Tesla Model S in Australia: Breaking the shackles and conquering new frontiers

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A Brisbane family get their Tesla Model S and promptly leave on a 3,000km road trip, becoming the first to link Brisbane and Canberra and back again. And the super-charging network hasn’t been built yet. Here’s what happened.

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Queensland is blessed with many hours of sun and really deserves to be called the “Sunshine State”! Residing in Queensland, a few years ago my wife and I felt it was an obvious decision to have a PV system mounted on our roof and use this renewable solar energy. Next came the idea to buy an electric car and to use some of the electric power generated on site for our transport. It looked like an attractive way to reduce our own carbon foot print!

Considering a commuting pattern with a frequent need for a range of >230km we compared a few EVs such as the Nissan Leaf, the BMW i3 and the Tesla Model S and quickly figured out that only the Tesla MS could fulfil our criteria of range, speed, reliability and comfort. Yes, I know it’s hard to justify the “Tesla Smile” from a pure economic standpoint especially with the current fuel prices, but environmental ideology is a strong argument. We also hope that having more Teslas on the road may draw more people to EVs and that an increased demand will help to improve affordability towards the future.

On Dec 31st 2014 we confirmed our order for a Tesla Model S85 and were incredibly surprised to note only 2 weeks later that our car was already in production. Delivery followed soon on March 20th. That was even before Energex connected and commissioned the new 3 phase power circuit for our house.

We opted for a new 3 phase connection with TOU tariff because our existing single phase switchboard and circuit would only allow for slow charging. The extra energy needed for fast charging with the Tesla Model S optional “Dual charger” required a 3 phase power supply.

As per their initial plan Tesla Motors Australia doesn’t yet supply the 3 phase HPWC and opted to first start deployment of the Super Charger infrastructure in NSW and VIC. It may take till late 2016 before Tesla owners will be able to use SCs in QLD although we already paid for such usage when buying our car!

Could Tesla have underestimated the potential demand and enthusiasm for their cars in the “Sunshine State”, particularly in SEQ? A number of owners joined the Tesla Model S meet-up in North Lakes on April 26th and share the conviction that more Teslas would be sold with a Tesla Service Centre in Brisbane and a couple of Tesla superchargers and would be installed along the Coastal Highway.

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Also Tesla Motors Australia has just started to deliver its Universal Mobile Connector (UMC) but currently only with 1 adapter for a 10A GPO which will help to go to places which would normally be out of range, but only for those cases where there is plenty of time to do a “trickle charge at 2.4 kW”. Luckily, there is now also a Tesla CHAdeMO adapter available that we Queenslanders can use on the 2 Tritium Veefil Charging facilities in Brisbane at a 50 kW charging rate.

In my view the current Tesla UMC solution offered here is just not “Universal” enough to allow proper travelling over the great Australian distances and the current charging infrastructure is insufficient to get you going for a bit of tourism or business trips throughout QLD and between States. Accepting the above charging infrastructure and offered solutions would just keep us shackled to mainly our Tesla HPWC home charging station!

Knowing the EVSE solutions being offered on the market in Europe I did a quite a bit of research and inquired with a few manufacturers to provide a unit adapted to the electrical network here Down Under and finally picked 2 EVSE chargers that allow me to charge at single phase and 3 phase at currents from 8 to 32 Amp.

With a bit of searching there are a good number of places one can find that have 3 phase industrial sockets of 20 or 32 Amp and especially at 32 Amp it’s possible to charge at rates of close to 23 kW in case of dual chargers which is near to 10 times faster than with the current Tesla UMC solution for Australia and allows you to have a full range charge in about 3h30’ leaving enough time to cover a good distance driving.

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Next an opportunity arose that allowed me to put my thoughts and preparations into practice as I needed to travel from Bribie Island, north of Brisbane, to Sydney and Canberra for a good family reunion and I decided to go for it with our Tesla MS. We worked out a plan to go via the coastal route and return via the inland route as shown in the map below.

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In total, we covered a distance of 3072km in 5 days, inclusive a 1 day stay in Canberra to visit family and deliver them some goods. We also had a few side strolls to some touristic spots along the road. With my spouse we were the first ones to connect Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra with a Tesla Model S!

Completing this unforgettable journey was only possible thanks to the goodwill of the people who either allowed us to use the 3 phase power supplying us the electrons at their own premises or guided us to appropriate sites for charging. I hereby sincerely thank all of them for their help and hospitality!

However, not every charging place met our expectations. In fact, the first spot in Burleigh Heads was an immediate awakening call as we expected to find a 3 phase 5 pin socket and only found several 4 pin sockets even though I upfront provided pictures of the required socket. The manager of Jax Tyres immediately guided us to a neighbour business that had an appropriate power socket but we figured out the circuit hadn’t any power. Next we were guided to a third place that had a 5 pin socket but guess…Murphy strikes again…it wasn’t wired with 5 wires! In the meantime help came from heaven as the manager had called their electrician to install a proper socket!

