SA to fine drivers for blocking EV charging spots

Marked EV charging spotParking a petrol or diesel car in a space marked for electric-car charging is now illegal in South Australia, with wrongdoers set to get slapped with fines from this week.

The SA Government has become the latest authority to hit petrol and diesel-powered cars parking in spaces dedicated to electric vehicles, following bans being introduced across other states and territories in recent years.

From this week, drivers of petrol or diesel cars face on-the-spot fines of $75 for committing the offence.

It will also apply a penalty to electric cars which park in designated spaces for charging, without plugging in. Interestingly, committing this offence would earn owners a higher fine of $111.

Read more (Drive) >>>

Why 450km of electric vehicle range is enough in Australia

Tesla charging at motelWe have all seen the social media commentators claiming how much range an electric vehicle needs. It normally goes like this: “I’m all for electric vehicles and keen to buy one but unless it has X amount of range I’ll stick with my trusty diesel”.

As each year passes and the range of showroom EVs increase, the commentators’ X number also increases.

This is Uncertainty 101 from those with the most to lose when the country transitions to electric drivetrains, and it’s a very effective manipulation of all the fence sitters that are close to making a new car purchase.

Read more at TheDriven >>>

Road Trip – MG ZS EV (LR)

Itinerary map with charge pointsIs an extended road trip an achievable reality in Australia, in the new age of electric vehicles?

We are about to find out!

We will be travelling from Hervey Bay in Queensland to Kiama in NSW – clocking up about 1400 km over 6 days.

Under ‘normal’ (ICE) circumstances this trip would be a regular, mostly unremarkable road trip. However, undertaking the journey in an EV adds a degree of re-charging adventure – especially for someone who hasn’t previously travelled a long distance in an EV.

We are planning on visiting friends and family along the way, so rather than driving long stints to explore the limits of the vehicle’s range, we hope to be re-charging in the towns where we are staying each night.

Can we do it?

Follow the whole trip >>>

Tesla towing caravan completes Big Lap of Australia

Tesla towing caravanA couple from Western Australia has put to rest the idea that an EV “won’t tow ya trailer” after completing a big lap of the country in a Tesla Model 3 while towing a caravan.

Sarah White and Shane Parker have returned home to Perth after completing 17,251 kilometres over 40 days.

“It was a fantastic experience. I highly recommend anyone do it in any vehicle that they’ve got available to them,” White told TheDriven.

“To see the Great Barrier Reef, the gorges across the Northwest, the incredible scenery around Victoria River … it’s great to be out in those remote, regional areas of Australia.”

The car went through 3,845 kWh of power throughout the trip, and had an average consumption of 223 Wh/km. White and Parker also joined the ‘zero per cent club’ on a number of occasions, as the app they use (S3XY) gave them enough information to be able to know the exact number of usable kWh in the car batteries.

The Model 3 with caravan was able to do a maximum of 247 kilometres in one stretch, but they mostly aimed for around 200 kilometres in any one go.

Read the full story at TheDriven >>>

Video of diesel generator powering remote electric-car chargers goes viral

NRMA ChargerFootage of a diesel generator running electric-car chargers in the Australian Outback has sparked outrage, but there’s more to the story.

A video of the diesel generator running at an NRMA electric charging site in Erldunda in the Northern Territory was shared to Instagram on 27 October 2023, where it has since received 3.3 million views.

However, the motoring association behind the chargers insists it’s merely a “backup” solution for the remote solar-powered site.

Read the full story at Drive >>>

Developing EV charging hubs in outback Australia

Outback australiaFar away from big cities, people living in remote Australia can sometimes struggle with basic energy security, let alone installing a fast charger for an electric car.

But even simply getting this technology to them is a major challenge, according to the National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA).

The NRMA’s energy subsidiary and the federal government are jointly funding a $90 million rollout of 137 fast chargers in rural and regional Australia.

