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Our Melbourne Tesla adventure


Yesterday we had the awesome opportunity to go for a ride in a Tesla (thanks Matt).

Matt is the proud owner of the second Tesla in Melbourne and is also able to boast being the first Tesla to require repair work after someone drove into him 36 hours after he bought it.  Gulp.

He took us for a drive yesterday, and allowed us to geek out hard.

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Some fun facts:

  • Tesla currently has service stations in all the major cities in Australia
  • There are superchargers in Melbourne (x1) and Sydney (x2) (I didn’t ask about the other cities, but guessing they’re there too)
  • They’re planning on putting in extra superchargers between Melbourne and Sydney so that people can do the drive on both the 85kWh and 65kWh batteries
  • The use of superchargers is FREE so you can therefore get between the two cities without paying a cent (other than the coffees and your time…)
  • The car manages its speed itself.  For about 1km Matt didn’t have to touch any pedal.  There’s a camera that registers speed limit signs, and controls the speed accordingly.  You can choose how many car lengths you want to allow for between you and the car in front of you, and then it’ll mimic that car’s speed.
  • If you come to a red light and the car in front of you stops, it’ll stop, and then it’ll take off again when the car starts.  It can’t yet recognise red lights – so there is some intervention needed then…
  • There is regenerative breaking, and one of the meters on the dashboard shows you when you’re sucking power from the battery, and when you’re putting power back.
  • The car has a 3G sim card, and can connect to wifi.  It automatically downloads system updates.  That means that one day your car may not be able to recognise bicycles and the next it could.  Sky’s the limit.
  • They don’t include a spare tyre, and the tyre’s aren’t run on flat.  BUT if you have a flat, they’ll come and replace the tyre for you.
  • His car typically does about 400km on a single charge.  Costs him about $13 to fully recharge (if he doesn’t use the supercharger).  (For comparison – in our hire car we’ve been spending about $36 for the same kind of distance.)

Finally, I cannot express what the acceleration felt like when the lights change from red to green.  It is literally breathtaking.  Matt says he gets people in blinged up cars trying to take him on at the lights and he just eats them up.

In a country with such harsh speed enforcement, this fits in well.  ACCELERATE LIKE CRAZY, but then ease off at 60km/h. 🙂

Love love love it.