Electric dreams: ACT’s first Tesla Supercharger station puts Sydney in play

Ian Bushnell 24 October 2018 47

The new Tesla Supercharger station at Majura Park: Faster charging and a longer range. Photos: George Tsotsos.

Tesla electric vehicle owners will now be able to charge up for the journey to Sydney in half an hour with the opening of Canberra’s first Tesla Supercharger station at Majura Park on Tuesday (23 October).

The Supercharger is capable of charging six Tesla electric vehicles at once and provides a driving distance of 270 kilometres, just shy of Sydney CBD but there is another Supercharger in Goulburn. There are two in Sydney, in Broadway and St Leonard’s on the lower North Shore.

Greens Member for Murrumbidgee Caroline Le Couteur, who opened the Supercharger with Labor Member for Yerrabi Suzanne Orr, said it would strengthen the existing network of electric vehicle charge stations across the region, including three rapid chargers and nine fast charge stations that are publicly available and accessible for all electric vehicle models.

The Government has also announced funding for 50 new charge stations across Canberra.

Ms Le Couteur said that by growing the electric vehicle network, the ACT continued to be a world leader in sustainability and renewable energy.

“It opens up a whole new world. If we’re going to make electric vehicles work in Canberra, we have to have lots of places where you can plug in and charge up,” she said.

“We’re next to a petrol station, so hopefully over a period of not so many years, all of the petrol service stations will start transiting to electric service stations. That’s what we need to do to have a sustainable transport system.”

Ms Le Couteur said the missing link from a Canberra point of view was the journey to the South Coast. “That’s the next big challenge,” she said.

There are Superchargers in Cooma and Narooma, with Nowra on the way.

The ACT’s Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan commits the Government to working with local and state governments to facilitate the installation of charging stations on major routes to and from Canberra, including routes to Sydney and coastal areas, tackling ‘range anxiety’ and promoting regional tourism and economic opportunities.

MLAs Caroline Le Couteur and Suzanne Orr join Richard Snow from Canberra Airport in opening the Supercharger station.

The opening of the Supercharger comes as The Guardian reported that another fast-charge network was being rolled out between Australia’s major cities.

It said Australian start-up Chargefox planned 21 sites on highways between Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, to be powered entirely by renewable energy. Sites are also planned for Western Australia.

The “ultra rapid” stations would allow electric vehicles to add up to 400km of range in a fraction of the hours it took to charge at existing points, with the first two in Euroa in Victoria and in Barnawartha North just outside Albury-Wodonga on the Victoria-NSW border.

At a summit of climate action councils in Kiama last week, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury encouraged local jurisdictions to consider joining the ACT to coordinate a ‘bulk buy’ purchase of electric vehicles for government fleets.

The ACT Government has also pledged that at least half of all newly leased ACT Government fleet passenger vehicles will be zero-emissions vehicles in 2019-20 (where fit for purpose) and from 2020-21 that all will be zero emissions vehicles.

“This presents a unique opportunity for the ACT Government to negotiate a better deal with manufacturers, when it comes to a ‘bulk buy’ of electric vehicles in our fleet,” he said.

“Working closely with other councils who may also wish to expand their electric vehicle fleets, this strengthens our negotiating position and signals that there is a strong and growing demand for electric vehicles in the Australian market. These efforts will ensure that Canberra and the region is well-placed to take advantage of this growing global trend, including the flow-on economic benefits.”

To find the location of Tesla Superchargers in Australia go here.

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47 Responses to Electric dreams: ACT’s first Tesla Supercharger station puts Sydney in play
Maya123 Maya123 9:55 pm 27 Oct 18

Just imagine if there were lots of electric cars, and pulling into a charging centre to charge up the car and you find a queue of cars waiting already (as happens sometimes with petrol stations now). Getting petrol is relatively quick, but imagine if it took half an hour to charge each car. You could be waiting for hours and hours.

    gasman gasman 1:50 pm 12 Nov 18

    Not sure if you are aware, but electric cars are plugged in to the home charger every night. Its fully charged every morning. These superchargers are just for on-the-go long distance trips. And yes, supercharging stations will soon be nearly as ubiquitous as fossil-fuel stations re now.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 5:19 pm 12 Nov 18

    As a matter of interest, do you get the “off-peak” rates when you charge the EV at night, at home?

wadehall wadehall 1:28 pm 27 Oct 18

The second paragraph “270km” reference is incorrect. All Teslas in Australia have well over 400km of range—easily enough to get to Sydney. The car’s battery size dictates the range, not the charger.