NRMA Energy’s chief executive Carly Irving-Dolan said it had been confronted with many barriers. “Fundamentally, the main barrier is the constraint on the grid,” she said. “You’ll have places with low power, or very little power, that could only power a few houses and a roadhouse. “In other parts, for example, where we’re going to be building [these chargers] there is actually no power there at all.”

Read more at the ABC >>>

Germany’s big plans: EV charging at petrol servos

Service station in GermanyGermany wants to be the first country in Europe to mandate electric vehicle (EV) chargers at almost all of its service stations.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the plan to expand EV charging in the country at this month’s Munich motor show.

Reuters reports Germany plans to introduce a law requiring service stations to have EV chargers, with the aim of furthering EV take-up.

Chancellor Scholz said that Germany will become “the first country in Europe to introduce a law requiring operators of 80 per cent of all service stations to provide fast-charging options with at least 150 kilowatts for e-cars”.

Read more at CarExpert >>>

Can I use Tesla chargers for other cars?

Tesla SuperchargerAs Tesla slowly opens up its Superchargers to other EV owners, who else can take advantage of the tech giant’s Australian fast-charging network?

Today, there are more than 60 Tesla Supercharger stations across Australia – mostly on the eastern seaboard – with more than 400 individual charging stalls.

As the nation’s electric car uptake starts to accelerate, Tesla has made a small number of its 150kW chargers available to other electric vehicle (EV) owners.

(Note: Tesla AC ‘Destination chargers’ installed at hotels, holiday homes, etc, can usually be used for any brand of vehicle fitted with a CCS charging port.)

So, can you use Tesla chargers for other types of cars? Here’s what you need to know…

Read the full story at Drive >>>

Plans for EV network expansion between Broken Hill & Adelaide

Councillor with NRMA chargerWhile NSW’s electric vehicle network enables more than 1,000 kilometres of travel from Broken Hill to Sydney, the much shorter journey to Adelaide is a different story.

With no Barrier Highway infrastructure in place, electric vehicle users must take their chances and detour through the Clare Valley, 394km from Broken Hill.

While some models can cover up to 500km, others can only do up to 400km. (Or less!)

It has led Broken Hill councillor Darriea Turley to write to the South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas and the SA government for help.

“For some of the leaders in Adelaide they may not realise the amount of traffic that is on the road from Adelaide to Broken Hill and beyond,” Cr Turley said.

“Sometimes governments need reminders that we’re here, it’s a road used more than any other I would imagine in South Australia in a lot of ways.”

Meanwhile, there are plans to add a second charging station in Broken Hill due to public demand.

Read more at the ABC >>>

Our new EV routine – just another mobile battery to recharge

Battery charging with timerWe are only just getting our heads around the realities of EV ownership.

Initial thoughts….  EVs – especially those with smaller batteries – are currently more suited for use as a ‘second car’, for around-town transport. (An expensive second car!)

We live in a regional coastal town in NSW, where there is plenty of 100 km highway driving between towns – and that sort of travel chews through battery capacity.

For us the realistic day-to-day charging option is plugging into the home electricity supply every day – during the day if possible, to utilise solar-generated power. Though even at night our electricity supply is cheaper than that available from commercial charging stations.

However, commercial DC charging stations provide a much quicker recharge time. We use these stations when we need a charge while we are on the road, or maybe parked at a shopping centre with an available fast charger.

So, let’s get this all in perspective ….. I remember switching from an analogue mobile phone to a digital mobile phone, and getting used to recharging the phone every night, rather than every week. Then it was a laptop computer being recharged every day, then an iPad, then a watch, then power tools, and more recently a lawnmower and other garden tools.

We are now very much into the routine of charging these devices every night, or whenever they aren’t being used – and keeping an eye open for power outlets at airports, hospitals and other public areas when running low on charge!

Now we just need to adjust our regular routine ….. no more filling up once a week at the servo, but instead adding one more item – a car – to the ‘Plug-in Every Night’ list, and keeping an eye out for public charging opportunities when required!

Read more about EV charging >>>