Electric vehicle expo report

Les Grosberg discusses the Tesla S with Peter Stansfield of Gippsland Solar

Over 50 people enjoyed a detailed briefing on the present and future of electric vehicles in Warragul recently.

Baw Baw Sustainability Network presented the evening at Warragul RSL and featured vehicles ranging from electric bicycles and motorcycles to the high end BMW and Tesla cars, with presentations from the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) and Gippsland Solar.

Electric vehicles presented a number of advantages with lower fuel costs, much lower maintenance, lower emissions of all sorts and smooth and quiet handling. In many cases electric vehicles now outperformed combustion powered vehicles. Battery life, cost and charging at home and on road had improved markedly in recent times, but different systems used in different vehicles remains a limitation for public charging stations.

Range had been improved with Tesla S achieving 370 – 500 Klms on one charge, depending on driving conditions and style.

Paul Paton from the ATA explained that he had ridden to the talk on his Vectrix motorcycle from Ringwood to Warragul and it would cost him about 90c. He added that the full range of vehicle types were now being produced in electric version, even trucks, which often use hydrogen fuel cells.

“With no gears, clutch, exhaust, or radiator and a brushless motor there is almost nothing to wear out,” he explained, “except maybe some bearings.”

“Range is over 250 klms and torque is nearly double the equivalent combustion engine bike” he said.

“Unlike combustion engine vehicles, electric vehicles have better range in city driving because almost no fuel is used when stationary” said Mr Paton.

Shane Clayton form Gippsland Solar outlined the details of their Tesla S which runs electric motors on front and rear axels giving four wheel drive without drive train limitations, resulting in a very sporty performance.

Sean Holden of Chili Cycles discusses his test ride with Cr Peter Costos


“It included hands free driving, which I must confess I find still a bit disturbing” he said. “It is our standard business car, and is used continually with no problems.”

“We decided to install a Tesla charging station at our Traralgon site, which can charge from empty to full in less than 45 minutes, while guests have a free coffee!” Mr Clayton said. The cost of the power was so low, especially as they have substantial solar panels on their site, that they have offered the service for free. Home charging on off peak rates would cost $15.

“We have found the ongoing cost to us is around $1 per year.”

“We have quite a few weekend tourists coming down to Traralgon to tour around,” Mr Clayton said.

Our future garages will include solar arrays, inverter, batteries and car charging facilities as standard Mr Clayton explained.




10 Energy Habits for Daily Life


Energy costs are rising and the industry is changing rapidly. One thing remains the same- the best way to reduce your bill is to use less electricity and gas. Here are 10 quick tips.

  1. Turn off the lights, the ceiling fan etc if you are leaving the room.
  2. Don’t leave TVs on when nobody is watching them.
  3. Turn off all those energy using appliances at the wall when not in use. If you want to know how much power they use on standby, borrow a powermate through your local library or get an In Home Display that will show your current power use.
  4. Use relaxed set points on your heating and cooling system. That means setting the thermostat at a point that makes the machine work less hard but still reach a comfortable temperature for you ie 25 or 26 deg in summer and 19-20deg in winter.
  5. Replace your shower head with a low flow version so you use less hot water and need to spend less on the energy to heat it. The newer showerheads are much better than the initial offerings so if you were put off them years ago it’s time to try again.
  6. Keep the flick mixer tap set to the cold position when washing hands so you don’t draw water from the hot side which isn’t going to heat up in the time you are there.
  7. Install some kind of adjustable external shading device on your east and west facing windows. Stopping hot summer sun entering the house makes an enormous difference as does allowing the warm winter sun in. North facing windows can have a fixed width eave or shade that will function well if designed correctly.
  8. Check the seals on your fridge and freezer and replace them if faulty. They should have no visible gap and hold a $5 note snugly all the way around.
  9. Replace your heating, cooling, hot water systems with efficient electric heat pump systems (for southern Victoria). Then kick the gas habit completely by replacing gas stoves with induction cooktops. They will save you energy and money with a reasonable pay back time (less than 5 yrs usually) and you no longer need to pay a second supply charge for the gas and you are protected from rising gas prices.
  10. Last but not least- seal up those gaps that are causing too much air leakage.

For a thorough home assessment contact us here.