Most will charge at home overnight anyway—just like an smart phone—for a full battery every day.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:21 am 28 Oct 18

    When an electric car travels on a cold and wet night necessitating use of headlights, electric heater and electric windscreen wipers, how much is the potential travel distance reduced?

    Similarly, how much current is drawn by the air-conditioner on a hot day?

    And given that we are heading for 100% renewable electricity in the near future, where is the electricity going to come from at night when everyone is charging their electric car in the garage at home on a calm and cold night?

    wadehall wadehall 11:36 am 28 Oct 18

    Hi Capital Retro, those are two great questions!

    On the first, the headlights, wipers and A/C use about 2kw of power. This means you lose 2kwh (around 8.5km) per hour driven during bad weather. The smallest Tesla Model S has 490km range so you’ll get to Sydney with about 160km to spare in the worst weather (300km and approx. ’30km’ of A/C etc.).

    In relation to charging overnight, you generally set the time you want the car to charge in order to avoid peak power costs—this also avoids burdening the grid at peak times. With the average commute in Canberra of 24km per day, unlike a smart phone you’re not charging from empty each night, and you could set the charge to go from 3:00 to 5:00am if you wanted. At that time of night on 100% renewables, you’d be using wind or hydro and battery storage while the grid is at its lowest demand.

Corey Karl Corey Karl 8:42 pm 25 Oct 18

Nearly enough to get you to Sydney lol couldn’t afford one anyway ....

Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:48 am 25 Oct 18

It is claimed that the charge points are “paid for by 100% private money. No Government involvement at all.”
Yeah, right.


Lucy Baker Lucy Baker 8:12 am 25 Oct 18

I can’t see busy people hanging around for half an hour to charge their cars. This would only work if you could turn up and swap your Tesla for a pre-charged car, and pick up another charged car in Goulburn. Otherwise the car trip to Sydney will take four hours instead of three.

    gasman gasman 1:51 pm 12 Nov 18

    You don’t have to fully charge every time. Just a quick top-up, while you grab a coffee or snack.

Craig McLaren Craig McLaren 11:08 pm 24 Oct 18

Are there 6 Tesla owners in Canberra?

Peter Major Peter Major 10:06 pm 24 Oct 18

Who's paying the road tax to fix the roads which is levied out at the petrol pump.

So not only is the government pissing money up against the wall on e-vehicles it is short changing all the drivers that pay to use the roads. Bloody Stupid

    Blake Wilson Blake Wilson 10:12 am 25 Oct 18

    These are paid for by 100% private money. No Government involvement at all.

    And as for the fuel tax, this is treated by the Government as a general revenue and flows into Consolidated Revenue. It is unrelated to the expenditure on roads, which happens to be significantly less than the total collected through fuel taxation.

    As an aside, the average Tesla owner would expect to pay $20k+ in LCT, which more than offsets the few hundred dollars per year avoided by not using traditional fule.


    Peter Major Peter Major 11:29 am 25 Oct 18

    Blake Wilson the owner of any luxury vehicle will pay that and its far more than a few hundred dollars at the bowser. The ACT government as I read is facilitating these charge points hence revenue foregone for land usage.

    Thus until evehicles are on equal footings the broader community is soaking up the running costs for these luxury vehicles.

    Once the govt gets its per km travelled tax in place in lieu of the current charging then there will be some equity.

    Personally I feel we are rushing into evehicles as hydrogen fuel cells are far more cpst effective and can leverage existing infrastructure and tax structures

    Blake Wilson Blake Wilson 2:31 pm 25 Oct 18

    Peter Major If you travelled 15,000 km per year and your car achieved consumption of 10km/litre then you’d use ~1,500 litres per year. At the exercise amount of $0.412/ litre, you’re looking at ~$618 per year… so a few hundred dollars.

