Sitting on the Eastern Freeway many years ago stuck in traffic, Ron was concerned about the amount of fossil fuel each car was burning, thus commencing his EV journey. His interest in Tesla and EVs was sparked when watching a Top Gear episode. Ron started following EV technology and even contemplated purchasing a Blade electric vehicle being made in regional Victoria. Costs were prohibitive even though the technology was sound and innovative.
Ron’s first EV was a Mitsubishi iMiEV which he purchased in 2014. He now owns a Tesla, in fact this is his second Tesla, his son bought the first from him; with his son, proud having never driven a normal combustion engine car. Ron still owns his iMiEV with other family members now using this as a second car.
At home, Ron has always charged his EVs via a power point, and for his purposes just running around town, he doesn’t see the need for any additional home charging apparatus. If he is out and about and he is low on charge, he will use a super charger or schedule shopping visits to a centre with charging facilities. The most he has ever waited for a charger has been ten minutes, however Ron agrees that this may be an issue for the future as more people purchase EVs, unless infrastructure improves.
Ron admits, trip planning has been the biggest challenge, and for a trip to Adelaide a few years ago planning was paramount, with inland and coastal routes intermingling to get enough charge. Today Ron believes he would not have to plan as much as he feels he could take his chosen route without hinderance.
Much discussion about EV centres around the life of the battery. While Ron’s iMiEV has reduced driving range now, was previous 145km and now down to 100km, the car is 10 years old, and you would expect some deterioration during that time and also battery thermal management systems have come a long way since the iMiEV was manufactured. Personally, this is not an issue that Ron is concerned about.
Ron is excited about the prospect of cars being able to drive themselves. This is an additional feature currently available for purchase in Teslas, and while not activated at this stage, Ron’s car is enabled for this in the future.
Ron explained driving an EV is different to regular cars, but not overly complicated. Changes to how you bring the car to a halt, while you use the brakes, the car slows significantly by taking your foot of the accelerator. In the Tesla, no dashboard just a screen, which can take some getting used to. Perhaps the most exciting feature that people are learning from driving EVs is the responsive acceleration, as Ron says, “Hang on”.
Ron really enjoys his EV and is a strong advocate not only for their performance and enjoyment, but the benefits they bring for the climate for the future.