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In the 2nd, 3rd and 4th charging spots everything was smooth. The guys at Coffs Harbour Auto Electrical had especially installed the correct socket and we didn’t need to use our 2 back-up solutions in Coffs Harbour. In Port Macquarie we proudly used 100% solar energy from a 60 kW installation owned by Harelec Solar!

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With the solar power we covered close to 390 km distance from PMQ to the Tesla Supercharger at the Star Casino in Pyrmont, Sydney and had enough km range left in the batteries to prevent range anxiety.

The supercharger barely gave us the time for a nice meal and a refreshment and we were on the road again to Canberra, and happy to be out of that nervous city traffic jam! The destination charger at Hotel Realm was our next solution and we happy to meet Dan a fellow Tesla driver also charging at this spot.

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Heading from Canberra to Dubbo we had a quick battery top up in Cowra at Midstate Electrical and continued driving to Guerie under continuous heavy rain. We were more than glad to arrive and enjoy the hospitality of Chris and Ilse Dalitz.

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Chris Dalitz is a well-known EV evangelist and will help organize an event on this topic to be held in October in Newcastle, NSW. Chris had organized a quick 3 phase charging in the Dubbo Showgrounds the next morning. These show grounds have about 40 of those 3 phase 32A sockets and would be a very good spot for an EV meeting with participants from VIC, NSW and QLD! With the Dubbo Zoo and other attractions in and around Dubbo it’s a good place to hang around for a couple of days.

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On the way from Dubbo back home we had another quick top-up of the batteries on a showground, next charged in New England Solar Power in Armidale and a private shed in Glen Innes all with 3 phase power supply.

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For those Tesla friends here in Australia that are also interested to break those shackles to their home HPWC and drive to places far from any charging infrastructure, please note that with a bit of preparation you’ll find more than enough places that have the appropriate 3 phase sockets!

A lesson learned from this first long trip that it is important to communicate in detail not only about the type of socket we prefer to use which is a 3 phase 5 pin industrial socket but also to make sure that the socket is appropriately wired with 5 wires including the neutral. Best is to exchange some pictures and details upfront to your trip.

Further, the larger showgrounds in NSW and QLD generally have the appropriate 3 phase sockets, so you should be able to cover large areas in both States!

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79 Comments
  1. Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

    Great story. The biggest impediment though is the price of the Tesla S. Yes, it’s a premium car but as such it is out of the reach of most motorists. Unless someone comes along with a car priced like the Leaf but with the range of a Tesla, regrettably I just don’t see the market growing enough to see a major switch from petrol/diesel to electric.

    • Ross Cochrane 4 years ago

      It won’t be long Tony…

    • Ken Dyer 4 years ago

      Tony, do catch up. According to Carsales.com.au, The BMW X5 is Priced at $100,900, the Tesla S is priced at $111,808, a difference of $10,908. The Tesla has a four year warranty, the BMW a three year warranty. The BMW has an 85 litre tank that costs (at 1.35 a litre) $115 every 1400 Km’s on average. The Tesla has a range of 502 Kms, with a recharge cost of perhaps $5 or zero if solar power is used. That means you pay $100 extra every time you fill the BMW’s tank. Servicing costs would be similar. It would not take long to justify the added cost which will reduce in a short space of time.
      Battery costs are the biggest issue. The Tesla uses Li-on batteries similar in size to laptop batteries. According to Deutsche Bank, laptop battery costs fell from $2000 to $250 over about 15 years, a cost improvement rate of 14% per annum. Tesla’s next vehicle, the Model E, is planned for 2017 and is expected to cost around $40000.
      By 2020, only 5 years away, it is expected that Li-on batteries cost per kWh will reach a point where an entry level Tesla Model S will cost US$15000. Internal combustion engined cars will simply not be competitive.
      Start planning to swap your IC vehicle over by 2020.

      • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

        To be fair, Ken, the X5 is not a comparable car to the Tesla. The X5 is an SUV. The Tesla is however comparable with a top-end BMW 5-series in terms of pricing, equipment and performance, although the Tesla size-wise is more comparable to the BMW 7-series. That said, the point is (and as a motoring journalist I have some small idea about this…) until someone like Ford or Vauxhall/Holden, Fiat or Toyota, etc, makes a mass-market electric car with the range of the Tesla S it is not going to disrupt the market. The Tesla is a premium (expensive) car – there’s no getting away from that. And there is no way – in my humble opinion – that Tesla will ever drop the price of the S down to anywhere near $15K – it would be commercial suicide on their part. BMW engines are not expensive for them to make – far cheaper than they were five years ago – but BMW are not going to drop their prices to reflect that – like Tesla they are a business intent on making money.
        I do very much hope someone does come to the party, and my money would be on the likes of VW/BMW, and makes a car most people can afford and with the range of the Tesla S – now that would be a market disruptor, and the company who gets in there first will own the new car market, I’d suggest.
        However, at the moment, I don’t know of any such car on the horizon.
        I’d buy an electric car today, if it had a decent Tesla S-like range, and if the price was in my ball-park, which currently would be VW Golf/Holden Cruze territory – a place most of us inhabit….

        • Jamu 4 years ago

          Only thing holding back all the major brands coming up with The Tesla killer is that they have billions invested in the ICE which they will do their best to protect until they all go bankrupt.
          In Australia this year so called prestige brands have lost at least 150 buyers and counting who have gone and bought Tesla instead.
          I wonder who will buy their ICE once model 3 comes out by 2020 with a decent range. If Elon can sort out and increase the production issue then I don’t think demand will be a problem.

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            Jamu, I’m not sure I quite agree…what we need is a Henry Ford moment. We need a car maker (a mass-market car maker) who will make (electric) cars for the masses, just as Ford did. He saw an opening – he saw a market, and he changed the face of the world (not all for the good, but it did provide people with mass mobility). The other reason I’d beg to differ is that car makers are not oil barons – they don’t care what powers their cars. Yes, they make engines, but switching from ICU to electric would not present them with major issues in many ways. At the moment most of them are only tinkering at the edges though, and I suspect that’s more to do with lack of charging infrastructure (and the cost associated with rolling it out), so it’s not yet readily available – except in Europe…. I do know that car makers worry about range anxiety, because most of their customers won’t buy a car which makes them anxious, so until Tesla-S range in a more competitively priced car (for the people, if you like) arrives, I’m not seeing any great move from ICU.
            Don’t get me wrong, I want to see it.

          • Ken Dyer 4 years ago

            Tony, this article for the next Nissan Leaf (Retail $29,010 base)
            http://blog.caranddriver.com/can-you-beleaf-it-nissan-promises-240-plus-mile-range-for-next-leaf/

            This is in line with battery improvements in efficacy and cost. Deutsche Bank has tracked batteries and they reduce 14% per annum. Given that batteries comprise about a third of an EV, I think you will see price reductions sooner rather than later.
            Mercedes and BMW are already competing as you know, and Tesla’s giga factory will come on line in 2017.
            As a motoring journo, you should also read Tony Seba’s “Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation”. You will find the section on autonomous cars very interesting and inspiring.

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            Well, we’ll see…let’s hope Nissan can/will do that and that it is available in Australia for $29K, and with that range.
            Clearly there are disruptions underway, which is good – I just don’t think that Eureka moment has arrived yet. Mercedes? Again, premium market. We need mass market electric with a decent range for lecky cars to be a game-changer.

          • nakedChimp 4 years ago

            If the mining sector does keep slumping as it does and the conservative government keeps doing funny things then I guess the exchange value of the Oz$ will plummet even further as it already did.. better multiply that number with 1.3 or 1.5 to be on the safe side..

          • Ken Dyer 4 years ago

            Really Chimp, the mining sector only contributes about 7% of Australia’s GDP so if that goes so what? Services and industry make up about 90% so any advances in productivity and cost savings that EV and solar technology would bring is a no brainer.
            At the end of the day, the Abbott Government is irrelevant and its decisions are becoming more irrelevant as each day goes by.

          • nakedChimp 4 years ago

            is that 7% direct only or with indirect included (knock on effects of mining industry spending/wage paying/etc.)?

            The thing is.. I’m just wondering what Australia is able to “export” to the world in exchange for goods/services from the world if a slight slump in coal/iron ore revenue does cripple the value of the AUD as it already did?

          • Jim Young 4 years ago

            I believe we have a $7,500 tax credit (and authorization to use HOV lanes on our freeways that are now so slow that I could only average 30 mph on Fridays, even with none of the normal delays for accidents or breakdowns). A claims adjuster (checking a counter top installation), drove one of the first Honda Insights in California, and had put something like 250,000 miles on it. He had the batteries replaced once ($3,000 back in the early days) but said it was well worth it, just for the time saved in Southern California traffic.

            I can just imagine how much anyone paid by the mile could make, or get as a tax break in some areas, if standard car operating and depreciation rates are used.

            Another consideration for many would be like the engineer I compared notes with on the 6 times greater life cycle cost (much of it variable expense for gas, tires, etc), for his car compared to my beloved and thrifty 1994 Geo Metro Xfi, donated to an aeronautics student after his completion of our program. He said he commuted 35 miles one way, for decades, and he wanted to do it in the comfort and quiet (except for his relaxing classical music), of his rather more optimized vehicle for his uses.

