Republished from Bass Coast Post* with permission.
I’d like to share what some of the pioneer EV drivers in Bass Coast say they have discovered about going all-electric, which might help you fill in a few gaps if you are thinking of making the leap. I asked Cassie Wright and Rob Gray (Nissan Leaf), Donald Ellsmore and Cheryl Padgett (Volvo XC40), Werner and Ursula Theinert (Nissan Leaf), and our Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan (Hyundi Kona) about their experiences. This is what I learned.
Jumping straight in the deep end: what’s the most important thing anyone thinking about buying an EV needs to know? The consistent answer was to understand the difference between an EV and an ICE car (internal combustion engine) and remember to do a bit of planning before taking off. Fuelling an EV is not a simple matter of stopping for a few minutes to buy petrol at one of the zillion petrol stations between where you are and where you want to go.
“Whilst it is nice to not have to study the big illuminated fuel price signs at service stations, it was comforting to know they were there when needed during the days of diesel car ownership.” If you’re just going into town and pottering around, which is what most people use their car for most of the time, then making sure you are sufficiently powered up is not hard. Either use your own, free electricity to charge up at home on a sunny day, or plug in overnight to use off-peak electricity using the EV’s inbuilt timer to turn charging on and off. You can charge slowly through a normal power point using a portable charger (a heavy duty cable with a box in the middle), or you can install a home charger (a dedicated unit on a wall near where you park your car, inside or outside) to speed up the process. Either way, it’s not too difficult.
But if you are going on a longer trip, you’ll need to do a bit of planning: how far are you going, how big is your battery (some will make it to Melbourne and back without needing a charge; others not so), how “full” will your battery be when you take off, will you be able to charge up overnight if you are staying away, will you need to use rapid charging stations along the way. If so where are they and how long will you need to stay at each? Sound hard? Not really. There are websites (like www.abetterrouteplanner.com) and phone apps (like www.chargefox.com/) that work much of it out for you, and if you do the same trip a few times (like Melbourne and back) you’ll learn the routine pretty quickly.
*Full article here.