as doable. There isn’t any want to look at the velocity when cruise management matches the velocity restrict and the automotive slows for curves and slower autos. There isn’t any must steer when Autopilot retains the automotive on observe — simply hold a reassuring hand on the wheel. It’s doable to benefit from the view. We had a minor subject for 2 days after Grafton when a software program replace was incomplete after utilizing a cell phone as a wifi hotspot. Autopilot was out of motion and the GPS didn’t direct us, regardless of the map displaying on the display screen. We actually missed these features however the issue was solved in Sydney once we used a house wifi to obtain the software program replace once more and set up it correctly.
We stayed a couple of days with household in Sydney and made use of a home energy level and our cellular charger to maintain the battery topped up. We travelled on to Wollongong south of Sydney for one more in a single day keep after which headed to Canberra. The journey up Macquarie Cross to the Southern Highlands was a superb probability to check the facility and torque of our electrical motor. We stopped on the BP service centre at Marulan to strive the brand new BP Pulse community. We had turn into used to utilizing the Chargefox RFID card for identification as a substitute of the app and we discovered it a bit difficult to make use of the BP app in vibrant daylight, though we had beforehand registered. When will we get some shelter over EV chargers? Why ought to petrol pumps get choice?
As we approached Canberra, we noticed Lake George crammed to a report degree after which did some sightseeing in our nationwide capital. We stayed at a motel at Murrumbateman that marketed EV charging and located two Evie chargers within the automotive park. Though we had an Evie RFID card, they might not work. The motel employees weren’t and mentioned it was not their downside. When phoned, the Evie abroad name centre defined that there was a communication downside on the community they usually couldn’t talk with the chargers. There have been no exterior energy factors obtainable on the motel, so we ran an extension twine into our room and used our cellular charger for some time. Arthur utilizing his charger downside fixing. We discovered that the communication subject had been rectified and we had been in a position to hook up with the charger to refill and be prepared for the subsequent day.
We re-joined the Hume Freeway at Yass and headed south to the Tesla Supercharger at Gundagai the place we shared the financial institution of six chargers with two different Teslas. Assembly different EV drivers at charging websites is an effective probability to share EV experiences. We then continued to Albury to satisfy a pal, keep in a single day, and use the free NRMA charger. We by accident left the air-con on in a single day, and once we left the subsequent morning for Euroa in Victoria, the navigation system within the automotive warned that we had been too optimistic and must go to the Tesla Supercharger at Wodonga close by first. After a fast pitstop there, we had been again on the motorway to Euroa.
This time we had been the one automotive at a financial institution of six Superchargers, so after a lunch and charging cease, we headed south following the automotive’s path to the Supercharger at Moonee Ponds,on the outskirts of Melbourne. In unknown territory, we felt like blow-ins from the bush. Nonetheless, the GPS system directed us by way of the maze of one-way streets to a multi-level automotive park. Happily, the Tesla chargers had been clearly signposted and we descended to the underside degree the place we discovered a financial institution of six chargers with two vacant. Nonetheless, metropolis Tesla drivers are too busy to speak whereas charging. Possibly they had been on the cellphone to their stockbrokers.
Fortunately, the GPS system extracted us from the town and we headed round Port Phillip Bay to Geelong, making ready to board the ferry to Devonport. After a while to buy and loosen up, we headed again a couple of kilometres to the Tesla Supercharger at Corio the place we had been the one automotive at a financial institution of six chargers. Earlier than it received darkish, we travelled the quick distance to the ferry terminal to test the boarding procedures. We had booked in a single day crossings of Bass Strait each methods, boarding at 9:30 pm, departing at 11:30 pm, and arriving at 9;30 am. After spending a while utilizing the free wifi within the ferry terminal, it was an fascinating expertise to hitch a whole lot of different autos of all sorts packed intently on the car decks. A bunch of about 30 Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders made certain that we heard them as they embarked and disembarked. The crossing to Devonport was amazingly, unusually easy, with time to get to sleep earlier than getting into Bass Strait and solely slight rocking throughout the evening earlier than a relaxed strategy to Devonport.
Laurel was eager to go to the Bridestowe lavender farm close to Scottsdale, northeast of Launceston. After disembarking from the ferry, we let the GPS system take us on minor winding roads eastwards to the John Batman bridge over the Tamar River to the lavender farm. Harvesting had been accomplished for the season, however we noticed the rows of lavender bushes able to shoot once more. We had booked scarce lodging on the outskirts of Launceston, however the direct highway was closed by a landslide so we headed again to Scottsdale. There we had been capable of cost at a single Chargefox charger within the automotive park of an artwork gallery and café which provided a reduction on purchases to these utilizing the charger!
After our in a single day cease close to Launceston, we topped up at a quick Evie charger in a suburb of Launceston earlier than heading south on the principle freeway. We wished to see the east coast, so we turned off at Campbell City and headed east for Swansea. On the lengthy winding descent from the highlands to Swansea, Laurel was driving and was capable of go the entire means down with out utilizing the brake pedal, accelerator, or steering wheel. As a bonus, we picked up 11 km of vary by regeneration of energy for the battery. We stopped for lunch and charging at Swansea. The speed on the charger was designed to encourage fast turnover. It was 25¢/kWh and 25¢/minute of cost time, so we paid $6 for vitality and $9 for time on our Chargefox account. This charger additionally had an attachment to permit vacationers driving EVs to pay instantly by bank card.
One of many essential functions of the journey was to go to Arthur’s older brother and his members of the family south of Hobart. After a fast name to them in Kingston, we headed to the Yellow Door B&B, at Nicholls Rivulet, the place we had booked for our keep. It was a pleasant place the place we might decide our personal greens and had been supplied with contemporary eggs.
