I like to thank everyone who allowed me to top-up the car’s batteries at their premises. Your goodwill make these long road trips possible and deserve remuneration. Some of you felt there wasn’t a need for that, but I was happy some goodies were accepted as token of appreciation, in a good QLD fashion.
I also like to thank my friend Peter Hill at Ripple Multimedia, a passionate supporter of renewable energy and EV’s, for helping to correct a few of my photos.
Since May, I have completed 2 return trips to N-QLD. During the first one, I set a personal Tesla daily distance record of 948km without superchargers or destination chargers and I covered a distance of 1590km from home to Innisfail, 90km south of Cairns, in 2 days. This was a scouting trip to evaluate the challenges I would encounter undertaking a real lengthy holiday trip bringing along my spouse, her nephew (11Y) and niece (9Y) who would come over from Taiwan to spend their school holiday with us.
For the 2nd trip odometer data tell that we covered 9002km in 48 days holidaying.
Over the course of both trips, I used a total of 40 different charging sites besides my own place from where I left with a 100% “range charge”. The number of my visited charging sites in specific areas is depicted on the map above, a screenshot taken from the Tesla central on-board screen: 4 Hervey Bay, 5 Rockhampton, 4 Mackay, 9 Airlie Beach, 3 Townsville, 15 Cairns.
This total of 40 consisted of 20 sites with 3 phase 32A 5 pin sockets, 3 sites with 3ph 20A 5 pin sockets, 1 site with a private owned single ph 40A Tesla HPWC, 8 sites with single ph 15A sockets, and 8 sites with single phase 10A sockets.
Further down in the article I’ll zoom into the above map and split up the list of charging sites in accordance with the areas were we passed or stayed.
Undertaking long trips needs preparation and planning as I described in my former article. I decided to bring multiple EVSE charge controllers:
1) 1 Mister EV Maxicharger Type 2 , max 22 kW, single + 3 phase from 10 to 32A
2) 1 e-Station ELPA EVR Type 2, max 22 kW, single + 3 phase from 6 to 32A
3) 1 Tesla UMC max 11 kW, capable of controlling charging up to 32A single phase and 16A 3 phase, but currently supplied to Australian Tesla buyers with only 1 dongle for 10A single phase charging.
Another J1772 adapter cable, expected to be useful when passing Townsville arrived too late at my home.
The huge trunk and frunk space of a Tesla MS was very beneficial for this family trip. Four 4 passengers, luggage “car support items” resulted in a “ballast” of about 400 kg but the Tesla handles the weight gracefully and the extra weight did only affect consumption a tiny bit, max 3%.
Charging time doesn’t need to be boring, once you have driven a few hours it’s a perfect opportunity to stretch legs, do a bit of exercise, visit the local township and have a light meal in a local eatery!
For charging, our preference went to sites where renewable energy was available. Other places included showgrounds, industrial sites, holiday retreat parks, hotels, restaurants, houses, etc…see pics below.
In Hervey Bay and Rockhampton we charged at two solar businesses. Both owners invited local press to spread the word of renewable energy being of good use to power the Tesla super EV and the future of electric transport. In Hervey Bay lots of visitors attended the event and a few people were heavily impressed leaving with Tesla dreams!
Hervey Bay: Tesla’s car an impressive piece of engineering Rockhampton: Tesla owner pumped to prove critics wrong
Our next destination was Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia. Of course, a good portion of beef was a must on the menu and gave us all a boost of nutrients very welcome for our next day activity in Mt. Hay a 30 min drive east of Rocky, where the kids had some superb moments frolicking for thundereggs in the Mt. Hay Gemstone Tourist Park.
After a short stop in Clairview, our next charge spot was at Sarina showgrounds, where we had breakfast, sporty fun and met some of the animals that were to become stars during the upcoming Sarina Show.
Sarina may be a good place for a Tesla Supercharger, it’s conveniently located <300km on the way from Rockhampton to Mackay. It also has some potential for Tesla Destination Chargers, for example, the Sugercane Shed Museum and eatery place, which is also at walking distance from the shopping area.
During my trip in May I charged in Mackay, where Ziggy’s Engineering and Energy Base companies blessed me with their help and hospitality, allowing to top-up of batteries with renewable energy:
Also in Proserpine and Cannonvale I topped up with solar energy provided by solar businesses:
Three more interesting 3phase charging spots in Airlie Beach:
First, the Reef Gateway Motel in Cannonvale +RSL Club lets you to charge when staying at their club facilities for a good meal etc…and further, there were the Whitsunday Sports Park and the Whitsunday Shipwrigth Services. Besides these I have seen other places that have 3 phase power sockets, one being the Abell Point Marina, close to their paid parking zone. This marina’s parking would be an ideal place for destination chargers as many half-day or full day boat trips leave from here to visit the Whitsunday islands.
While driving between places we also experienced some welcome Tesla technology features that came with the recent software updates provided by Tesla to our car f.o.c. over the internet. Three features that I particularly appreciate as very useful during long travels are the improved traffic aware cruise control (TACC) which became more nimble, the automatic emergency braking and the automatic high/low beam headlights. These features are a great improvement to safety and driving comfort, also reducing the stress level and reduce the frequency of fiddling with controls. Automatic emergency braking occurred twice, once for a Kangaroo that was about to consider suicide and once for a pushbike that made a manoeuvre when we were driving on a narrow road! The car anticipated a potential accident, reacted faster than I was ready to do and did it smoothly.
The Whitsundays area was one of our major tourist destinations and obviously I feel I should share some photos of scenic spots we reached with the Tesla. When covering some terrain using dirt roads we felt that the Tesla handled and behaved extremely well also tanks to the Smart Air Suspension feature of the car. You can find the places shown in the following photos in the more detailed map of the area below:
I suggest to use a bigger screen to view the pictures below.