Last Updated: 7th March, 2023 | e-Mobility
It’s been a big summer for Australian electric vehicle infrastructure. The world’s longest fast charging network began construction in WA, Tesla superchargers have been made available to non-Tesla EVs, and new legislation will fine ICE vehicles for parking in charging bays. It’s a hot topic of conversation, and the good news is an EV is more than capable of towing your boat and getting you to your favourite camping spot.
Progress in electric transportation education and incentives is to be celebrated, but things are not perfect for Aussie EVs yet. Noodoe is working to install more publically available stations with futureproof hardware and a no-stress experience for users. The most recent survey showed around 3,000 public charging points, and we want to boost that number in the next few years. Range anxiety and reliance on home charging stations are familiar pain points, so let’s go over some solutions.
The bags are packed, the eskie is ready, and your car has a fully-charged battery. Sounds like you are good to go on your trip. But have you checked your route on PlugShare? It’s a great resource for EV drivers to plan charging stops at cafes or shopping outlets along the way. Remember, an EV battery charges to 80% relatively quickly, and that is within the optimal range to keep anxiety in check while relying on public stations. It’s easier to plan camping trips when you already live near nature and camping sites, but newer EV models can still cover some distance. Look at the Audi E-Tron or Tesla Model X, Rivian R1S SUV, or the GMC Hummer EV ute, as well as upcoming models like VW. Most importantly, you get to get a feel of your own vehicle. Get to know your EV and what its range capabilities are. Then, seek the chargers that best support those abilities.
EV charging corridors are set to become a more common sight as states are expanding EV infrastructure. Many of these corridors will create great ways to the beach or the campsite for individuals or groups with an EV and a dream. For example, the Queensland Electric Super Highway has connections along the Queensland/New South Wales border and is planning to expand for access across the state. It includes rural and regional locations, with more stations coming online soon.
If you want to trade in your ICE ute for an EV model, you might find yourself having those range worries. Can EVs really tow trailers? What happens to your range when you’re pulling a whole DIY project behind you? We already talked about newer EVs that have greater range capacity, and that includes specs for towing. It’s important to note that all vehicles lose range when they’re towing; that’s true for gas-powered 4-wheeler and for your Tesla Model X.
It’s good to note that some campsites do offer charging. While some may not have their own chargers, a number will allow an EV to charge at the outside plugs. Level 1 charge to the battery is better than nothing, just remember your adapters. Now, it’s time to look at some exciting non-Noodoe EV solutions. A few companies are ready to shake things up with what’s possible for an EV holiday.
The world’s first all-electric RV is close to home, developed in Australia to support long periods when off-grid or away from public charging. It’s completely electric and self-sufficient, with solar panels on the roof and internal digital architecture. The E-RV has a 14.3 kWh battery and 2033 watt solar system. It’s got a pretty modern interior to provide a comfortable holiday experience. Check out the website to see the full vehicle.
Meanwhile, in the States, The Boulder is an exciting towable electric camper that has its own battery. Stop to charge your EV, and you can charge The Boulder as well. This little camper from Colorado Teardrops has a 75 kWh battery and a CCS connector that allows it to fast transfer up to 60 kW from its battery to the car. This means extending EV range while leaving some extra juice to run the camper. Hopefully, we will see something about coming down under by next summer.
Not to be outdone, this German company has its own battery pack on wheels! Dethleffs’ E.Home Caravan is still a prototype, but its charging ability helped the company conduct a test drive from Germany to Italy up and over the alps without a single charging stop! This is because of the camper’s 80 kWh built-in battery. The biggest difference, however, seems to be the trailer’s built-in motor that allows it to offer towing assistance to EVs and less-powerful towing vehicles. While it’s not yet publically available, this EV camping option still has our interest piqued!
American electric recreational vehicle company Lightship have a new trailer that delivers near-zero efficiency loss when towed. With onboard battery capacity, the trailer essentially propels itself. Solar panels on the roof extend energy use options. As of 2023 the Lightship is available for pre-order and is due to begin production in late 2024.
EV range anxiety before a holiday? It’s manageable. It might take a little more planning to find those DC fast chargers along the way, but there’s no reason to give up camping just because you’re driving a Tesla. Grab your tent or trailer and get ready for some rest and relaxation out in nature!