Much has been reported on the trouble that travellers are experiencing securing rental cars for trips to Tasmania, let alone electric cars.
And there are so many reasons that electric cars make a great choice for travel in the Apple Isle, which for a start has an emissions-free grid thanks to its substantial hydro-electric systems and a smattering of wind farms and solar (and apart from imports from Victoria).
So much so that RenewEconomy and The Driven editor Giles Parkinson made a trip there in early 2021 to show just how easy it is to drive and charge an electric car around Tasmania, where destinations tend to be closer together than on the mainland (you can also listen to this podcast here on it).
Tasmania also has a growing number of electric car fast-charging stations, with Evie Networks opening its second 350kW charger in the Apple Isle in March, bringing the state’s total to 17 from Burnie in the north-west to Geeveston in the south-east and even over in the wild west’s Queenstown.
But there has been, until now, one glaring gap. Not one Tesla Supercharger has graced Tasmanian shores, which hasn’t been disastrous as new Tesla cars use the CCS2 plug standard anyway.
However, this is soon set to change, the Tesla Owner’s Club of Australia (TOCA) noted in a recent newsletter update. TOCA president Mark Tipping confirmed to The Driven this news comes via a reliable source.
A number of new Tesla Supercharger sites will come online in 2021, including Tasmania’s first Supercharger which will be located in Devonport where the Spirit of Tasmania arrives from Melbourne.
While it’s entirely possible for Tesla owners (who easily own the greatest number of electric cars in Australia) who plan to circumvent the EV shortage in Tasmania to charge up in Melbourne before taking their own EV over on the boat, the addition of a Supercharger will no doubt be added peace of mind if arriving with a low battery.
As Model S owner Linda Röhrs, who was the first woman to complete a solo trip around Australia in an electric car, can attest, Tasmania’s sometimes freezing temperatures can rapidly diminish range. A top-up at Devonport may be just the ticket.
More importantly, the Devonport Supercharger will signal Tesla is finally making its presence felt in one of the further reaches of the Antipodes.
Other new locations reported by TOCA (some of which are already listed as “coming soon” or “under construction” on Tesla’s own interactive map) include Toombul, in Queensland, Geelong, Yea, Moe and Colac in Victoria, and Perth and Williams in Western Australia.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.