            To each his own, but my priority was the very thrifty, utilitarian vehicles that could be operated at motorcycle costs, with better weather protection, useful load capacity (and slightly better safety).

          • Jim Young 4 years ago

            From the article you referenced,

            …Every Nissan Leaf driver knew it was bad math to buy the first-generation model, yet they did so anyway…

            One of those initial buyers was a JPL engineer who commuted further than my 45 mile, one-way, commute to Pasadena each day. I was able to effectively drive a Geo Metro Xfi averaging 52 mpg for a total cost of about $0.125 per mile (21% of the cost of average vehicles in the mid 90s). His variable costs were miniscule since he could recharge it for free at work, and very inexpensively at home.

            I used to see him many mornings on the motorcycle he had put 250,000 miles on before he got the leaf so I asked him why the switch. His answer had far less to do with the “sense of freedom and adventure” I thought might apply, and far more to do with the authorization to use the car pool (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes with either the motorcycle, or the newly authorized single-occupant Hybrid or Electric vehicle exception.

            He wasn’t a fan of car-pools that others of us sometimes used to enable the car-pool lane use, but enjoyed the opportunity to add passengers, or go without, yet still have full time access to the HOV lanes. He made the case for the life-cycle-cost benefits, and convinced me there was a better way than what used to be a 3 hour drive home on Friday nights.

          • Jim Young 4 years ago

            I suspect the Henry Ford (perhaps Toyota) moment will be along the lines of an affordable Hydrogen Fuel Cell car, as I imagine people able to locally produce their own hydrogen with solar or wind power. HFCs seem to be much more practical for the masses, even if the infrastructure too tied to the gasoline based distribution model is slow to develop. The electrical engineers I’ve talked to decry the relative cost inefficiency of local solar but once you have the ever more affordable solar cells installed, the energy costs little more than the maintenance costs (almost completely free, and certainly far cheaper than what the fossil fuel sellers will be able to do as their costs rise).

          • nakedChimp 4 years ago

            Jim, I do believe in Santa too.
            Please give my best to the Easter Bunny and the Tooth-Ferry.

          • Jim Young 4 years ago

            Do you know what Hyundai and Toyota are doing with HFCs? Or what California is doing with fleet operations running HFCs?

            HFC are not the hot-shot, needlessly high performance for sales promotion vehicles, but are very much more potential meat-and-potatoes type utility vehicles that those who sold the supplies to the gold miner/speculators made real fortunes on, might appreciate. The extra advantage, is the cases in which they can enable far more independence from those who oversell convenience and reliability at private profit premiums few energy using industries would be willing to pay (they get much more favorable rates, I think too subsidized by the retail customers). Most won’t ever feel the need for them, but I think more than you know will find advantages in much of the world outside of the more profitable (to others) privatized development.

            Care to see the warehouse solar panels up the street from my home? They are essentially hidden from view from the ground as businesses take advantage of the ability to generate their own energy, and sell some back to the now evermore private profit grids. My neighbors were completely unaware of them (though Wal-Mart seems to quietly be building their own profitable PV systems).

            I wouldn’t call the now ever more privatized fossil fuel power generators “Sinister” Santas, but I think too many still believe they are benevolent Santas providing the convenient and reliable big grid electricity out of their caring concern for retail customers.

          • LAKIN 4 years ago

            Jim, locally producing some hydrogen for your car may not be a problem; compressing it and transferring it to you HFC car could well be a bit of a sticking point!

          • Jim Young 4 years ago

            …compressing it and transferring it to you HFC car could well be a bit of a sticking point!…

            Yes but I saw some early developments in Denver back in the mid to late 80s that looked doable. Also see http://www.ergenics.com/hs.html which seems to show similar miniature hydrogen storage units to what I imagine were used in the long medevac flights from Iraq to Germany a decade ago (batteries for the medical equipment wouldn’t last long enough).

          • LAKIN 4 years ago

            Thanks for the link, Jim. I can’t make out, from the site, if this is something that could be developed to home-fuel a hydrogen car. It certainly looks very interesting.

          • Jim Young 4 years ago

            It may be as difficult to develop purely from lack of profit potential as it was to get small, affordable to operate cars marketed in the US. I would dearly love to get a Suzuki Cappuccino, but the powers that be (like Trent Lott, who once said,”Who would want those”?), effectively banned anything smaller than 1.0L nominal.

