Driving electric

Ok, so it’s taken me a few weeks to write this post, with other things going on in my life and mental health.

March 12st, my wife and I joined up with an electric vehicle group heading to the Noosa EV Expo (https://www.noosaevexpo.com.au/), thinking this was going to be just a tag along to the expo. Well, when we arrived, the leader of the group pulled up to the main gate, pushed it aside and the convoy drove in between the pedestrians and parked up. For the next 4 hours, between the heavy showers, I must have spoken to about 20 single or family groups about driving electric, as part of the expo.

Some of the cars in our group, and everyone has run for cover

I’m not going to try and convert anyone to electric, because everyone has their preference. But if you haven’t had the chance to test drive or sit as passenger in an EV, I highly recommend at least trying it.

Tesla don’t give discounts, but they do referral codes. Use https://www.tesla.com/referral/lee37241 to get 1500km or 1000miles of free Supercharging.

So how far can I drive on a single charge?
As long as my bladder can hold.

How long does it take to recharge?
Our Tesla Model 3 SR+ can charge on AC to a max of 11Kwh, so a full charge could take about 4 hours, but using a DC fast charger, it can charge up to 175Kwh if the battery is in a low State Of Charge (SOC). Using a Tesla 125Kwh fast charger, it won’t take much more than 30-35 minutes up to about the 85% mark. With most of the DC chargers, by the time you’ve gone for a leg stretch, tossed a ball with your kids for a bit or even grabbed some lunch or coffee, you’re ready for the next leg of the journey.
The computer in the car is smart enough to tell you to stop for 11 minutes (or whatever is required) to get a descent distance before stopping again, at which point, that coffee has filtered through and wanting out. A bit of a tip with the times for stopping, add about another 2-5 minutes of charge, just in case the charger you’re aiming for is broken or any other reasons.
Generally, we charge from sunny days with our solar, and it could take a few days to fully charge up again using just the 240v 10a wall unit provided with the car without using the grid, so we subscribe to the ABC’s of driving electric – Always Be Charging.

The sky for the morning, but cleared up after lunch

Isn’t electric (coal/gas) just replacing petrol or diesel?
Well no. The electricity grid is only getting cleaner with solar, wind and other sources, while fossil powered vehicles as they age go through lots oil and fuel.
A quick check online says a litre of petrol holds approximately 9Kwh of energy, so a full 50litre tank holds about 450kwh of power. For our car, that’s about 9 full recharges, allowing somewhere in the vicinity of 3,400 kilometres of driving, while the fossil car wouldn’t have done over 1000km (for diesel).

But rare Earth metals and lithium mines?
To start with, that picture of the “open cut mine” for lithium is a copper mine in South Africa. Lithium is mined through bringing salt water from lithium deposits and pump it out over evaporation pools, where the dry salts are scraped away.
Yes, most EV’s use rare Earth metals and cobalt, but the amount of these resources are being reduced in every generation of vehicle and battery tech.
While we’re talking about energy usage and mining, I might point to those who are interested, how much energy it takes to extract and refine the oil products from the Fully Charged YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk-LnUYEXuM). Robert Llewellyn (from -Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge, Carpool) is always interesting to listen to.

If you’ve read this far, thanks.
For a quick update, the manuscript is with the editor and we are waiting for the feedback.
The cover has been signed off and also waiting for the ISBN before the cover reveal. Hopefully that will come through real soon.

Published by Lee Breeze

Science Fiction Novelist

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