With interstate family and a love of hiking in the mountains, Mel reduced her travel emissions so that she could do more of what she loved.
Mel and her husband live in Wattle Glen. She loves being outdoors, especially in the high country or the rainforests of Gippsland and the Otways but she has often felt guilty about driving a car to get to these places and to visit interstate family. What to do? Buy an EV? Could they afford it when they needed to rebuild their house, which was just about falling down?
Mel and her husband decided that removing the guilt was a high priority, and that meant buying an electric car. That way they’d reduce emissions sooner rather than later, and wouldn’t be tempted to overspend on building a sustainable house.
So what make and model should they buy? To enable interstate and long-distance travel, they wanted a decent range and good DC fast-charging speeds. The Tesla Model 3 seemed to fit the bill. They bought a base model Tesla, rated at 491 km range and 170kW/h DC fast charging. In real life this equates to 430-450 km range, and the charging is fast enough on long-distance trips that the car is usually sufficiently charged before we're finished our loo and coffee break!
On trips from Melbourne to Canberra they make three quick stops of 5-15 minutes each. Canberra to Sydney can be done without needing to charge along the way.
So, are they pleased with their purchase? They really are! Mel says:
Because we ordered the car based on its specs we hadn't actually been in a Tesla before we picked ours up. We love it so much more than we expected. The EV side of things has stacked up as expected, but all the technology and safety features have been a major added bonus. It's a quiet and comfortable drive, has heaps of space for people, dogs and luggage, and we find that even after a full day of driving we don't feel exhausted like we used to in our ICE (internal combustion engine) car. It's been such an easy transition and I find myself resenting having to drive an ICE on the rare occasions I do now.
So, given they travel interstate a lot, have they ever had trouble finding charge points? Mel says range anxiety has never been a problem.
We simply plan long trips in the ABRP and Plugshare apps, and the car updates in real time directing us towards chargers according to need. The Tesla Supercharger network covers most of the Eastern seaboard now and is really reliable. For anyone wanting to drive long distances that's definitely an incentive to get a Tesla over another EV. However, Tesla have started to allow other EVs to charge at some Supercharger locations.
With this worry sorted, the two of them can plan a trip to Canberra then Sydney and all the way up the NSW coast to Brisbane before heading back inland again and stopping off to see various family members along the way. It’s a win for the planet, and a win for family.
“Plenty of space for the dog, a BBQ picnic, and don't forget a good smattering of dirt road dust!”