Brisbane to the Barossa in a Tesla: Fully electric and emissions free

it has a better ring to it than Brisbane to Adelaide

Nope, this will be no wine tour. This week we will embark on what we think is the first documented trip from Brisbane to Adelaide in a Tesla relying on the all new Tesla supercharger network. Recently several new Supercharge stations were installed at key western Victorian and country South Australian sites that now make such a trip possible.

The new sites include Horsham in Victoria along with the South Australian sites at Keith, Clare Valley and the Adelaide CBD. Over recent months more than 80 superchargers have been installed at various locations. Of the 384 across the country, the clear majority are known as “Destination Chargers”. They are found at various Tesla partner motels, wineries and even Airbnb accommodation sites. But we will rely solely on the public Supercharger points along the way.

Our route will kick off Monday and see us limp into Adelaide on Thursday. The drive will take us down the entire eastern seaboard from Brisbane via the Pacific Highway. Our New South Wales stops include Coffs Harbour, Heatherbrae, Goulburn, Gundagai and Albury. Once over the border, we will dart over to Ballarat and then onwards to Adelaide. This is certainly not the most direct route, but we are beholden to the current placement of Superchargers.

Tesla has supplied us with a Tesla Model X, an all-wheel drive SUV with a claimed range of 565km. The biggest issue for any Tesla is not exactly range, but how you drive it. With a 0 – 100km/h sprint time of 3.1 seconds it’s hard to not have the odd bit of fun. Even rolling acceleration response is enormous, so it’s fair to say our 2459km trip will need to remain sedate. Or will it? Time will tell.

Most people charge their Tesla S or X model at home overnight via a wall connector, so waiting around isn’t an issue. Supercharger sites allow for an 80 per cent top up in around 30 minutes or around 270km of range, certainly slower than filling up. But they’re conveniently located where rest facilities are, think shopping centres, roadside food outlets and the odd motel. Tesla would argue that pulling over for 30 minutes after a 400km trip is the norm. Either way we will certainly find out if it’s an irritant or simply part and parcel of such a long road trip.

Our journey for example will see us stop at The Big Banana Fun park Coffs Harbour, Country Comfort Motto Farm Motel Heatherbrae, Goulburn Visitor’s Information Centre, Oliver’s Restaurant Gundagai and a shopping centre at 333 Gillies St Ballarat. The latter being the vital link to get us through to Adelaide.

What are we trying to achieve? Well we think the fact you can pull off such a trip without using a drop of fuel is pretty remarkable. Sure only around 20 per cent of this vast nation can be reached by a Tesla, but considering how quickly even that has been made possible, who knows what the future holds.

Another first will be if I can cop Trevor Long for four days, locked in a silent cacoon. So why not come along for the ride. You can follow us on Glympse (keep an eye on our socials for the link) to see where we are, and keep track of us via Facebook, Instagram, EFTM.com and Twitter!

If you see the EFTM Model X on the highway, give us a wave, flash of the lights or toot the horn and say hi!

Categories
Motoring

Chris is EFTM’s Motoring Editor, driving everything from your entry level hatch to the latest Luxury cars through to the Rolls Royce.

He has been in the media for 20 years, produced three Olympic games broadcasts, attending Beijing 2008 & London 2012.

Strangely he owns a Toyota Camry Hybrid, he defiantly rejects the knockers.

Chris is married to Gillian and resides in Sydney’s North West. They have Sam the English Springer Spaniel and Felix the Burmese cat to keep them company, and recently welcomed baby Henry to the family.

One Comment
  • Martin Winlow
    19 November 2017 at 9:14 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Lucky you!

    Just bear in mind the golden rule of EV driving as far as dealing with ‘range anxiety’ goes, at least (it actually works just as well for any sort of vehicle, BTW).

    If you if you monitor the range remaining (RR) from the car’s dash/display Vs distance remaining (DR) via the satnav to your destination you should never get to a point where you run out of energy.

    Assuming you start out with RR minus DR being a positive number (and, let’s face it, if you didn’t, you had better have a charging stop planned!), if the difference reduces beyond, say 5 miles, then just slow down. Monitor the gap for 5 minutes or so and if it is still narrowing then slow some more. Carry on slowing until the gap stops narrowing and you know you are good to reach your destination. If the gap goes negative *and* your RR is less than the nearest charging point then you *must* plan somewhere to charge *NOW* or *really* slow down, even if this means doing 20mph.

    Watch out for sudden significant variations in altitude, though, because these can seriously upset things – in a bad way.

    An EV with a ‘real world’ range of, for example, 80 miles will have a range of ~200 miles… at ~20 mph!

    Obviously, if you have to resort to this sort of speed and are on a fast road, then for safety’s sake, get off it. This will also hugely increase the probability of finding somewhere (*anywhere*) to charge even if it means knocking on some unsuspecting person’s door and borrowing a socket for an hour or so. Oh, you *did* pack your long extension lead, didn’t you?!

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