That’s how John and Karen Dunne described their journey from Brisbane via New South Wales and Victoria to the wine nation of South Australia. 5 and a half thousand kilometres in all with no actual points — extremely easy. “Driving the Tesla Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary on Autopilot meant that I might benefit from the surroundings greater than I might in my Lexus. The Tesla saved me secure and knowledgeable. It was much less annoying, a fraction of the stress. I actually loved the highway journey.” Not one of the lodging venues anticipated cost for in a single day charging.
That stated, there are nonetheless some gaps (getting smaller) in Australia’s charging networks, and so any journey of this size needs to be nicely deliberate.
The primary charging cease, on the Maclean Superchargers, was very pleasant. 4 superchargers sit within the yard of an previous nation pub – the Harwood Resort. This city has additionally been by handed by the freeway and solely has a couple of dozen homes, but it surely has not misplaced its allure and is barely a brief distance out of the best way. The pub supplied nice hospitality and environment. It was clear and updated. John and his spouse had time for a drink and a stroll to the river, used the consolation amenities, and by then the automotive was charged. Right here’s a photograph of the view:
The primary in a single day cease was Taree, a picturesque city which was once on the freeway. It has now been by handed by. The non-Tesla chargers nonetheless work, but it surely has turn out to be a city with nothing in it. No cafés even — John needed to go the grocery store to purchase an ice cream.
Two days into the journey, John and Karen stopped at Damaged Bay, north of Sydney, the place they stayed with John’s brother. “Good to get some worth out of the household,” he jokes. John ran an extension lead from the entrance veranda to the automotive. Nevertheless it wouldn’t work! Seems, the extension wire was too skinny and wouldn’t carry the present. The brother saved the day through the use of a thicker wire with higher high quality and decrease resistance. Right here is lesson one: If you’re planning to cost like this, take a look at your lead earlier than you allow residence. “I ought to have purchased a greater high quality one quite than the 20-year-old one I already had,” John displays.
Travelling down the Hume, they charged on the Goulburn Superchargers after which continued on and arrived at Wangaratta (625 km/388 miles from Sydney), the place they stayed the evening at a motel. The motel was placing in two vacation spot chargers. There they have been, all wrapped in plastic and able to be commissioned the next day — however not fairly prepared for charging.
Wangaratta is within the northern a part of Victorian wine nation and is serviced by Superchargers. There have been plenty of cafés. “It was vibrant, full of individuals — the full reverse to Taree.”
Arriving in Jap Melbourne, they visited their daughter and stayed with their grandson, charging the automotive from an influence level within the grandson’s storage. Going procuring at Ringwood’s Eastlands Buying Centre, they discovered it was geared up with 8 vacation spot chargers. In an indication of how widespread Teslas have turn out to be, all 8 have been occupied. They discovered an area later within the procuring journey and have been in a position to rating half-hour of free charging, simply sufficient to cowl the journey to the outlets and again.
Then it was off to experience the ferry from Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula to Queenscliff close to Geelong. Despite the fact that the Tesla Mannequin 3 is a bit low, there have been no points boarding and disembarking. The journey was not nice, although. It was windy and the rain meant low visibility. “We knew we have been on a ship however we might see nearly nothing.”
Charging at Geelong had its challenges. Wangaratta to Geelong is 310 km (193 miles). PlugShare indicated that the chargers at Torquay have been out of motion, in order that they travelled three suburbs north and charged at Corio. Right here, they discovered that the areas marked for charging weren’t lengthy sufficient to suit a automotive in. The chargers have been located at a Homebase with no amenities, no cafés, and nowhere to even sit down (besides the automotive in fact). “A cell espresso van would earn cash.” As they wanted to stretch their legs, they wandered across the furnishings outlets.
Once they obtained to Torquay (a vibrant beachside city), they discovered the chargers on the RACV resort have been working, topped up the automotive (it solely wanted 20 minutes), and had lunch at a welcoming native café.
“Why did you prime up,” I requested. “As a result of we have been heading down the good Ocean Street!” The following charging spot was Warrnambool, a 4-hour drive and 280 km away.” They stayed in a single day at Apollo Bay and wanted loads of cost in case they wished to do some vacationer aspect tracks. The one motel at Apollo Bay with a vacation spot charger was absolutely booked.
Only for enjoyable, John dropped Karen off on one aspect of the border and she or he walked from Victoria to South Australia.
John remembers the primary time he stood in awe and admired the blue lake of Mt. Gambia. He wished to share this expertise together with his spouse. On the best way, they found the way forward for motoring service stations: OTR Motor Sports activities in Tailem Bend, South Australia. It’s a service station for vans, petrol, Tesla Superchargers, and a mini meals court docket. “That is the longer term. All of the amenities you need whenever you need cost your automotive.” Surprisingly, I might discover no reference to EV charging on their web site.
“Lake Alexandrina, 40 km away, is now an inland sea resulting from flooding rains within the north of Australia. After sleeping and charging on the MacCracken Nation Membership in Victor Harbour, and availing ourselves of their vacation spot chargers, we headed for Murray Bridge. There we have been taught lesson quantity two: In chilly climate it’s essential precondition your battery.” As he drove, John seen that the vary was dropping quicker than he anticipated. He and the automotive have been used to the hotter climate of Queensland, not the 9 levels (Celsius) of South Australia. The battery had not charged absolutely because of the colder climate.
John learnt his lesson and preconditioned for every cost after that.
They’d deliberate to journey via the Barossa Valley and go to a number of the many wineries. Nevertheless, PlugShare opinions put them off. The chargers managed by Barossa Valley Tourism have a horrible popularity for being damaged, even after they’ve just lately been fastened. “Vandalism,” I mused.
The high-speed charger at Murray Bridge managed by Cost Fox is located near the river. They have been in a position to stroll beside the Murray River, go to the wharf precinct, and think about the historic reveals. Following the Murray River, they then charged at Renmark on the AAA 50 kW chargers. (The AAA is the South Australian equal of the RACV, the RACQ, and the NRMA — motorist organisations.)
After uneventful charging at Mildura in a single day on their approach residence and at Robinvale on the off-highway Evie charger, their subsequent journey was at Narrandera in New South Wales. The charger solely gave 5 km of vary after which reduce out. PlugShare had warned them concerning the situation. Then a Kia EV6 arrived and charged with no downside, in order that they hung round until he completed. They tried once more, however the charger nonetheless wouldn’t work for them. “It was a ache. We wasted an hour.” Lesson quantity three: All the time made certain you might have sufficient cost for 2 jumps in case charger’s malfunction. John had learnt this one nicely, and was in a position to journey to the following charging spot.
At Wagga, they charged on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.
The following day, they have been again to Hume Freeway. Charging at Goulbourn once more, they have been amazed on the distinction. On the best way down, that they had charged right here on a Friday morning and the 8 stalls have been empty. This time, on a Sunday afternoon, all stalls have been full.
Nambucca seemed “so beautiful we simply needed to cease.” They’d a late lunch on the RSL and booked a motel — The Seaside Rooms. They have been greeted by the manger with the phrases: “Would you prefer to cost your automotive? You possibly can park within the disabled spot with the ability level.”
From there, they headed residence.
Despite the fact that John stated the journey was “extremely easy,” he nonetheless wanted to plan and study the teachings 1) use PlugShare and a couple of) ensure you have a contingency plan (together with the suitable leads) and a few spare time up your sleeve. A lot of the charging they did was free. The 5,500 km journey value lower than AU$400. However John is extra interested by comfort than value.
I’d urge EV drivers to get out and luxuriate in a highway journey, whereas it’s nonetheless an journey.
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