            We were only able to get cars like the Chevy Sprint I once owned, because of the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards, and even then, there were additional standards applied in the name of safety, that I think were also politically influenced. Years later, Smart for 2 cars in Europe, for example, seemed to get 70 mpg, while the “Americanized” versions I saw (at our California campus Smog Referee Station) only got a best of 44 mpg when our legislators got done with what few other countries (Canada and Australia come to mind) would put up with. I even looked into moving to Canada, partially because of the ability to get more sensible (or exciting like the Cappuccino), cars, (and more sensible, far more cost effective health care).

          • Ken Dyer 4 years ago

            Tony this just might be the moment you have been waiting for.
            http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1098048_china-to-force-toyota-to-build-electric-cars-it-loathes
            It looks like China has given Toyota a reality attack.

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            I don’t think so, Ken. Chinese vehicles are way, way behind western vehicles in terms of safety and reliability. I’m sure the time will come when Toyota may fear them, but that is a long way off. My desire to drive an electric vehicle would never come at the expense of short cuts on safety, and neither should anyone else’s.

          • Ken Dyer 4 years ago

            Tony, the point I was making was that Toyota is being forced to build EV’s which disrupts their much touted hybrid strategy.

            Then there is this:

            http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1098035_big-oil-to-lose-control-of-auto-industry-energy-conference

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            Yeah, fair point.

          • nakedChimp 4 years ago

            People in my neck of the woods are being killed sitting in western vehicles, this year even more so than last year.. and not because of safety standards but because they’re not driving to the conditions or road rules. They clock people with 200km/hr in places where you can drive 130 at best and they check their phones while driving.. only autonomous cars can solve that problem.

          • Warwick Frame 4 years ago

            Car makers like ICE as they have lots of moving parts that wear. They make more off spare parts than selling a new car. Electric cars have few moving parts and the main wearing bits in an electric motor are the bearings which are normally common sizes that can be bought anywhere. This does not lock you into the manufacturers parts only. You don’t have to change the oil every 10,000 kms so they lose service money. They will be slow to change because of this.

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            Warwick, I agree there would be less servicing if you had an electric car – which is excellent – but that is more likely to have an affect on car dealers and their service departments than on car makers, simply because car makers do not make parts. All parts (aside from the stamping of metal panels, and sometimes that’s outsourced) are made by parts suppliers. Car makers just bolt cars together. Very few car makers have interests in car suppliers. Still, it would be true to say less servicing with an electric car because there are no oil changes, filter changes, spark plug changes, etc.

          • dylanpete 4 years ago

            Tony, this one is fun reading, written from the standpoint of a Tesla owner: http://teslaclubsweden.se/test-drive-of-a-petrol-car/

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            That is excellent – thanks for sharing that one.

          • Warwick Frame 4 years ago

            Tony, true car makers do not make parts, but they source them, mark up the price, and sell them on to the dealers. This is an income stream with little input required.

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            I didn’t realise Ford, for example, would buy Ferodo brake pads and then pay to store them and then ship them to dealers! To my knowledge, dealers buy parts from the parts makers direct. Certainly that’s how it works in the UK and Australia, as far as I’m aware. I’d be interested to know where your info comes from…

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            By the by, Warwick, I worked for Toyota some years back, and their over-arching business method (which they developed in the car industry) was called ‘just-in-time’. What that means – and still means, I think – is that they only ordered anything when they absolutely needed it, simply to save on storage and warehousing and inventory costs. I just don’t see why they would go to the expense of sourcing car parts for dealers with all the attendant costs, but as I say, I’d be interested to know how that works? Yes, it may be an original steering rack has to come from Toyota, for example, but not most parts – they’d come direct from parts makers.

          • Jamu 4 years ago

            Warwick, I totally agree, With Tesla there is no service requirement and better still if you take up their buy back offer which I have, in 3 years I have the option of giving them my car back and they will pay me the agreed value. Try asking ICE car makers to offer this deal.

          • wideEyedPupil 4 years ago

            yes Warwick but if they are losing sales to another brand that is selling pure EVs and that’s what the public are clambering to buy then let go they must. There’s other ways to build in planned obsolescence into the drive train and/or batteries if they must but I suspect the public will be keen to find brands not playing that game. The rapid advance in battery technology will be enough to continue driving new sales and upgrades for quite some time until range anxiety is a thing of the past.

          • Jamu 4 years ago

            Car makers aren’t oil barons but they have billions of vested interest in the ICE and use range anxiety as scaring tactic when they clearly know that over 90% of the population do not travel 400 KM a day let alone 400 KM in one week.
            By 2020 if Tesla Model 3 comes with a decent range and competitively priced then its game over for ICE,

          • Jamu 4 years ago

            Tony, car makers aren’t oil barons but they have billions vested interest in ICE, from sales to service and use range anxiety as a scare campaign. Over 90% of population do not travel 400 km in a day let alone in a week. So I am not sure where the range anxiety issue comes in.
            If Tesla can bring out Model 3 by 2020 with a competitive price and a decent range then it will be game over for ICE and then ICE will be truly iced.

