This Channel 7 reporter drove an EV from Brisbane to Cairns. It wasn’t all smooth sailing
At $58.60, it cost just a fraction of any Petrol-powered trip from Brisbane to Cairns.
But with a series of logistical challenges, was driving an electric vehicle the 1700km between the Queensland cities worth it?
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: 7NEWS journalist’s EV journey from Brisbane to Cairns.
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7NEWS Brisbane journalist Steve Hart took a Tesla Model 3 out on the road for the test.
Despite an advertised range of 547km on a full battery, Steve needed to problem-solve throughout the journey.
He stopped to charge eight times after leaving Brisbane - at Maryborough, Miriam Vale, Carmila, Mackay, Bowen, Ayr, Townsville, Cardwell - before getting to Cairns.
The closer he got to his destination, the more he stopped.
“We had learned along the way that we were going to stop whenever we could,” Steve told 7NEWS.com.au.
“Instead of stopping when we were getting low, you think, ‘you never know if the next charging station is going to be available or working, so you should stop whenever you can’.
“But over a three-day trip, we found that to just be a re-think. It was a break from driving, which wasn’t a bad thing.”
The total time he spent at charging stations was five hours. He spent between 12 minutes to an hour at each station.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing.
There was a moment of nervousness when the Tesla’s battery ran down to 6 per cent before he arrived at a charging station in Mackay.
To save power and reduce the risk of running out, he turned the air-conditioning off, which didn’t make for a pleasant journey in northern Queensland.
Earlier in Rockhampton, the station he planned to charge at was out of order.
Luckily, a nearby resort had two working chargers.
He admitted he was relieved to get to Cairns.
“As the trip rolled on, there were some anxious times where, ‘oh my god, what are we going to do? We’re almost out of power. Where’s the next charging station?’,” Steve said.
While Steve had little comPetition to access a free charger, he believes it would be an “absolute nightmare” if “thousands more people” had been doing the same trip.
Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni told 7NEWS more charging facilities were in the pipeline.
“We’ve got 55 of the fast chargers rolling out across the state and over coming years we’ll see thousands more,” he said.
Nick Boucher, chief executive of car subscription company Karmo, which supplied 7NEWS with the Tesla driven by Steve, said the majority of customers’ enquiries are for electric vehicles.
“Not only individual consumers, but Businesses and large enterprises are trying to transition across to electric vehicles,” Boucher told 7NEWS.
“And we can really help them do that.”
Analysis by Compare the Market shows there have recently been more electric vehicles sold in Australia than manual transmission petrol vehicles.
Worth the cost?
However the consumer advocacy group also has evidence that some EVs may not always be cost-effective, despite high prices of Petrol.
It compared the petrol and electric models of Hyundai’s Kona, costing about $30,500 and $58,000 respectively.
“What we’ve done is assess the upfront costs, as well as the ongoing costs - servicing, registration, fuel or charging and looked at where you’re going to reap that cost-benefit for that car,” Chris Ford from Compare the Market told 7NEWS.
“The electric version is going to be cheaper running costs, but you’re only going to see that cost-benefit in about year 10.
“So if you are assessing an electric vehicle purely on running costs, thinking that’s going to save you, it doesn’t add up compared to upfront costs, which are just so dramatic at the moment.”
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