The ‘Nice Australian Street Journey’ is embedded deep within the psyche of most Australian households.
The concept our automobiles have to be able to this nearly mystical occasion means the query “can an EV can do it?” is an ever current problem at any time when Australians take into consideration full battery electrical automobiles (BEVs).
That query, cunningly exploited for political ends within the final federal election, has now taken on better significance than ever: and the bar has been raised to not simply counter the spin by exhibiting on paper that it’s potential, however to really do such journeys and write in regards to the experiences.
However how does one quantify the Nice Australian Street Journey so as to show EVs can/can’t do it? In its easiest kind, it’s the a number of hundred kilometre run to a summer time vacation in a seaside city, or a rustic weekend away.
In its hardest kind – it’s an endurance-run comprising half or the entire Adelaide/Melbourne/ Canberra/Sydney/Brisbane/Cairns freeway route. (Or its WA equivalents).
Usually talking, individuals have come to grasp that Teslas are able to long distances holiday trips on their batteries and amazingly quick DC recharge instances on the ever rising community of Tesla-only Superchargers. However what of the ‘common’ EV?
Can the extra inexpensive BEV fashions (i.e. not Teslas) do comparable issues? Properly, the less complicated vacation tour to a seaside city has already been confirmed to be throughout the capacities of a brand new Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Kona (if not a Renault Zoe) – as written up here.
That also leaves each the intercity ‘endurance-run’, in addition to the prolonged road-trip touring vacation for testing the capacities of a non-Tesla EV. In an effort to check the ‘endurance-run’ class: I not too long ago set out on a Melbourne to Sydney highway journey in my new Kona electrical.
The problem: I needed to attend an EV convention in Sydney (Ed: The Electric Vehicle Transition Conference), and had just one – 2 days spare every solution to do it. Might it’s performed in a full battery EV?
First hurdle on checking the EV Charging Bible (in any other case referred to as PlugShare) was that there was a ‘Nice Quick-Charger Desert’1 between Albury and Sydney.
Going on to Sydney by way of the Hume Freeway would imply between 9 hours (at 7kW) to 28 hours (at 2.4kW) stopped to AC cost someplace.
To go all the way in which utilizing fast-chargers would require a detour by way of Canberra, including round 180km to the run. That grew to become a bonus to this journey, because it turned out a mate in Canberra needed to attend the identical convention so I may choose him up and share the driving to Sydney.
So I set off first-thing from Melbourne on a sunny Saturday morning – with an odd, nervous feeling I had not felt since my first ever highway journey to Brisbane within the early 80’s.
That feeling I put all the way down to the journey being a really totally different, and new, expertise to the same old petrol station hopping journey: will my Kona electrical vary be what it’s presupposed to be?
Will I be capable of discover the DC chargers? Will they work? Will I’ve to attend in a que?? Do DC quick chargers actually present charging speeds matching the producers’ claims???
Maybe that is what the non-EV driver feels about EVs usually, and why unscrupulous politicians can exploit this ‘worry of the unknown’ to their benefit.
Having pushed EVs across the suburbs for nigh on seven years now, I can attest to all these fears being nicely and really allayed in relation to native EV driving: however they have been surprisingly resurfacing on this, my first EV Nice Australian Street Journey.
So how lengthy did it take?
Day one noticed Melbourne to Canberra in 11.5 hours, and some DC charging classes realized. Morning tea and a cost on the Euroa servo fast-chargers took about 40 min: no actual hold-up there as I wanted the break to stretch the legs, have a snack, espresso and take a rest room break anyway.
Lunch was a tad extra difficult although, as I needed to first cease to purchase meals in Albury to take again to the charger, because it was 8km out of city …. on the tip!
That cease additionally took longer than 90 minutes although I had over 50% cost to start with. This was as a result of I needed 100% cost to soundly cross the Nice Quick-Charger Desert, so I needed to get the automotive to 100% earlier than leaving.
It was then I found that zero – 80% may be 54min for a Kona electrical in line with Hyundai, however 80 – 100% takes significantly longer. (Lengthy distance EV driving Classes #1 and #2.