          • Stuart51 4 years ago

            “they have billions invested in the ICE which they will do their best to protect until they all go bankrupt.”

            Aha! The Kodak model!

            Q is, will Tesla buy bankrupt GM, or just buy the assets?

          • Jamu 4 years ago

            Probably buy their production factories for peanuts just like when they bought Toyota factory.

        • LAKIN 4 years ago

          Is the Model 3 not a step in the right direction? Tesla’s plan from the very beginning has been to bring electric travel to the ‘masses’.

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            Yes, it will be a step in the right direction but all the reports I see say it will be priced at about BMW 3-series money (in the US). Here in Australia that means it will likely come in at (if it were on sale today) at around $70K. Yes, that’s half the price of the S but it is not your modern Ford Model T or 1940 VW Beetle – cars for the majority, and cars which changed the world we live in. But, yes, I’ll admit, if Tesla can do it, then it will be a move in the right direction. I tell you what though, if I was Ford I’d be looking to ape the success of the Model T – a transformative car that truly would usher in change. They even have the marketing on hand “from the people who changed the way the world got around” – they can have that for free.

          • LAKIN 4 years ago

            Thanks for replying, Tony. I agree that the Model 3 seems likely to target the BMW 3 Series level. However, it’s one more step of Tesla’s plan to build more affordable electric vehicles. . . and to encourage (force?) mainstream car manufacturers to make genuine efforts to build affordable and realistic electric vehicles (not hybrids with <100km electric range).

            Those who buy the Models S, X and (soon to be 3) are providing the profits with which Tesla is funding the development of cheaper electric vehicles.

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            True enough, but Tesla is woefully bad at getting vehicles to market – not one Tesla model has appeared when the company said it would (S or X). A good article came out today http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1097957_will-tesla-model-3-electric-car-hit-2017-production-date/page-2
            which reckons – and I’m sure they are right – that not even a prototype of the 3 has been built yet. So, yes, steps are being taken but it’s slow…but then maybe I’m just an impatient soul…certainly one has to applaud Tesla, but mass-market is a long way off.

          • LAKIN 4 years ago

            Yes, Tesla certainly have a record of being wildly optimistic with the timing of their plans, although the Gigafactory seems to be coming along well.

            However, if we left it to the major manufacturers, (without a push from Tesla) I doubt we’d even have a hint of a plan in place. Look at the electric cars on offer pre-Tesla; all that were available were cars that only died-in-the-wool-Greenies would dare to be seen in. Certainly nothing that was actually better than ICE in a direct comparison.

            Tesla is solely responsible for making people actually ASPIRE to owning an electric vehicle – for the car itself; not for it’s Green image alone.

            The major manufacturers have had many decades to develop something meaningful, and they certainly have the financial and intellectual resources – just not the will.

            My point is that, without Tesla, we may never have decent electric cars for the masses; WITH Tesla as a driver, we have a very good chance.

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            Yeah, you’re right and spot-on about Tesla’s driving force – we wouldn’t be where we are now in electric vehicles without them – though I don’t think the gigafactory is coming along at all to schedule – again, that will be forced out timewise. As the Greencar report says, the amount spent so far is not consistent with a timetable which sees $5bn being spent. Still, I don’t want to sound like an old grumpy bastard – it is good what Tesla is doing and if I ever win the lottery my first purchase will be a Tesla S.

          • LAKIN 4 years ago

            “…if I ever win the lottery my first purchase will be a Tesla S.”

            I think your last comment illustrates my point about electric cars beginning to be seen as something to aspire to.

            You might not need to win the lottery, just hope you live long enough for Elon to get the Model 3 going! Hahaha 🙂

        • wideEyedPupil 4 years ago

          Hey not many people bought the first colour Macintosh computer either as it was priced pretty high (Mac II). Didn’t stop Mac from becoming the most recognised and sold brand of personal computer in the world a decade later.

          • Tony Bosworth 4 years ago

            Good point. Don’t get me wrong – Tesla is great and I’d love a Model S, and it’s a step in the right direction.

      • Jamu 4 years ago

        Definitely start planning to swap ICE over to Model 3.
        Reading positive news on Tesla almost every day confirms my belief that Zi did the right thing by ordering my P85D. Can’t wait to take delivery in August,

      • Petra Liverani 4 years ago

        I assume you mean entry level Tesla rather than Tesla Model S. If not, that’s staggering.

