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Distance driving - Brisbane to Sydney

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by math2999, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. math2999

    math2999 Member

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    I'm a new owner and planning this trip but having 'anxiety' over the Brisbane to Port Macquarie leg (intending to stop at The Observatory and charge overnight). The first leg is 550km and there are no Tesla chargers along the way.
    My question is if anyone is using J1772 converters - there are some EV chargers on the north coast (eg Macadamia Castle) and I know Teslas have charged there using an adapter, but Tesla have discouraged me from using such adapters (and don't plan to sell their own). It's a bit VHS v Beta right now but there do seem to be more Nissan/BMW chargers around at present which can only be used with a J1772 to Type 2 adapter. Does anyone have experience with this ? Plan B is to locate a private owner who has a wall charger somewhere on the North Coast of NSW. Thanks.
     
  2. raynewman

    raynewman Member

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    There are different types of J1772 adaptors. The one I purchased needs the car to have two chargers to work properly; otherwise it only charges at half the rate.
    The Macadamia Castle is a bit of a problem as it's powered totally by solar and if it's cloudy, ...
    I also am looking forward to being able to do this trip but still don't have a real charging possibility. There are a few private chargers (Leaf owners et al) between here and Port Macquarie.
     
  3. MDK

    MDK Aussie Member

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    You can get a J1772 adapter here that charges at full rate, even on single-charger Model S

    I think the only reason Tesla is "discouraging" is they don't want to be seen to guarantee a third party solution and open themselves up to any potential liability

    A few of us have these J1772 adapters and they're very useful.
    Like you said it's VHS vs Beta and in Australia type 2 is the Beta :frown:
     
  4. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    Seems you don't get solar power Ray. If a solar installation does not have battery storage capacity (Macadamia Castle does not), any power generated must be fed into the electrical grid. The system there powers close to half their needs...so where does the other half come from? The electrical grid. So even if it's cloudy this does not mean the lights go out at the Maca Castle...and you can still charge your car there during these periods as you can see Maca Castle proprietor Tony Gilding charging a LEAF on a cloudy day below.

    Tony-Gilding-Solar-energy-efd1bccb2b.jpg
     
  5. raynewman

    raynewman Member

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    The word I was given from the Macadamia castle in Jan 2015 is that the charging was not on the grid. That may have changed.
    and I assure you I get solar...
     
  6. math2999

    math2999 Member

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    Thanks for the feedback so far. I'm inclined to get the EVnomics J1772 adapter -- presumably some owners are using these without issue. Still a SC around Ballina (as mooted) would be a good stepping stone to doing the whole Sydney stretch. To those owners commenting they've found the J1772 useful, I presume you've done some significant range -- would be interested to anyone who has got over 400km on a charge, or who has actually charged at Macadamia Castle and ventured further south (ie to Coffs or Port Mac).
     
  7. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    From Macadamia Castle - Solar

    If you look at Chargepoint’s website, you’ll see that the EV chargers there are open 24/7. Zero solar power generation at night (much less than on a cloudy day), no battery storage, it must be grid connected.


    Maca Castle.jpg
     
  8. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

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    Worth a phone call... just saying.....

    I have an adaptor cable and used it at the Crowne Plaza in the Hunter. There are zero charging issues with it other than the fact that it is slow. 7Kw or thereabouts
     
  9. raynewman

    raynewman Member

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    That is faulty logic. Just because it's open doesn't mean it works. As Dborn said "Worth a phone call".
     
  10. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    #10 WhiteStar, Jul 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
    Maybe you're right but I think the faulty logic would be to state on the website it's open 24/7 but in reality it isn't operational after hours. Could have been cause for inconvenience by now and corrected but evidently it hasn't. Definitely worth a call even though the maximum charge rate is around 31 kph so would need a *long* stay for any significant additional range.
     
  11. alexeiw123

    alexeiw123 Member

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    Make sure you grab plugshare, I think from memory there was someone in grafton on there?

    You will want the J1772 > type 2 adapter. As all J1772 is single phase, make sure the adapter splits the single phase to all three pins of the type 2, so you can draw the maximum current. Contact 'timpoo' from jetcharge, he sells an adapter cable does this.

    Your UMC and some accommodation will be your fall back plan. you should be able to get to Coffs OK from Brisbane, at a guess? Keep in mind that J1772 charging points are still quite slow for a battery the size of a model S. Be prepared for a few hours of charging to get decent range.

