A Tesla Model 3 owner has undertaken an annual winter pilgrimage to the snow, and says it cost him less than $20 to get there.
At a time when standard unleaded fuel prices in NSW are now sitting at around 180 cents per litre (and that’s without half of the fuel excise) Justin Ward, of Queensland’s Gold Coast, drove the nearly 1,500 kilometre journey via Sydney for the cost of four lattes.
Taking to an electric vehicle group on Facebook, Ward said that he originally shared the details of the trip “for consumption by people without EV knowledge,” and that he also “figured some people here might also be interested.”
“One thing I hear from people is that electric cars are impractical for a road trip or even just how can you do a road trip in and EV,” he said.
“We just drove from the Gold Coast to Thredbo over 3 days and it was one of the easiest long trips I’ve done, Autopilot helped a lot!
“All in all it was a really easy drive and didn’t feel like the charging was an issue/delay,” he added.
While the cost was so incredibly cheap because his Tesla is still eligible for free Supercharging, he says it wouldn’t have been a lot more if he’d had to pay for most of it.
“Total cost for charging was $16.22, would have been $51.49 if I didn’t have free super charger credits,” he said.
The trip could have in fact been for free except that he had to stop to use a paid third-party Evie Networks charger.
“Also would have been $0 but I decided to use an Evie charge instead of a slight detour to the Tesla charger. The car did all the planning for charging stops I just put in the destination and it showed me where to stop and for how long.
“(The) only stop I did differently was using the Evie charger in Seven Hills instead of the Tesla Supercharger at Macquarie.”
The time taken to drive the 1,491km was a little more than 17.5 hours.
“I deliberately wanted to primarily use the Tesla Superchargers most of the time as I have free credits, not sure if I could have been more efficient by using 3rd party chargers,” says Ward.
“I could have avoided 1hr 15min if charging in Canberra by plugging in where we stayed but knew we wanted to go shopping in the morning so didn’t bother.”
According to data the Driven has sighted from Teslafi, the lowest state of charge the battery reached in the entire trip was a little less than 8% arriving in Canberra.
Ward cut potential questions from other EV drivers off at the pass about whether it was necessary taking longer at the Harwood, Canberra, Jindabyne chargers.
With more and more EV drivers on the road and the penetration of charging infrastructure yet to catch up, combined with numerous out-of-action chargers due to parts supply issues, it has become something of a no-no to spend any longer than you absolutely need to at an EV charger.
(The first being a crowd-sourced map of all EV chargers, at which drivers can check-in an report on how long they’ll be there, and the second being a service to let other EV drivers know you need to charge and get in contact with those currently charging.)
“Also pretty much every Super Charger we pulled into was empty when we got there and almost full as we left,” he added.
Ward broke down the charging stops, showing most of them were for under 30 minutes except for three stops that involved shopping and going for lunch or dinner:
- 1 hour in Harwood – we stopped here for dinner and that was just how long dinner took. The Harwood Hotel is next to the chargers and does a great feed.
- 10 minutes in Coffs Harbour
- Overnight in Port Macquarie at our hotel while we slept.
- 25 min at Heatherbrae – walked to the Ampol next door for toilet and coffee. Only waited a few more minutes when we got back to the car.
- 22 min at Seven Hills – Ordered HJs for lunch and ate it in the car. Left as soon as we finished lunch.
- 20 min at Goulburn – Stretched the legs and used the loo. Had a quick look at a Model Y that pulled in for a charge then headed off.
- 21 min in Canberra – Wasn’t planning this one but the car lost 5% battery in 10 min when parked, not sure why. Decided to head out to grab dessert after dinner so Maccas and Servo ice cream while it charged.
- 55 min Canberra – did a bit of a longer stop here in the morning while we went to Woolies and bought some snow gear.
- 20 min Cooma – Plugged in went to the loo and grabbed a coffee then headed off as soon as we got back to the car.
- 47 min in Jindabyne – Didn’t need this long but that just how long lunch took. Figured a bit more in the “bank” when parked for 5 days in sub zero temps couldn’t hurt. So far the car has used 5% while parked overnight and during the daytime.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.