      • wideEyedPupil 4 years ago

        Servicing costs would be expected to be much less for Tesla than upmarket BMW. Way fewer moving parts. European luxe cars build into the cost owners will pay after five years all the after-sales service components and planned obsolesce. Battery reco/replace would be expected to be well under that. Be interested to hear the actual comparisons on that.

    • Petra Liverani 4 years ago

      There isn’t a huge amount of publicity about this car outside China, the Kandi Cyclone or K17 whose dash looks like a Tesla copy. I can’t find its range but it has a newly developed triple element non-polymer battery and it seems to cost about $15,000. It was first released only for car share/rent and used a vending machine system! for rental, however, it’s just been released for sale to the public. I believe there’s a market for cars that don’t necessarily have a very long range – you just need a good charging network. Of course, it’s a pain to have to stop to charge but if for the large majority of the time you don’t go on long journeys then on the occasions that you do you can either hire a car or simply stop reasonably frequently. But with batteries reducing more and more in size, cheap enough long-range cars are not far away.
      http://insideevs.com/kandi-begin-retail-sales-electric-cars-china/

      • nakedChimp 4 years ago

        There will be plenty Chinese EVs in 5-6 years time.. even if those won’t be the coolest and best in class, they will be affordable for joe-average in Oz.

        Just look at solar panels and what happened there in the last 10 years.
        I’m expecting the same in the EV sector.

      • Jim Young 4 years ago

        The vend-a-vehicle concept may be a much better option for very many of us, whether it evolves to shared ownership flexibility or completely open use by anyone (just swap cars when the batteries need a longer charge time, for example). I can imagine flexible choice of vehicle type for different short term needs, too, far less vehicle storage requirements in densely populated areas, and helping alleviate ever more expensive parking (as they are adding a $50/month charge for covered parking at my son’s apartment complex near UCR, I think adding to the dangerously overcrowded street parking).

        I imagine some advantages even to cities like Boston with their outrageous fees tacked on to rental cars at the airports. They could still make a lot of money with a more cost effective, and user beneficial, solar assisted charging options for rental cars, or even private cars parked at the airport (or other city owned lots). The closer to the vend-a-vehicle concept, the less time would be consumed with the paperwork, too.

      • wideEyedPupil 4 years ago

        3 wheeled EVs is the fastest growing vehicle market segment in China. Used for small business deliveries a lot.

    • nakedChimp 4 years ago

      Look at the Chinese EV market.. give it 5-6 more years and voila.. you get your ‘C-LEAF’ with 300km.

    • nakedChimp 4 years ago

      while we’re at it, if they copy, they copy good I guess:
      http://cleantechnica.com/2015/04/28/qiantu-k50-event-chinese-electric-supercar-revealed/
      Don’t know how many of them 1bn+ people over there are strolling down a similar path, but just 1 or 2 of them having success will get you your C-LEAF at 2020.

  2. Peter Thomson 4 years ago

    Awesome trip trip guys, and well done indeed! It makes driving EV’s in the UK seem easy, where there are fast charging points installed at service stations every 40km or so up and down the motorway network. They are also currently subsidised and are free to use.

    • Jacob 4 years ago

      Tesla should be banned from giving away “free” electrons. Because then they will not build superchargers in the cities.

      • Peter Thomson 4 years ago

        Don’t understand your comment Jacob – there are only two supercharger stations in Australia so far, and they are both are in Sydney. One is in Pyrmont and the other in Crows Nest.

        • Jacob 4 years ago

          But I read that in USA Tesla do not build superchargers in cities because then people will not recharge at home when they can get electricity for “free” from public Tesla chargers.

          It is absolutely perverse to give away “free” electrons.

          • TrevorJL 4 years ago

            I don’t understand that comment. Most public chargers in the UK are free, but I’d still rather charge up at home every night than have to make a trip for a free charge. A full charge is only £3, (£2 at night) and my time is more valuable.

          • Jacob 4 years ago

            What about when Tesla start selling cars in India.

            A guy would get his driver to drive the Tesla to a supercharging station to get free electricity. Labour is cheap there.

            People that do no travel far end up subsidies those who do because the price of the supercharger is built into the Model S.

          • KcKepz 3 years ago

            £3 for an overnight charge? WOW!

            Great post! I envy you Tesla owners. It’s my only dying wish to own a Tesla…my dream car.

            Question, how much you guys spending to charge the car overnight?

  3. Andy Freeman 4 years ago

    I still don’t get it, I would never trade my WRX for a EV, not just the price although I couldn’t afford a model S.
    You can’t beat pumping the gas, checking the oil and listening to the beautiful sound only a combustion engine can make.

    • Petra Liverani 4 years ago

      Take the Model S for a test drive and see if you maintain the same opinion.

      • A Wall 4 years ago

        I find this hard to get excited about. I think the problem is “car culture”, and the solution is not more cars, even if they are electric.