    I live in Port Macquarie (helped the observatory get on the destination charging list) and have a 7.2kW J1772 at my house, also on plugshare. Feel free to say g'day whether you need charge or not. likely not if you're staying at The Observatory. I only have a conversion EV, much less impressive!

    There are a few that have bought 3rd party portable 3 phase chargers, so there is that option as well. Bit of organising required but it means you could potentially get 22kW charge in near to any major town.

    Beyond Port, Sydney is doable in one leg but it really cuts it fine. Might be worth making a visit to Petersons vineyard (heosat) in the hunter to use their destination charger, bridging the gap to Sydney more comfortably.

    Good luck.

    Edit: On the point of the Macadamia Castle, it is a 45kW system that meets about 50% of the castle's power needs. Solar-powered public EV charging station opens in NSW – Australias first : Renew Economy
    It is definitely grid connected.
     
  12. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    Actually the more I think about it, the more I think the Macadamia Castle must be a leading candidate venue for Superchargers. In fact it all makes sense...easy for Tesla to install HPWC's initially as in immediately, probably not a massive long wait either for the installation of Superchargers given that the solar installation is 45kW and so there would be significant local power infrastructure already in place. I'm sure Tony Gilding would like Superchargers on site and there's an Animal Fun Park, 18 hole mini golf course, Train ride, cafe, picnics & barbecues available.

    Until then, charging at 31kph, maybe get there very early in the morning, start charging, spend all day checking out the frog pond and hug a lot of snakes...and by dinner time, you'll be good to go :)
     
  13. alexeiw123

    alexeiw123 Member

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    Looked it up on the RMS map, it's going to be very close to an on/off ramp for the highway upgrade too. I would think it'd be a high candidate too. With free J1772, solar and supercharger there they would get a lot of EV custom!

    Downside: have you seen the car park there in holiday time? designated spaces would be an issue.
     
  14. math2999

    math2999 Member

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    Thanks the feedback. Also given the debate and speculation I emailed Tony at Macadamia Castle and he advises: "Yes the charger is available 24/7. It is connected to the grid. You will just need a Chargepoint card to activate it. We can provide that for you any day 8am to 5pm but if you are arriving after that you will need your own Charge Point card." However, I'll be less anxious when there's a supercharger at Ballina or Grafton - or even a Destination Charging point in the meantime -- a yell to all enterprising businesses in those areas !
     
  15. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    Very true that. The other excellent candidate is just up the road in Newrybar...Harvest Cafe which is more restaurant...open for breakfast, lunch & dinner on some nights of the week. Newrybar gets busy too but not as much as the Castle. Though spaces would be much more of a premium in Newrybar due to the layout & lack of space in the little old village.

    Home Page - Harvest Cafe
     
  16. alexeiw123

    alexeiw123 Member

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    An excellent restaurant. Have been there for a wedding reception and several lunches. Can't recommend it enough. They do fantastic take away coffee, great deli adjoining as well.
     
  17. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    And another one up the road, possibly the best of all...The Farm at Ewingsdale and Three Blue Ducks...one hat in the SMH Good Food Guide.

    The Farm Byron Bay
     
  18. DavidRM

    DavidRM Member

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    We did Port Macquarie from Roseville in Sydney recently, mostly using the adaptive cruise and keeping below the limit, and arrived with 13% to spare. We charged up at a friend's cottage on the Port, and it took 2 days using the UMC, so we might try Harelec next time. On the way back we experimented and found that going at the limit or better made almost no difference to the car's expected end of trip stored energy surplus, so we sped up and kept up with fast lane traffic, but still on cruise. Again, 13% to spare. I think this is where the Tesla low drag really counts, but avoidance of unnecessary acceleration by using cruise also ensures a comfortable margin. I wouldn't worry at all about Sydney - Port Macquarie as a trip in the future. Let the cruise control take the sharp acceleration out of your driving pattern. We live 6 km from the St Leonards supercharger, so could have made that from PM easily.
     
  19. Mark E

    Mark E Member

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    Interesting. What temperature was it while you were driving?
     
  20. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    For the 550 km drive from Brisbane to Port Macquarie, Plan C - you could keep your speed to around 85 kph. It is amazing how relaxing it is pretending you're grandpa cruising at this speed watching cars fly past. Of course it is pretty annoying for drivers stuck behind you on long single lane stretches...and there are still plenty of them south of Byron Bay.
     

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