    EV’s are currently more expensive than traditionally powered vehicles. So if you’re buying one you’re likely to be spending more on your car and therefore paying LCT (or at a minimum, a greater amount of LCT (and GST for that matter)). This tax will cost, at minimum several thousand additional dollars (depending on the cost of the vehicle) over the cost of traditionally powered vehicles.

    Based on the above, I don’t see how your claims can be accurate, but I guess you’re entitled to your opinion. It’s just not supported by the facts.

    This charging point is not facilitated by any government. As I understand it, the private landowners provided the space and paid for the infrastructure. Therefore no opportunity cost to the ACT Gov.

    Concerning hydrogen, it’s not a fuel, but rather an energy storage mechanism. It needs to be created from a source of energy. The process to create, transport, store, deploy, and then use it in a vehicle is, at best, ~25% efficient.

    Why would you want to do that when the alternative is to simply utilise existing infrastructure to charge a battery and power a car directly from that. At worst, you’re looking at efficiencies of ~70+%.

    It’s a no-brainer really, you just have to be prepared to accept a different approach to thinking about the problem. Also, you’ll have cleaner air to breath.

    Blake Wilson Blake Wilson 2:33 pm 25 Oct 18

    Peter Major also, here's a really cool blog on H2 FYI. https://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/11470/why-fuel-cell-cars-dont-work-part-1

    Peter Major Peter Major 3:06 pm 25 Oct 18

    Blake Wilson EV get exemptions and discounts on rego in the ACT. Also you buy a car of equivalent price you still pay LT.

    Blake Wilson Blake Wilson 3:20 pm 25 Oct 18

    Peter Major Correct, there is a 20% discount on the rego component for EV's in the ACT (worth about $100 annually). This partly offsets the extra rego due to the increased weight of EV's due to their battery.

    LCT is paid by all cars over the threshold, but EV's currently cost more, so people who purchase them are likely to be subject to additional LCT that they otherwise wouldn't have paid. This LCT is many times the fuel excise they would have otherwise paid.

    The Government is doing fine from EV owners, but clearly, the removal of the LCT and excise and replacement with a per/km charge will happen at some point. How to make that system fair is a very complicated question... but then again, no system is ever 100 per cent fair.

Mark Valerius Mark Valerius 9:24 pm 24 Oct 18

270km isn't much. You can't even drive to Sydney.

Angelo Turcin Angelo Turcin 9:18 pm 24 Oct 18

So the Government is paying for 50 charge stations. Ooops the locals are because it’s green. Rubbish it’s not green.

Peter Campbell Peter Campbell 6:10 pm 24 Oct 18

Nearly enough to get to Sydney? what, you run out just before you get there?

    Matt Wong Matt Wong 7:22 pm 24 Oct 18

    No it's bad reporting. I have the 'entry level' Tesla with *only 490km of range per charge. The highest range comes in the Model S 100D which has 632km range (NEDC rated).

    It's only 270km or so Canberra - Sydney.

David Murn David Murn 5:06 pm 24 Oct 18

If they subsidised the cost of the cars, it would help dramatically.

Stephen Matthews Stephen Matthews 4:20 pm 24 Oct 18

The conservatives go for the smelling salts when you talk about these things

Grail Grail 3:32 pm 24 Oct 18

Note: range of a fully charged Tesla Model S is over 400km at 110km/h, with the recommended 80% charge providing 320km range. The twenty minute visit to the supercharger will get the car to that 80% assuming there was any charge in the battery at all, if you have the charger all to yourself.

As for the South Coast, ACTEW was working on “Project Molongolo” to have DC chargers installed at various locations including Kings Highway to the coast: any idea what has happened with that?

Guy Noble Guy Noble 3:19 pm 24 Oct 18

how good would it be if our capital city was totally driven by renewables,,,,, i like the path we are heading on

Elvis-Danijela Salihovic Elvis-Danijela Salihovic 2:47 pm 24 Oct 18

David Brown by 2035 petrol cars will be illegal to drive..

