Driver Stories | Charlotte & Raf's 3000+kms through WA

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Chargefox
May 14, 2024
5
 min read
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There are now more than 100,000 drivers using the Chargefox platform every month to re-charge their cars. From Sydney's world-famous Bondi Beach to remote corners of Western Australia, people are plugging in an increasingly wide range of vehicles - from Teslas to Taycans, Abarths to Attos, and Niros to Nissans.
Follow @Eco.Voyagers on Instagram.

Here is the story of driving and charging an EV from just one of the thousands upon thousands of Aussies using Chargefox every month.

Hey, I’m Charlotte and I work in Sustainable Transport here in Melbourne since moving over from the UK 9 months ago. This Easter, I had the bright idea to put Electric vehicles to the ultimate test, by conquering the infamous Perth to Exmouth Coral Coast Roadtrip – covering over 3000km through remote regions of WA – in an Electric Car. It sure would be a true testament to how far Australia’s charging network has come. 

The trip itself was a dream – the epic scenery and nature at its finest that comes with regions so remote, really is breathtaking. Me and my partner Raf had planned a 10 day route from South to North stopping off at all the classic points to explore the National Parks and the Ningaloo Reef including living out our dream of swimming with Whale sharks in Exmouth. We were then to make a very swift journey back down, taking on 1245km of driving back to Perth with just one overnight stop in Geraldton. 

Our wheels for the trip? The Tesla Model Y (standard range) which we picked up from Sixt at Perth Airport.

When you rent with Sixt, you get all charging through the Chargefox network for free! This was a big bonus for this mammoth journey and saved us over $250. 

Overall, doing this trip with Electric wheels went largely hassle free as most of our overnight stops had fast chargers in town. For the longer journeys, we found conveniently placed chargers at halfway points when we were ready to grab some food and stretch our legs. 

The only missing link of the trip was Coral Bay, where due to the RAC re-development there was no charger in sight. This meant we had to think creatively – after all, all you need in a tricky spot is a power outlet! 

Charging at the campsite.

Luckily a Holiday Park came to the rescue, where we were able to book a site to charge up. It was pretty funny seeing the Tesla parked amongst the serious camper set-ups and UTEs! An important tip when travelling in remote Australia, is to make sure you have a few cables with you. Luckily Sixt had provided both a UMC and Type 2 to Type 2 charger, which were both essential to keep moving through WA!

The return trip between Exmouth and the next charging point in Carnarvon was a bit touch-and-go range-wise for the Model Y, but by that time we were expert EV drivers. We had picked up on the tips and tricks to ‘earn back range’ when you are in a pickle, like driving 10-20km below the speed limit to arrive stress-free. 

WA gives you all the most challenging conditions for an EV trip when it comes to efficiency. You are faced with scorching hot temperatures, a chance of high-winds, long bumpy and empty highway roads, with little opportunity to benefit from regenerative braking – but our EV came through for us.

We can now officially confirm that the Perth to Exmouth Roadtrip is absolutely doable in an Electric Car.

We were impressed by the coverage and reliability of the Chargefox network which covered almost all of our stop-offs. When more high-speed chargers come on board later this year it will only get easier. 

Road tripping in an EV gives a new aspect to the journey. We stopped off at locations we may not have otherwise and had some great chats with pioneers of sustainable transport. One stand out was meeting the savvy business owner of the Billabong Roadhouse who was connecting Kalbarri to Denham with his onsite charger, and was in the midst of putting in more solar panels to power them.

It’s inspiring to see businesses embracing the opportunity that comes with the clean energy transition and making these all important longer journeys stress-free for EV drivers.

We are sharing our experience in detail over at our Instagram page @Eco.Voyagers where we share EV & Sustainability Tips and EV RoadTrips.

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