Foxes in the wild | Julian Harrington – Product Designer

The Chargefox team recently took ownership of a Tesla and we’re encouraging all the foxes who don’t yet own an EV to take it out for a spin, try out our charging stations, and meet our customers.

On a chilly weekend in June our Product Designer Julian got behind the wheel with his partner and headed down to Torquay on the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula.

Day 1

We picked up the Tesla at about 7:30pm Friday night, went home and then drove to our local Tesla supercharger in Cremorne. Upon arrival, we were extremely confused. Every spot was full and several people were parked waiting to charge.

Struggling to figure out charging at a supercharger for the first time. My wife was amused and cozy in the heated seat.

We waited for about 20 mins for someone to leave, then someone else jumped into our spot, apologised, and said they only needed a top up. My wife watched me struggle to figure out how to plug-in and charge from the cameras inside the car. I figured it out and while we waited we planned our trip for tomorrow via PlugShare.

PlugShare’s trip planner is a great experience IMO. The trip planner lets you enter in the car’s range, how much charge you have, and indicates if you’ll make it to your destination without needing to top-up.

Day 2

On Saturday, we drove to Torquay for the farmers market, lunch, and a walk along the beach.

When we arrived at the farmer’s market, two ICE vehicles were blocking the Surf Coast Shire charging spots, but they promptly moved their vehicles when they saw us roll up. The EV parking was in the best spot, and many people stopped to ask us about the Tesla and charging.

The most common question was “How much do you pay for charging?”

Plugging in definitely made us feel a bit unique, and everyone who approached us was friendly and genuinely interested in the setup.

On our way home we swung by the breathtaking RACV resort in Torquay which is home to a bunch of Chargefox chargers including the 350kW ultra-rapid chargers.

When we pulled up there were a lot of people charging, and some waiting. After waiting for about 10 minutes, it was our turn to charge so we backed in and started.

Shortly after someone in a BMW pulled up next to us with her child and father. They were having trouble getting the charger to work, and her child had taken a tumble. I felt her stress and frustration so offered to help.

We unplugged her charger, waited for the app and station interface to reset, re-holstered the charger, and started again. Bingo!

There was a great sense of camaraderie at the site – it made me appreciate that so many people are brand new to EV driving and we’re all learning together.

Final thoughts and 3 things I learned

All up, it was a great experience. We had plenty of interest from bystanders, some great chats with fellow EV drivers, and got to help someone charge their vehicle.

  1. Charging camaraderie is real, and awesome! People loved getting out to chat and help if needed.
  2. Charging anxiety was present, but realistically we had no reason to worry throughout our trip.
  3. Exploring new charging destinations opens up a world of activities we may never have done. Visit new chargers, try new things, and see new places. It’s a great way to explore.

Not all heroes wear capes!