Arthur’s Tasmanian household are eager EV house owners, with 4 Teslas and a Nissan Leaf between them. At some point we organised a household picture at Peregrine Faculty, displaying all six EVs with a decommissioned Melbourne tram within the background.
At some point, 4 of us drove in our Tesla, up Mt Wellington, towering over Hobart, to admire the view and take a look at the regeneration. As we ascended for 21 km, the battery misplaced 24% of battery cost. As we descended the identical distance, we regained 11% of battery cost. It was a superb instance of the effectivity of the Mannequin 3.
After extra sightseeing and household time, it was time to start the return journey, as we had been on a deadline. The return journey of two,900 km needed to be accomplished in six days. Our plan to drive on a minor highway up the center of Tasmania was thwarted once we couldn’t join the automotive to the weird charger community at New Norfolk, out of Hobart. As an alternative, we diverted to Oatlands the place we used free charging at a financial institution of recent chargers put in by Electrical Freeway Tasmania. We then took a cross-country route by way of Cressy and Deloraine, passing paddocks coated with a whole lot of spherical hay bales. At Devonport, we used the Tesla Supercharger, able to board the Spirit of Tasmania later at evening. Whereas ready, we watched one other massive ship rotate within the turning basin within the slim river, a feat later copied by our vessel. The second crossing of Bass Strait was barely rougher however not uncomfortable.
Our route house was to take us up the Newell, New England, and Bruce Highways. From Geelong, we prevented Melbourne by heading north to cost at Ballarat after which headed throughout nation to Shepparton by way of Kyneton, and stopped in a single day at Tocumwal, which has recovered from the floods within the Murray River. At Tocumwal, we had been welcomed on the spacious ground-level Kingswood Motel. After we enquired about connecting to an influence level, the supervisor gave us the important thing to the unused breakfast servery hatch at our room. We ran our charger twine from an inside energy level, by way of the hatch, to the automotive outdoors. Charger downside fixing in motion.
The subsequent day, we coated 630 km north to Gilgandra, charging at Narrandera, West Wyalong, Parkes, and Dubbo. We had been warned about flood injury to the Newell Freeway and the necessity to keep away from damaging our tyres. We noticed a number of highway works, however a lot of the injury had been rapidly patched. On the historic Chinnock B&B at Gilgandra, the aged proprietor had no qualms about us working an extension twine underneath the door to an influence level inside. Because the cost fee on an influence level is barely 2 kW, the price of charging in a single day this manner is barely about $4. We inspired her to register this wall charging facility on the PlugShare app — free promoting.
The subsequent day, we charged to 100% at Coonabarabran, as we needed to attain Inverell with out one other quick charging cease obtainable en route. We added some air to the tyres to cut back resistance, travelled at 90–95 km/h, and turned off the air-con to restrict battery use. We turned off the Newell Freeway at Narrabri and continued over the vary close to the Mt Kaputar Nationwide Park in the direction of Bingara. As a precaution, we phoned forward to Bingara to investigate about utilizing three-phase shops on the caravan park and the showgrounds, however this was not doable. So, we pressed on, taking a tough gravel shortcut bypassing Delungra and thru Inverell.
We arrived at our pals’ property with 28 km of vary left. Maybe we might have used the air-con! This 306 km was the longest stage between cost stops on the entire journey. We plugged into an influence level in a single day to allow us to succeed in Glen Innes the subsequent day. As we left Inverell, we admired two new chargers which were put in however not but related to energy. So, charger downside fixing is not going to be crucial within the close to future on this space. Charging at Glen Innes, we loved a cease on the standard strawberry farm cafe (The Tremendous Strawberry).
From there, we had been in acquainted territory and the ultimate two days from Inverell to Kingaroy by way of Tenterfield and Toowoomba and residential by way of Childers and Miriam Vale had been routine. We arrived house with 28 km of vary remaining, however topped up once more on our house charger in a single day.
We discovered some classes about charging on the journey. When planning a charging cease, it pays to make use of the PlugShare app to test that the charger is operational. Secondly, charging is not going to begin if a automotive door is left open — though, they are often opened as soon as it begins. [Editor’s note: That’s odd. I’ve started charging in our Tesla Model 3 many times with the door open. Maybe an Australia thing?] Thirdly, it’s usually tough to learn cell phone apps in vibrant daylight and it’s a lot simpler to make use of an RFID card to establish your self and begin the charger. We carried RFID playing cards for the Chargefox and Evie networks, however might have others.
Our vitality value for the journey was solely $414, as we acquired free charging at NRMA chargers in NSW and from beneficiant pals and family and two lodging locations. If we had paid for all vitality at a median of fifty¢/kWh, the price would have been $511, a lot lower than the price of gas for a standard automotive.
We would have liked 46 charging classes throughout the journey, normally timed for meal breaks, and we used a lot of charging networks — Tesla (15), Chargefox (10), NRMA (9), and Evie (6). The associated fee was greater for quick chargers and different from 30¢/kWh to 69¢/kWh. It was encouraging that NRMA and Chargefox at the moment are putting in 75 kW chargers as a substitute of the early slower 50 kW chargers
We hope this account of our journey, which we accomplished with out main issues, will assist readers to understand that electrical vehicles can enterprise outdoors city areas and are appropriate for long-distance journey. We had been inspired by the set up of quick chargers in lots of areas and plans for extra. As folks in nation areas journey longer distances than city drivers, they’ve essentially the most to realize from the low working prices of electrical autos.
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