Lessons from an Electric Vehicle Early Adopter

With the NSW Government EV incentives we thought we’d give it a go. There have been pain points for early adoption, but our kids love the car. Five things that we’ve learnt so far.

The car is amazing – The base model Tesla is quiet with responsive acceleration and zero tailpipe emissions.

Charging the car at home can be slow – if you charge from a regular power point it charges 2-3% per hour and a full charge over 30 hours.

Faster charging in Australian homes might not always be possible – Most Australian homes have a single phase power connection and a faster charger may take up to half the capacity, leaving little room for other appliances like air con, cooktop, fridge, computer, etc. Overloading the connection may cause the circuit breaker to trip or blow a switch (permanently), depending on the configuration. We installed a 32amp industrial outlet at home to enable faster charging.

It’s hard for apartment dwellers – Body corp may not agree to running extension cables or sharing common power. Many councils now require new apartments to provide EV-related electrical conduits in their carpark design, but it doesn’t help those in pre-existing apartments.

‘Range Anxiety’ is real – Cars are less efficient at high speed. Our vehicle can theoretically travel 480km on a single charge at 90km/h but the range drops to 380km at 110km/h. Certain regional trips will be difficult before widescale charging infrastructure rollout.

Life as a Councillor

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