EDEA’s Managing Director, Mark Tipping, recently spoke with hosts of Carsales’ podcast, Watt’s Under the Bonnet, about EVs and the outback – a pairing which to some may seem unlikely, but one that Mark defends is not just possible, but beneficial!
Mark shares details of his recent 10,000 km journey: a half lap of Australia. Beginning in Melbourne, he travelled in a Tesla Model S up the east coast to Townsville, before turning left to continue inland. His outback route home crossed through Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, and Coober Pedy, to name a few, visiting local communities and mobs along the way.
The Outback is Australia’s remote inland. It is vast and sparsely populated. (Photo by : Franca Mazzarella)
Visiting locals was a significant part of this journey, as it helped Mark learn more about the energy requirements of remote areas, identifying areas where the EDEA foundation could provide assistance. As a result, range anxiety wasn’t an issue.
Range anxiety is something that holds a lot of non-EV drivers back from making the switch, but Mark’s journey is evidence that with a little bit of planning, there’s nothing to worry about. Thanks to the growing popularity of EVs, power charging options now exist almost every 150-200 km around Australia. And with a range of around 500 km per charge, Mark had no trouble finding a station.
Planning isn’t something that Mark prioritises on these trips, much to his Chief of Staff, Franca’s, dismay. He prefers spontaneity on his journeys; opportunities which allow him to challenge himself, and his vehicle to surpass new obstacles. Despite this, the pair’s journey through the outback ran smoothly with their map of charging stations in the area, travelling around 400 km per day.
A common misconception about EVs in the outback is that they aren’t practical for long distance driving. Not only has Mark’s journey proved this to be untrue, but also, his discussions with locals revealed that many don’t actually drive far beyond their small towns on a day-to-day basis, so the overnight charge given to an EV is more than enough.
Mark and Franca’s journey was rewarding, but it has left them thirsty for more trips! His next drive is in the early stages of planning, but he hopes to conquer the west of Australia – a trip to prove that EVs can take on all landscapes around the country, and that we have the infrastructure in place to make it happen.