Touring Tassie in ‘Tezzie’ the Tesla
As Australia’s EV uptake begins to gather speed, my family feel privileged to be among thousands who purchased a Tesla Model 3 last year. It was the first brand new car we have ever owned. The lure of going electric and optimising use of our solar power got us ‘over the line’ and we have most definitely not looked back. It is technologically beautiful: sleek, silent, and responsive. Driving it feels futuristic.
This summer we took ‘Tezzie’ Tesla to Tassie on the Spirit of Tasmania for a family holiday. I share four key aspects of our experience:
Packing and space
The four of us (including 2 car seats), basic camping gear, plenty of books and games for the kids, and gifts for the family we were visiting, fit into the sedan with room to spare. Most don’t realise the extraordinary space electric cars offer. With only four wheels, a battery and a frame, there is plenty of room across the back seat, extra depth of space in the boot, and even a ‘frunk’ (front boot) for additional storage. Bonus.
Once in Tassie, getting around and charging was a breeze. There are plenty of EV charging stations in all major centres but, given we didn’t drive more than 250km on any given day, we simply plugged her into a powerpoint some evenings at our accommodation and “Tezzie” was ready to go again in the morning. Plugged into a standard powerpoint, she charges about 4% of the battery per hour. As a bonus, Tasmania now boasts 100% renewable electricity, meaning that charging in Tassie is emissions-free.
The car is trendy. This is novel for us as we have never been considered ‘cool’. My husband couldn’t believe that, for the first time in his life, women were stopping him to say: ‘nice car’. Many others approached us to enquire about our opinion of the car, often wanting to know about charging opportunities and whether it really can reach 100km in 3.3 seconds? (Answer: apparently, yes, it really can!). Tezzie drew attention wherever she went.
Thrilling driving experience
It’s fun driving a car with such raw power. She races past all other cars on uphill overtaking lanes. Also boasting sensible technological features that are simple to navigate, a superb sound system, extraordinary safety features and bonus fun jingles and game opportunities for the kids’ entertainment, Tesla has thought of everything. Most importantly, it feels good to travel in a way that keeps noise and air pollution at bay and contributes minimally to climate change. All in all, a pleasurable drive
Commonly, due to the resources required to build batteries, more emissions are involved in producing an EV than the equivalent internal combustion engine vehicle. Depending on the percentage of renewable energy used to charge the car and the distances driven, it seems to take between 1-2 years of driving before an electric vehicle becomes less emissions-intensive than its internal combustion engine counterpart. Find more detail here or listen here.
As exciting as the electric car transition is, we, in the wealthy country of Australia, will ideally begin to reduce our reliance on personal cars and use public transport or other low emissions transport options (cycling, scooting, walking) whenever possible.
Amy Hiller lives in Kew and is a member of Lighter Footprints