“Spoiled for choice” would be an appropriate description for visitors to the EV Display which was held in Central Park Rockhampton on Saturday 1 June. There were 26 cars on display, including 10 different brands and 19 different models. While some of the cars looked identical, differences such as single or dual motor, motor power and battery capacity provided numerous variations to consider. In particular, there were
variants of the Tesla Model 3 and the MG4 which looked identical and could only be distinguished on close examination.

Tesla on show

Brand new cars, off the show room floor, were exhibited by Ian Weigh Toyota (Lexus RZ450e and Toyota bZ4X), Rockhampton Auto Group (MG4 XPower) and Farm and Garden (Polaris Ranger XP Kinetic). Other cars, exhibited by private owners who had driven from as far as Brisbane, Bundaberg and Mackay, were of various ages up to 12 years and had travelled up to 130,000 km. Visitors were able to quiz the owners about their experience and learn about the practicalities of owning and driving an EV. Concerns about range anxiety, charging facilities and battery life were quickly answered. 

Bz4x on show

There were some distinctive entries in the display. Yeppoon residents, Colin and Susan Stiff, showed their Tesla Model 3 Long Range car which was towing a teardrop caravan. They have enjoyed many trips even though the caravan reduces their range to 200 km.

Tesla towing camperCamper setup

Trevor Richards and his wife, from Drive by Nature, had driven two vehicles from Mackay – the three-wheel home-built T-Rev and a Hilux utility which he had converted to battery power. The utility also carried some electric outboard motors.

Dan Watson from AdventureTec in Emu Park, exhibited a range of electric scooters and Benzina Zero mopeds. Parked next to him was the Yeppoon Land Care 2012 Mitsubishi iMiev Minicab van which had its battery refurbished recently by Dan. Also parked nearby was a 2012 Nissan Leaf, owned by Gary Le Lacheur, which has a 24 kWh battery and a range of only 75 km due to battery degradation. Having met for
the first time at the display, Dan and Gary are planning a battery refurbishment for the Nissan Leaf which is otherwise in good condition.

Rockhampton resident, Brian Bartlett, visited the display with his electric mobility scooter. Brian demonstrated how it could be folded up to fit in a car boot which he can manage by himself. The scooter is a great addition to electric transport as its compact size means it can be carried in a normal car.

A number of cars at the display demonstrated vehicle-to-load (V2L) by discharging 240-volt power to run various appliances. Shona and Eric Boardman used their MG4 Excite 64 to boil electric kettles to make tea and coffees for visitors and to heat a slow cooker to provide hot soup. While running these appliances during the day, they only used 5 kWh or 8% of their battery capacity and had plenty of charge left to drive
home. Other cars kept their air conditioning running for visitors to enjoy. There would have been nothing worse than a line of cars with petrol or diesel engines idling for hours to power air conditioning.

Volvo EX30

Thanks to Rockhampton Regional Council and Capricorn Conservation Council which both supported the EV Display and made it possible.

I returned home from the EV Display with 24 km of range remaining in the Tesla battery. I was able to fully charge at home overnight, ready for an early start the next morning. The benefit of charging at home overnight is often overlooked. It is very convenient for drivers who use their car for work every day – those who commute to work or use their car for business. Avoiding trips to a service station to refuel a car saves a lot of time and is cheaper.

The EV price war continues - Mercedes recently announced price cuts of up to $23,000 on its luxury EQE SUV models. Ford has now announced a second price cut for the Mache-E model, bringing its total cuts since pricing was first announced last year to around $15,000. The Mach-E range now starts at $64,990 before on road costs.