Tesla owner reveals true cost of epic 3,000km road trip

When JJ told friends he was going to drive his electric car from Melbourne to Magnetic Island, Queensland, they laughed. But he proved them wrong.

JJ's Tesla at an EV charging station during his road trip from Melbourne to Magnetic Island. Inset is JJ driving his Tesla with two female friends inside.
JJ and his friend Siouxsie drove more than 3,000km from Melbourne to Magnetic Island, Queensland, in his Tesla — spending just $10.25 per 100km. Source: Supplied

A Tesla owner’s epic 3,000km road trip from one end of Australia to the other has helped quash a common concern about available charging stations for EV drivers — or potentially lack thereof, some have argued.

The 60-hour trek began on June 4, JJ told Yahoo News, when he packed up his 2023 M3 RWD and moved from Melbourne to Magnetic Island in Queensland with his friend Siouxsie joining to help break up the drive.

“When I was telling all of my friends on the island about [driving up] they all just laughed at me and said ‘where are you going to charge [the car]?” the 32-year-old said. However, despite their obvious scepticism, the journey would be smooth sailing, the professional DJ said the 3,136km drive along the coast was “very easy” and “insanely cheap”.

JJ and his friend Siouxsie sitting on the ground in front of the white Tesla.
JJ said he and his friend Siouxsie (pictured) stopped at a charging station every couple of hours to stretch their legs, but his car 'could go for four hours' after a single charge. Source: Supplied

JJ revealed it cost a total of $321.44 to charge his EV for the entire road trip — about $10.25 per 100km. In comparison, with a national average petrol price of $2.01 per litre as of Sunday, a passenger car that consumes 8 litres per 100km would cost $16.08 per 100km.

“[And] I was using the most expensive chargers, the Tesla Superchargers, the whole way up,” he told Yahoo, adding it could easily cost even less for other electric car owners who have more time on their hands to look for moderate-speed or free charging stations.

The 32-year-old from Scotland said he was able to access Tesla chargers until he passed Brisbane “with no problems whatsoever”. “We only had one problem and it lasted a total of five minutes,” JJ said, explaining he briefly struggled to connect to a Yurika charger in a small oceanside town.

“Everything else, plug in and good to go. It’s great because you don’t have to go into a petrol station and pay for what you’re using because it’s linked to your bank card. Then you can go grab something to eat [while you wait],” he added, noting there are often shops or restaurants near EV stations.

Left, an EV charging station JJ stopped at during the trip. Right, the white Tesla on the ferry to Magnetic Island at the end.
JJ said the 60-hour drive was 'very easy' despite concerns from friends. Source: Supplied

Although he and Siouxsie stopped roughly every two-and-a-half hours to stretch their legs and swap drivers, JJ said you can “get around 420km out of a [single] charge”.

“On average, it took around 25 minutes to charge the car up enough to get to the next charger,” he continued. To make life easier, he used the website A Better Route Planner to find all available charging areas.

Now settled on Magnetic Island, the 32-year-old said he has struck a deal with a local venue to let him charge his car — nicknamed Stormy. “It has to be said, these machines are amazing,” he declared after the successful trip.

Australia is finally becoming a bigger player in the global market for low-emission transport, a new reports shows – with consumers benefiting from a price war as Australia becomes a key target for Chinese automakers facing tariffs in other parts of the world.

The sea of Model 3 and Model Y vehicles is a welcome sight to Tesla Owners Club of Australia national president Peter Thorne, who recalls when the vehicles were hard to acquire and deliveries took months rather than weeks.

"With Teslas today, you put an order in and you'll get your model faster than you can fill out the paperwork because they've got them in the country and inventory is now readily available," he told AAP

"That's happening for all these electric vehicle brands at the moment, so where it used to be a six-month wait, it's now six weeks, four weeks or two weeks."

While the US automaker once provided one of the only electric cars for sale in Australia, it now has significantly more competition.

The increased rivalry has led Tesla to lower its prices, with two major cuts in April alone, as inventory sits waiting at ports. The company faces strong competition in Australia from Chinese manufacturer BYD which set a record in May with the sale of 1914 vehicles, compared to Tesla's 3567 cars.

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