David Brown David Brown 2:23 pm 24 Oct 18

I reckon electric cars are a super idea. Lower demand for petrol will inevitably lead to lower prices per litre. Bring ‘em on.

    Mark Ellis Mark Ellis 7:12 pm 24 Oct 18

    With the reduction in petrol sales Govt revenue goes down too leading to less money for road infrastructure. Unfortunately this inevitably means higher registration costs, road use charges (eg tolls, charges per kilometre travelled) or both.

    David Brown David Brown 8:37 am 25 Oct 18

    Mark Ellis The govt will work out a way to tax electric cars as sure as night follows day.

Peter Welsh Peter Welsh 2:21 pm 24 Oct 18

Who paid for these? Do you pay to charge your Tesla?

    Chase Berry Chase Berry 6:14 pm 24 Oct 18

    I’m hearing ya bro pretty sure it will be us🤬🤬🤬

    Lauryn Roberts Lauryn Roberts 6:18 pm 24 Oct 18

    Yea do they pay? I mean elect costs heaps ATM. I'm not sure I'd want an elect car either... lol

    Peter Welsh Peter Welsh 6:30 pm 24 Oct 18

    Chase Berry im just asking a question dude know nothing about this electric car stuff

    Do you just pull up an plug in no charge ?

    Chase Berry Chase Berry 6:33 pm 24 Oct 18

    Peter Welsh I’ll check it out next time I’m in Majura but they better be paying!!

    Peter Welsh Peter Welsh 6:35 pm 24 Oct 18

    Chase Berry plug the nav in mate charge your duel batt 😂

    Matt Wong Matt Wong 7:29 pm 24 Oct 18

    Tesla pays for their supercharger sites. They also pay for electricity usage.

    They then pass on this electricity to their Tesla owners, either for free or at a charge (from memory it's about 35c/kWh - so $26 to charge my car 0 to 100%). The vast majority of Teslas in Australia have free supercharging for life of the car, or for the life of ownership (depending on when you bought it).

    I have free for life of the car, but honestly I've used superchargers maybe 4 times in 2 years. It's only for loooooong journeys, and even then it's easier to just charge at the restaurant I'm eating at, or the hotel I'm staying at (again, free).

    Peter Welsh Peter Welsh 7:31 pm 24 Oct 18

    Matt Wong thanks Matt

    That’s cool

Hajir Daneshvar Hajir Daneshvar 1:38 pm 24 Oct 18

Is the range specified by the car's batter capacity or the charger?

    Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 3:52 pm 24 Oct 18

    The article mentions that another charging service would extend the distance you can travel on a full charge so it does seem dependent on the charger? Though surely battery capacity must come into it too?

    Hajir Daneshvar Hajir Daneshvar 4:03 pm 24 Oct 18

    From what I've heard, Tesla models can drive 400-500km per full charge so wondering why the article says this charging station provides charge only for 270km.

    Stuart Herring Stuart Herring 5:33 pm 24 Oct 18

    270km is the half-hour charge.


    I gather you can charge for longer than that. It's 75 minutes for a full charge, and 40 minutes for 80%

    So the 40 minute charge would be more than enough.

    Matt Wong Matt Wong 7:25 pm 24 Oct 18

    It depends on the battery capacity and the consumption rate. Just like a petrol car. 60L of fuel in a tank burning 10L/100km gives you 600km of range.

    My Tesla has 75kWh of capacity, and usually burns at around 160Wh/km which equals (75,000 Wh / 160) = 468.75km of range.

    Naturally, wind, air con usage, driving behaviour, elevation changes, all affect this figure. Just. Like. A. Petrol. Car.

Lauren Griffin Lauren Griffin 1:25 pm 24 Oct 18

Yes! Will use it when we visit you! The hotel we booked has a charger, but it’s a slow (4hours) charge. Supercharger is like half hour max.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 12:40 pm 24 Oct 18

Given that these Tesla cars cost up to 3 times the price of a well equipped, efficient and economical running IC-engine car which can get to Sydney and back on a full tank of petrol without stopping (diesel versions can get there and back twice on a full tank) one has to wonder who would want one.

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