Lesson #1: the Kona’s vary round city is round 450km, however at 110km/h and the heater on – that falls to 360-ish. Because the Albury tip to Canberra is round 340, I needed to be 100% certain I’d get there! Lesson #2: For shorter stops, cost solely to 80% in the event you can).
Lastly leaving Albury tip at about 2pm, I headed to Canberra at 110km/h and heater flat out: I used to be now turning into extra assured within the Hyundai dashboard vary estimator. My confidence was nicely positioned – I arrived at my Canberra cease at 5.30 with 28km vary left on the show.
I may have saved going to Sydney after a fast-charge there, however not being 21 years previous anymore, I opted for an in a single day in Canberra to relaxation. It was mid-morning the subsequent day earlier than we left for Sydney (With greater than sufficient cost to get to Sydney – I plugged it into an AC EVSE at my cease. No ‘ready’ time concerned: it charged as I slept).
From Canberra: a fast top-up to 80% at Mittagong (not really wanted as I had AC charged in a single day) – however a espresso cease/relaxation break was a good suggestion after two hours of driving, so why not prime up – totally free – while we did that?
Sensible pondering on the a part of the Mittagong RSL to host an NRMA DC charger: this was additionally the one DC charger the place I noticed one other EV getting charged on the entire journey.
Internet hosting EV fast-chargers will solely improve their enterprise within the long-run too as EVs grow to be a better proportion of the highway fleet. (Additionally – Lengthy distance EV driving Lesson #three: in the event you can organise a 2 hourly cease close to a DC fast-charger – simply cost it).
The return journey was performed making use of the teachings realized on the way in which up.
Leaving at 5.30pm Tuesday, we stopped at that extremely helpful Mittagong RSL DC charger to let it cost while we took a dinner break, then arrived in Canberra round 9.30pm to have a fairly drink on the town while the automotive charged to close 100% at one other NRMA DC charger.
Heading off the subsequent morning at 6.30am noticed me cease on the simply opened Holbrook NRMA DC charger. A brief stroll into city, breakfast and again meant that the charging took now not than I’d have taken for a standard breakfast cease.
A full-charge may potential see me get to Melbourne from there, however as I used to be going to should cease ever couple of hours to be secure, 80% was fantastic and there was no want for an 80 – 100% charging delay.
Holbrook to Barnawartha was due to this fact a simple 90km journey. Doing lunch on the conveniently positioned picnic desk by the chargers on the Barnawartha servo additionally meant that solely a short while was spent in getting again to an 80% cost. (Sufficient to see me dwelling in Melbourne).
Subsequently no actual delay there both. Needing a rest room cease and leg stretch as I neared Euroa, I made a decision to choose that as a break cease and did a 20 min top-up cost – successfully pointless – however it too was free, so why not? (Like all however the Albury tip charger, ChargeFox and NRMA chargers don’t but cost for the electrical energy you utilize).
Arriving on the backside of the Hume at 4pm would usually have seen me dwelling in one other 30 – 40 minutes. Nonetheless, a moist Wednesday noticed a sluggish journey for the final half – however that’s a Melbourne site visitors story, not an EV one!
The journey as much as Canberra from Melbourne took 11.5hrs (longer than doing it in an ICE car if taking relaxation breaks each 2 hours: I’d say about 1.5hrs longer than I’d have performed it in an ICE automotive), with the Canberra to Sydney legs no totally different to an ICE automotive.
Making use of my DC charger learnings from the journey up additionally meant the Canberra to Melbourne return journey time was decreased to round 9.5 – 10 hours, equal to an ICE automotive taking espresso and so on breaks each two hours or so.
- Non-Tesla BEVs can do the Nice Australian Street Journey (endurance run model), supplied DC fast-chargers can be found.
- With the opening of the Holbrook and Jugiong DC fast-chargers, the direct run Melbourne to Sydney is now potential – at a little or no, if any, longer time than doing it safely in an ICE car.