By David Waterworth, Adam, Tanya Philips, and others
Australian electric vehicle owners frequently make the joke that some people won’t think an EV is worthwhile purchasing until it can transport you to Uluru, the country’s holiest site (previously known as Ayers Rock). So, one brave driver and his companion made the decision to investigate. Adam and Tanya Phillips traveled by car from Marysville, Victoria, to Uluru in the Northern Territory and back. You may read their entire account in here .
With their permission, I’ve shared a few of the highlights.
With a total distance of about 6000 km and a scarcity of high-speed chargers, traveling from rural Victoria to the Northern Territory’s administrative center is a difficult task. The totals for the journey are as follows: 6050 km in distance, 1044 kWh in energy, 173 kW/km on average, and $281.04 in total cost.
The majority of the charging was done in their accommodations, which had numerous destination chargers. This featured the Oasis Motor Inn South Australia, the Keith Motor Inn South Australia, the Desert Cave Coober Pedy SA, the Erldunda Roadhouse Northern Territory (3-phase outlet free to visitors), and the Keith Motor Inn South Australia.
Here are some of Adam and Tanya’s travel highlights:
Day 3 difficulty Today, the Stuart Highway is the only road. All the way, 110 km/h. $20 per hour was charged at the Ampol in Glendambo for a 3-phase charge that would only produce 8kW. I decided that 4 hours and $80 to go from 23 to 63% (29.63kWh) was more than enough time to drive to Coober Pedy the following day. However, I’m charging from the 15A air conditioning outlet in our hotel room for the remainder of the night till departure to ensure that I don’t have to drive slowly. Total distance is 290 km, with a Wh/km average of 173.
In Coober Pedy
Day 5: Today was the longest day of the journey, covering 495 kilometers as we traveled from Coober Pedy to Erldunda. About halfway there, we stopped at Marla for two hours at $10 per hour to charge on their three-phase 16A system, which produces 12 kWh, and then we continued on to Erldunda, where they have a three-phase 16A plug that is free for visitors and also produces 12 kWh. Total cost: $20, average Wh/km: 167, total distance: 495km, total energy: 83kW.
charging via a power outlet.
Day 6 After a brief drive over the Lasseter Highway, we reached Yulara and camped at the Ayers Rock Campground. For those staying at the campground, a Tesla destination charger with a 12kW output is available for free. Total distance traveled is 285 kilometers, total energy used is 47 kilowatt hours, and total cost is nothing.
Day 8: We departed Yulara and traveled to Kings Canyon in the north. While staying at Kings Canyon Resort, we charged our UMC using the 15A power point on our ensuite site. The treks in and around Kings Canyon were excellent. Many folks couldn’t believe the car was charging from a power point while we were in the powered site area. We can charge anywhere there is a power point, according to many wonderful interactions we had with those assisting in their education. 311 kilometers, 55 kWh of total energy, 178 kW/km on average, and 0 dollars were spent overall.
Day 13: Before continuing, we traveled south and spent the night in Kulgera. The bar is a vintage. Due to everyone pulling something the size of a house behind them and using up all the other diesel bowsers, the line for diesel was around 300 meters long. At the $10 per hour 3 phase charger in the caravan park facility, charging was a breeze. we were full for $50! Total cost: $50, average kW/km: 171, total distance: 295 km, total power: 50 kWh.
This time, I was able to figure out that I didn’t need to use the three-phase charger or pay $20 per hour for a really slow three-phase (10% per hour). I then connected the UMC to the air conditioner’s 15A connection in our room, and by the time we left in the morning, 90% was reached, which was more than enough. The car’s first incident of damage today. We sustained a windscreen scratch and star after receiving a stone from a little car 1 km outside of Glendamdo. When we go home, this will need to be fixed. I called Port Augusta in advance to see if I could secure a fill repair, but to no avail. Total distance is 290 km, total power is 47 kWh, and the average kW/km is 173 cents.
Day 22 We had to either significantly detour to Ballarat for a charge to come home after learning the only fast charger in the region is damaged, or I could ask the hotel if they mind if I connect into the outdoor power point to charge up. After I explained that since we wouldn’t be leaving until the next morning and would only need one charge to come home, EVs are great in this situation, they became extremely interested. They wouldn’t accept payment, so as we were checking out in the morning, I offered them a wonderful bottle of wine to say thank you and to nudge them toward thinking about a real destination charger.
A useful table with billing guidelines, travel lengths, etc. has been contributed by Tanya and Adam. We discovered the same things when we drove to Winton in terms of the problems they had, how they dealt with them, and the kindness of their hosts. It will almost be depressing to consider that as chargers become more commonplace, these difficulties will soon disappear.
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