Tesla journey through Queensland: Charging up with wind power

On Sept. 16 and 22 we published Part 1 and Part 2 of Marc Talloen’s story how he travelled 9,000kms through regional Queensland with his Tesla Model S, without a super-charger network. This is the third part of the series.

Advocating the use of renewable wind energy to empower electric cars.
Advocating the use of renewable wind energy to empower electric cars.

Areas 5) Ravenshoe, 6) Cairns to Cape Tribulation and 7) Kuranda, Atherton Tablelands.
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For me, simultaneously charging our Tesla and Nick Wardrop’s Zero SR electric motorbike at Ravenshoe Windy Hill Wind Farm, and advocating the use of renewable energy for Teslas and EVs for local students was the culmination of my self-proclaimed trip mission spreading the word of EVs, Tesla and renewable energy. I wholeheartedly thank the representatives of “Ratch Australia Corporation”, “Transfield Worley Power Services” and “The Missing Link Resource Coordinators” for coordinating this event!
Ravenshoe State School P-12 did send over a bus with students to attend the event, giving them the opportunity to see our EVs life, and listen to the owners advocating the usage of renewable energy to power EVs.
Nick runs a company called Sunergy Innovation and owns a Zero SR that now has completed 17,500 km, around 80% on PV charge.
After a foggy and drizzly morning the sun is finally breaking through over Windy Hill Wind Farm
After a foggy and drizzly morning the sun is finally breaking through over Windy Hill Wind Farm

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The students had many questions about the Tesla MS and Zero SR and stayed with us for a long time.
A few representatives of the local press and the Ravenshoe Fire Brigade also came over to learn more about EVs. Also, Mr. Kier Shorey from ABC Radio Far North came over for an interview and the event was also reported in the Cairns Post Newspaper as well as the local “The Tablelander”.
Nick and I left the site satisfied and convinced that we both were able to share our motivation and vision.
Area 6) Cairns to Cape Tribulation:
In Cairns NQ solar was our preferred semi-supercharging site. I also did some trickle charging at one of the self-contained Airbnb places close to Cairns’ botanic gardens. One of the nearby coffee shops had a poster on the wall advertising a play dedicated to Nikola Tesla…
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If you love nature and gardens then the Botanic Gardens in Cairns are a must! Just 3 photos below. Another memorable experience in Cairns, especially for the kids was the Cairns Show with a massive number of attractions, plays, events and of course a variety of food stands.
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In general there was a lot of interest for the first Tesla Model S that reached Cairns. Quite a few people that were impressed with the Tesla MS took pictures and expressed their appreciation with a thumbs-up.
Not all photos were taken out of interest and a surprise picture was awaiting me at my return home.
The letter claimed that the photo was supplied “as courtesy only”….

rsz_screen_shot_2015-09-30_at_103242_amI realized it was taken by a gentleman hiding behind a bush just below the Rockmans logo shown on the cropped Google Maps in the direction of the traffic lights to the right.
I do remember that I momentarily pushed the throttle a little to clear a crossing where the traffic light had just switched to orange. My speed was 67kmh instead of the allowed 60kmh to leave the crossing timely.
Given that this driver didn’t get any speeding ticket for over 10y was this worth a fine and 1 demerit point?

With the kids we stayed for a longer time in Palm Cove, a beautiful holiday place about 25km north of Cairns with a beach partly fringed with palm trees. On the way up there we also visited Trinity beach. In the picture below you can note the net structure to protect swimmers from stingers in the summer season. That particular net structure has a bit of a history, with a special uninvited visitor in 2008.
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Potential charging site at Palm Cove beach.

At the William’s Reserve Park next close to the beach there are multiple parking spots with sockets nearby that are used for market events. It would only demand a little effort to convert some to EV charge points.
Sunrise glory at Palm Cove
Sunrise glory at Palm Cove

Out of Palm Cove we did a few day trips with the kids:
Hartleys Crocodile Adventures: This place is good for a half day trip and is absolutely worth a visit. Some short boat trips allow you to see the crocs in a natural environment. Besides you can visit the crocodile farming operations and their zoo where the kids can get close to emus, cassowaries, kangeroos, amphibians etc…Further, they do have their own restaurant facilities. The owners have a big PV system to generate part of their power needs and would be happy to provide some EV charging. For Tesla Motors this place offers great potential for installation of a destination charger.

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Port Douglas and Cooya beaches:
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Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation.

The weather could have been better for the trip but we still had a great time going to one of the most famous national parks in Australia. We made a short stop in Mossman but soon heard from some leaving visitors that the fees to visit the gorge were over board and they advised if we had already seen Babinda Boulders to skip this stop and continue to Cape Tribulation to spend some more time there.

rsz_screen_shot_2015-09-30_at_104945_amWe appreciated their advice and had more time to spend in the wet tropics visitor centre with their magnificent areal walkway and canopy tower that are very well integrated in the nature. Also, we had more time to stroll on the beaches and enjoy our picnic.
Taking the ferry over the Daintree river, our Tesla on-board screen suddenly reminded us we needed a charge and would better head to the closest Tesla supercharger ….2730 km away….. in Sydney.
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While walking from the north-side parking to the Kulki lookout platform someone asked me if by coincidence we would be the owner of the Tesla that he saw on the parking. It turned out that Michael was one of the first buyers of a Tesla Model S in Australia. He never expected to see a Tesla that far north…
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On our way back from Cape tribulation we were very lucky to have another encounter of Cassowaries!
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The next day trip was to Kuranda with visits of the Butterfly Park, Barron Falls etc…and Kuranda Market. We made some tiring walks and were a little over confident about our orientation making a shortcut through the dense forest. Luckily, we figured out that we better used the Tesla App on our phone to find the best path back to our car!
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Kuranda offers some great opportunities for Tesla Destination Chargers as it’s a place where most people will easily spend a full day.

I will hereby round off Part 3 of my article.
Once more, please let me reiterate that in case you consider buying a Tesla Model S and my report helped you to make a decision….please note that Tesla is currently running a “Tesla Motors Referral Program” offering discounts. When designing and buying your Tesla, please feel free to use my referral link which is http://ts.la/marc4161
 

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