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 >>>

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 >>>

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 >>>

Monster movers: BHP tests electric trucks

BHP trucksAustralia’s largest miner, BHP, is about to test run heavy-haul trucks with electric motors charged by renewable power in a bid to slash fossil fuel use that accounts for 40 per cent of its carbon emissions.

These huge ore trucks run 24 hours a day, burn vast reservoirs of diesel and are ubiquitous across Australia’s open-pit mines.

James Agar, BHP’s group procurement officer, is charged with cutting the company’s 40 per cent diesel emissions footprint. To do that, he needs to electrify its fleet of 650 heavy-haul trucks, weighing in at about 20 to 25 tonnes each, that currently run on polluting fossil fuels.

Read more at SMH >>>

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 >>>

Businesses rush to install tourist EV charging

New chargers at hotelsWith more than 10 per cent of new cars sold in the ACT now running on electricity, popular coastal getaway towns are struggling with the infrastructure needed to keep the tourism trade fully charged.

In summer, some EV drivers reported waiting an hour or more to use one of three public fast chargers in Batemans Bay, and further south the only public fast charger in the Bega Shire was under maintenance for weeks at a time.

Katherine Maxwell from the South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance is one of a growing number of people worried tourists will start looking elsewhere for a holiday.

Read more >>>