Yeppoon (Queensland) gets pretty hot in February, so Arthur Hunt and his wife decided to take a road trip to visit family in Tasmania in 2021. It’s 2,600km away. Not only would distance be an issue, but there was an outbreak of Covid-19 in New South Wales and Victoria, through which they would have to travel. So, Tesla traveling to Tassie would be quite an adventure.
Some research showed that there were 42 Tesla Superchargers along highways, as well as numerous fast chargers installed by state governments, local governments, and automotive and commercial organizations. Additionally, more than 700 slower 22kW Tesla Destination Chargers are being installed in motels and shopping malls across Australia so drivers can charge overnight or during extended shopping sessions. Naturally, motels with chargers would be at the top of the list when making reservations. So he didn’t foresee any problem charging the Tesla during the drive south.
State borders were opened and would hopefully remain that way for the return trip in late February. They left home with an almost full charge and 317 km of autonomy. On day one they used the Bruce Highway chargers at Miriam Vale, Gin Gin and Childers and reached the trailer park at Nanango with 58km of range remaining. They plugged into a external power socket on the cabin and added 165 km of range overnight – there was no charge for this. It was enough to bring them to Toowoomba, 140 km away. There they used the Tesla Supercharger at the golf club to get a nearly full charge while they had a cup of coffee. They took the New England Highway to Armidale and were pleasantly surprised to be able to use the 50kW NRMA charger at Tenterfield for free to add 226km of range over lunch. They arrived in Armidale with 86km of range remaining and again enjoyed an NRMA charger as they stayed there with friends for two nights.
He doesn’t expect NRMA chargers to stay free for long, much like Queensland Electric Highway chargers started free and are now a pay-as-you-go proposition. Will the RACQ install charging stations in regional towns in Queensland?
On their next leg they traveled to Bathurst, with charging stops using NRMA chargers at Tamworth, Scone and Mudgee. They arrived in Bathurst with 63 km of range remaining but found five Tesla superchargers and an NRMA charger next to the tourist information center. Maybe they are preparing for the electric cars in the races at Mount Panorama! At one of the Tesla Superchargers, it only took 40 minutes to add 260 km of range, which cost $17.86.
They found that using adaptive cruise control and autopilot reduced the effort required and ensured they stayed within the speed limit. The lack of engine noise means it’s easy to go too fast if cruise control isn’t engaged. When driving through towns, the car usually recognized speed limit signs and automatically adjusted its speed, down and then up.
They drove through heavy rain and gained greater confidence that the car would continue to steer with precision even when the road was difficult to see. Cruise control also ensured that a collision would be avoided if a slower car ahead was obscured.
During the first three days of driving, they covered 1,450 km without any problems. Scheduling loading to coincide with meal breaks and overnight stops meant there were no major delays. The variety of charge points was not a problem, because it didn’t matter to the car where the electrons came from. After reaching Bathurst, there was no hesitation in continuing Tesla’s journey to Tassie even further.
Do you appreciate the originality of CleanTechnica? Consider becoming a Member, supporter, technician or ambassador of CleanTechnica — or a patron on Patreon.