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First public charger in northern Tasmania goes live today!

Wed 25th Nov 2015.

Today at 1pm northern Tasmania’s first public EV charger will be launched at House of Anvers chocolate factory on the Bass Highway in Latrobe.

We here at Electric Highway believe that this is a shining role model for other tourist attractions throughout Tasmania. If most of the major tourist stops had charging points then it would be entirely possible to tour the whole state in an EV without any range worries, charging at each stop as you enjoy the activities.

Way to go Anvers!

My Mitsubishi i MiEV is up for sale!

After two years of trouble free motoring, we have decided to put my beloved Mitusbishi i MiEV up for sale…

I would dearly love to keep this car, it’s fun to drive and cheap to run and all the rest…but a combination of reasons means that I am letting it go.

Firstly, it is a small car and I have a growing family and frequently find ourselves carting extended family or friends, so often we find ourselves using the Hilux for a family trip because of its extra seat…then there is the fact that most of my driving these days is for my work, which requires towing a trailer so the poor i MiEV can’t do the job, hence the Hilux…

We will get much more value out of an electric work ute than an electric runabout that is mainly used for shopping locally, so the plan is to convert a ute to electric which is not going to be cheap because I need a decent range and tow a trailer, so plenty of batteries will be required! I can’t afford to do that AND keep the i MiEV…

I have listed it for sale on Gumtree and it is on display this weekend at the Hobart Sustainable Living Festival if you are in the area and want a look!

Offering for sale at $25,000 negotiable.

Call 0406 905 116 to discuss or arrange a test drive!

EVs at the Sustainable Living Festival

The Tasmanian Sustainable Living Festival is almost here again!

Held at Hobart’s Princes Wharf 1 over the weekend of 31st October-1st November 2015, the festival is open from 10am to 4pm.

There will be many interesting things at the festival, but for the first time the Australian Electric Vehicle Association Tasmania will be there, with EV experts and owners available to answer your questions, as well as a display of electric vehicles that you can look at up close, maybe even jump in and see how it fits!

Come along, have a look, have a chat, and see why EV owners are so passionate about their ride!

Two years on, living with an EV everyday

I have been trying to think of what to put here, to show what living with an EV is like…

Really, it is just so easy to live with.

It just works…

So, it is now two years to the day that I have owned an electric car.

The first few weeks were interesting, getting used to the silence at traffic lights, getting used to people’s reactions when they realised it was actually an electric car, getting used to the conversations and friendships that spring from random passers by…

After a few weeks though, you stop noticing that it’s silent when you stop. You get used to being asked questions about it and how it works. You get used to plugging it in when you get home and never going to petrol stations. You get used to smooth, effortless, instant torque with no gear changes.

It becomes normal, routine, unremarkable…

Then you get into a normal petrol car again…all of a sudden you are hyper aware of the noise, the smells, the vibration, the inconvenience of having a narrow power and and having to change gears all the time (or the annoying slip of a torque converter and auto shifting itself…) and you think just how much nicer the EV is to drive!

So, what have been the highlights of two years of ownership?

Going to car shows along with my wife and her i MiEV and setting up a little display was pretty cool…

Driving together in convoy was pretty cool in itself!

I have made several new friends through having an EV, people who have approached me with curiosity and who I have remained in contact with since.

The first time I calculated my running costs and realised just how much I was saving was pretty sweet…

For the first few months after I finished work I would just drive…pick a direction, explore little back roads, drive until the battery gauge was on half, then turn and head for home. It was liberating to be able to do that knowing the total cost was half of what I would have spent in petrol just going to work and back in my old car!

The thrill of driving past petrol stations and knowing I don’t need to stop there…except once in a while to check the tyre pressures! It has become so routine that we don’t even think about it now…

Trips out to visit family and friends, made on the spur of the moment because the cost of fuel just isn’t an issue…

The downsides……once in a blue moon I will push the envelope and get a little nervous about making it home…but I’ve always made it to home or a friend’s for a 15 minute top up to get home. All except the very first time I pushed too far when I just got the car…I made it within 500 metres of home that time!

Being a small car designed for the city, the i MiEV isn’t quite as at home in the bush as a big rough tough beast of a car would be. The local roads are rough, corrugated gravel or narrow bumpy potholed tarmac. Between my wife and I we have had three tyres destroyed by large potholes, as well as two bumpers and a headlight which fell victim to the local wallabies (a small kangaroo…resident here in plague proportions!). Having said that, I have lost two bumpers and a grille to wallabies over the years on Volvos and damaged tyres are not rare around here in general…so the little Mitsubishi is holding its own pretty well despite being way out of its comfort zone!

Being in my wife’s i MiEV when it was rear ended at a red light was a low point too…it was such a beautiful little car! I was quite impressed with how it held up to the impact.

The biggest downside, is that it is too small to tow my big trailer which means that I have to keep a petrol work vehicle for my work as a landscape gardener…nobody is making electric work utes just yet, so I’m stuck burning dinosaurs for a while yet. I think I may need to convert a ute to electric…when I have time!

Almost 39,000 kilometres travelled, almost $6,000 saved in running costs, here’s to the next two years!

His and hers EVs

A few months after I bought my Mitsubishi i MiEV, my lovely liked it so much that she tracked down a 2012 model demonstrator and bought it, making us as far as we could tell the only his and hers couple with i MiEVs each.

It was wonderful having two EVs in the family, and the poor old Hilux hardly ever got fired up any more. I sold the Volvo 244 I had been using (actually I swapped it for a couple of cameras…) as it wasn’t getting used either. I was a little sad to see it go, as it was a very early model in very nice condition, but it went to a good home!

Both of us were not scared to push the limits of range, and we have each run out of charge once in the early days when pushing it to the limit!

Greg with his new i MiEV
Greg with his new i MiEV
2010 and 2012 model side by side.
2010 and 2012 model side by side.
Rachel with her i MiEV
Rachel with her i MiEV

Why an electric car?

So…..how did a confirmed petrol head wind up being an electric car fanatic?

i grew up in the bush, son of an early Holden enthusiast, total car tragic and petrol head….with a passion for engineering.

When I was about ten years old or thereabouts, I read an article in Popular Mechanics about the General Motors concept car IMPACT. I fell in love…

I watched the whole saga unfold with the IMPACT morphing into the production EV1, then the sad tragedy that was the recall and crushing of these lovely beasts…

I read every book the library had on electric cars, conversions, anything I could lay my hands on.

When I got internet access I trawled the web for anything to do with EVs.

When the first EV hit the Australian market I drove the demonstrator, and wished I had the $50,000 plus that it cost. Then I drove a Leaf, and was now a fully confirmed EV addict.

Picking up my new i MiEV, with only 375 km on the clock!
Picking up my new i MiEV, with only 375 km on the clock!

When the chance came to buy a 2010 Mitsubishi i MiEV demonstrator for less than $20,000 I leaped at the chance, and I have driven electric ever since… My wife drove it and was addicted at once, so she tracked down and bought a demonstrator as well, the updated 2012 model. Ever since we have been spreading the word and signing up fresh addicts to the EV fold!

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