Our Road Trip to Bunbury, Western Australia:
Our destination was 200km away; a regional town called Bunbury. With a fully charged battery and a 300km driving range, we gathered the troops (and an irresponsible number of snacks) and set off. On the freeway the car was smooth and with 70km to Bunbury, and a 59% charge, we were pretty relaxed, chatting away as we ramped up to 110kph on cruise control.
After a while we noticed we had made a mistake – there was 76km to go to reach Bunbury and we only had a charge of 32% which equates to a 77km driving range. This made us nervous to say the least and it was at this point we learnt a crucial lesson about electric cars - the faster you go, the faster you drain the battery.
Our saving grace was going to have to be the town of Eaton which wasn’t far away, so instead of slowing down to conserve battery power we powered on (pun intended). Once we hit 80km roads we dropped our speed which in turn slowed down the discharge rate. Finally, we rolled into Eaton with a nail biting 5% charge and driving range of 16km.
Charging up before the drive back to the Head Office:
We hooked the car up to the RAC Electric Highway charger and were very grateful when we received a charging credit from Patrick at Next Charge. For anyone who doesn’t know, Next Charge is a platform which allows car-owners to charge their car from multiple charging stations without the need to subscribe to individual circuit operators. From here we walked the short distance to the office, worked for 6 hours and came back to a fully charged car ready for the drive home. We have to say, it was nice not to need to stop at a petrol station during peak hour on the journey home, especially after a long day.
We arrived home after a long 245km journey with 17% charge and 49km left in the “tank”, primarily because we had no headwinds or air-conditioning on our return journey. Back home we charged up the Nissan EV with our Zappi charger and it was here we really saw the benefit of EV. We only used 35.4kW to fully charge the car, which equates to approximately $9 to fill up!
Whilst we love our Nissan EV (who some of us have taken to affectionately calling “Eve”), there’s still a long way to go in terms of making them a fully sustainable vehicle option. The ideal situation would be to use renewable energy to fuel our cars, something we see as coming in the near future. In fact, Nissan and CSIRO launched a solar-powered EV trial at the Nissan HQ this month. Whilst the Nissan EV isn’t perfect in terms of sustainability, we had a great time trying it out and are positive about the future of electric vehicles.