After four years of waiting, electric car enthusiast Simon Hackett is at last commuting to and from work behind the wheel of Australia’s first road-registered fully-electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster.
Last week, electric vehicle innovator Tesla Motors delivered to him Australia’s first road-legal right-hand-drive Tesla Roadster Sport.
The Tesla Roadster is the world’s first fully electric production supercar. This “version 2” vehicle has the power to accelerate from a standing start to 100 km per hour in 3.7 seconds, a top speed of 200km per hour, a driving range of more than 350km on a single charge and zero tailpipe emissions.
Simon, the managing director of broadband trailblazer Internode, said electric vehicles such as the Tesla Roadster represented the future of motoring. “I've wanted to demonstrate the efficacy of real, road-going, no-compromise electric vehicles in this country since I drove a GM EV-I in California in 1995,” he said.
“Already, I’ve discovered it’s costing me less than $1 a day to commute to and from work, although I must admit I’m often driving home via Mt Lofty because it’s so much fun driving this car!
“Fully fuelling up with 55 kilowatt hours of power costs less than $10 (and as little as $5 using overnight off peak electricity) for a normal driving range of around 350km – which is a fraction of the cost to refuel a petrol or diesel car – with no tailpipe emissions.
“The real beauty of an electric car is that you generally charge it overnight: As well as a lower tariff, this uses electricity that would otherwise be wasted because of the need to keep baseload generators running 24x7. I’m also in the process of having solar panels installed at my home to feed into the grid, so that I can deliver more energy into the electricity grid each week than I draw out of it to drive this car.”
Simon ordered his first Tesla Roadster in 2006. The sleek red supercar took three years to arrive, just in time for the Clipsal 500 event in 2009. In October last year, he drove it from Darwin to Adelaide in the inaugural Global Green Challenge event. During that 3000km odyssey, he smashed the electric vehicle world distance record by driving the Tesla more than 500km from Alice Springs to south of Marla in SA.
However, apart from limited registration for such special events, Simon was unable to register that car for regular road driving because of its left-hand-drive design. Earlier this year, he returned that car to the USA.
Although he was unable to drive his first Tesla Roadster on a daily basis, Simon displayed the car in a range of alternative fuel events to highlight Internode’s “green” credentials, which include becoming carbon-neutral in early 2008 and purchasing 100% GreenPower for its national operations since later that year.
Simon said his new Roadster’s stylish car design was at the vanguard of a fleet of electric vehicles that will appear on the market in the next few years. “Tesla and Toyota just announced that they’re going to make and sell fully electric RAV4's with Tesla electric drivetrains in them in the next few years,” he said.
“Any suggestion this form of motoring will remain the purview of the lucky few will go out the window then.”
Link to original web item: http://www.impress.com.au/press-releases-mainmenu-1/internode-mainmenu-4...