        • Petra Liverani 4 years ago

          I have to agree with you. I have never owned a car and may never even own an EV even though I find them exciting. However, with the advent of autonomous vehicles and other digital developments, we could have multi-passenger EVs that are a sort-of cross between public buses and cars – vehicles that don’t go door to door like cars but get you to your destination in a more customised way than current public transport does.

          • Jacob 4 years ago

            You are thinking of the SkyTran system. Hope it gets built in Tel Aviv soon!

    • Jim Young 4 years ago

      I wish I had a picture of being surrounded by Teslas, a year or more ago, coming from all directions, in front of me, behind, and from the cross street, as I was waiting to turn south on Highland from Melrose Blvd, just at the edge of Hollywood. There were more Teslas than any other brand at that intersection at that moment. I’ve also seen them up in Maine.

      With my circumstances, I’m more inclined to buy a used Prius from a friend who had 5 of them at once at his shop, freshened up with newer aftermarket battery packs when needed, but I really do appreciate the doors opened by Tesla and those who can better afford to be on the leading edge of this.

      P.S. I do know of at least one WRX owner who might prefer the Tesla S optional AWD and/or Tesla X for what would seem superior AWD to at least the regular WRX AWD.

    • Digital Jedi 4 years ago

      But that’s romanticism of technology that is, quite frankly, antiquated. There are people who love steam engines. But at the end the day, they’re gonna take a modern day rail system for their commute. There’s nothing wrong with romanticizing the work required to maintain a gas combustion engine. But for the rest of us, remember that it’s still *work*. And money down the drain. And for those of us with busy lives, constantly tweaking and having to take the time out of our work schedule for both expected and unexpected maintenance, cars are just a necessary evil. And a big hassle. EV’s mean less of the things we hate to do. Even at their high prices (which is going to change soon) they’re still more economical, both financially and chronologically, in the long run. Those of us that appreciate advanced tech also love seeing the hundred year old technology actually making significant forward advancement, instead of just reinventing the same old thing over and over again. For the rest of us, you absolutely CAN beat checking the oil, pumping gas, and listening to a noisy engine. They are precisely the things we could do without.

      • Jacob 4 years ago

        I see steam trains operating here in Melbourne from time to time.

        They bring them out on some sunny weekends.

        Like steam trains and classic cars, petrol cars of today should not be banned.

        We should be allowed to bring them out on sunny weekends.

        • Digital Jedi 4 years ago

          I don’t know that anyone suggested they should be banned.

          • Jacob 4 years ago

            Well they banned tungsten light bulbs which give off light that some people absolutely love.

          • Digital Jedi 4 years ago

            It’s not like there was such a thing as bulb enthusiasts. Not exactly an equivalent comparison. Not to mention, there is no ban on the use of incandescent bulbs. In most countries, there’s regulation on their manufacturing. Anyone is free to use them, if they still have them. I doubt anyone is going to ban ICE cars, or even call for it. Manufacturing, on the other hand, might switch to energy efficient models. But that’d be up to the manufacturer, regulations and what the consumer wants to buy.

    • Dean C 4 years ago

      When I start to hear the subtle tones of great music in my car (something that never happened in my petrol car) you realise that there is more to driving than engine noise.

  4. Dean C 4 years ago

    As a tesla owner in Sydney the furthest I have driven so far was Parkes in central NSW. the trip one way was just over 350Km with 60 typical KM left on arrival. With a trip out to the Radio Telescope and a few other places ended up clocking up around 800km. I charged from a garage with a 15A socket. Nice and enjoyable trip all round. Having to go over the Blue Mountains hit the range a bit however on the way back the mountains must slope mostly downward since I only used around 3KW after the climb out of Lithgow and the steep decent at Richmond must have added another KW or two back into the battery… Rolled into my garage with 70 typical Km left (after 350 from Parkes). I have to admit that this trip included a quick lap of the racing circuit at Mount Panorama Bathurst. 🙂

    • Mark B 4 years ago

      Nice to see we frequent the same parts of the interwebs

      • Dean C 4 years ago

        Ditto mark. 😀

  5. UIWGroup 4 years ago

    Marc Talloen,

    We are running and event in Lismore NSW on the 5th to 7th November the event is “we are building low impact sustainable urban communities” These communities are to supplied with up to 20 electric cars plus charging station. The developments will also be designed for battery storage and micro-grids.

    Could we ask you if we would be interested in bringing down your vehicle to the event for the day. So how can I help you to help us.

    I have also contacted the Tesla dealer if they have any other owners who might be interested

    Contact details: http://www.uiwg.com.au/contact.html

    Regards
    Ian Cleland – Projects director and Social entrepreneur

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