What we have achieved with this trip stands in stark contrast with the experience of a motoring journalist back in June who “Electric car tour of Tasmania unplugged for want of power
”. He went to Tasmania seemingly unprepared and not aware that there are third party EVSE charge controllers available that allow you to minimize the charging time using available 3 phase 5-pin sockets with currents up to 32 Amp.
Tasmania is ideally suited to electric cars and EV tourism as under normal climatic conditions the majority of its energy needs are generated as renewable hydro- and wind energy.
Tasmania just experienced the driest spring ever recorded and exceptionally has imported electric power from Victoria through the Basslink cable which regrettably became faulty just before the main holiday period. The event triggered the Tassie Government to instruct Hydro Tasmania to suspend the proposed sale of the Tamar Valley Power Station as a result: “Tasmania forced to be self-reliant on power after Basslink cable outage
Notwithstanding the exceptional draught, the wind kept blowing and Tasmania’s West coast has a tremendous potential for wind energy projects. Just one wind farm such as the Musselroe Wind Farm
with a generating capacity of 168 MW would be capable of powering +/- 20,000 BEV, or the equivalent of 6% from the current number of registered passenger vehicles in Tasmania.
As for small scale solar PV installations, the Clean Energy Regulator “Postcode data for small-scale installations
” from Dec 2015 reveal a total installed capacity of close to 90MW but as claimed by the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance Inc. expansion recently decreased due to changes in Government policy
Consequently, I hope that my story may reach, inspire and motivate some Tasmanian political and business community visionaries to analyse the benefits of EV tourism and promote EV transport…
In this context it’s absolutely worthwhile to read the recent article by Jack & Paul Gilding in the Mercury: Talking Point: Billion dollar opportunity to go renewable
Sure, I am aware there are some brilliant minds and visionaries in the State Government that can see the multiple benefits of promoting EV transport and EV tourism in Tasmania: Tasmania looks to EVs as next step to 100% renewable energy
Coincidently, a few days ago I was pleasantly surprised to read that the Tasmanian Labor is expanding its commitment to making Tasmania a national leader in electric transport technology
No, I’m not in politics, just a retired engineer seeking sustainable living and touring with my beloved Tesla to new horizons, simultaneously promoting electric cars and renewable energy!
Australia has its own unique challenges for charging electric vehicles, especially due to the huge distances between the more densely populated State capitals. Also Tesla has to find a way to overcome this challenge.
Early 2015 it was reported that Tesla would install 16 superchargers between Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and up to the Sunshine Coast
. Apparently, a recent article shows some alterations where made to the plan and Tesla now commited to link Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane
with 11 superchargers by the end of 2016.
Besides this SC network, Tesla also helps making destination chargers available at a number of accommodation places, mostly intended for customers staying overnight.
There are also non-Tesla DC fast charging networks already in place such as The RAC Electric Highway®
in WA and ongoing projects such as an electric super highway between Gold Coast and Port Douglas
, an the initiative from the QLD Government, and according a post in the Australian Leaf Drivers Forum dated January 4, ActewAGL has also started to install some DC chargers in Canberra
As I have shown in my previous trip reports, in Australia you can find numerous 3 phase power sockets capable of supporting semi-fast charging an EV, scattered all over the place. Tesla Motors Australia, for example, could take advantage of this situation by enabling its owners to access this infrastructure with a 3- phase adapter for their existing mobile charging units, or better by prioritizing the roll out of 3 phase 32A capable chargers capable of charging at a rate of up to 120 kph in the case the Model S is equipped with dual chargers..
The latter could be:
- installed as a fixed wired charger, as “destination charger” at places with food and/or lodging facilities
- installed as a fixed wired “transit charger” at places without food/lodging but allowing for easy parkingand a bit of a rest before continuing a trip.
- or be supplied to Tesla owners as “mobile transit charger” provided with 20 and 32A appropriate dongles/adapters for 3 phase,