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    My electric car Christmas road trip motels had EV chargers, convenient and stress free overnight charging to 100%

    There was one key factor which made my Christmas 2023 Kia EV6 GT-Line electric car road trip stress free, not having to worry about finding working DC fast public chargers near each destination motel and motor inn we stayed overnight at.

    Most of these destination chargers were co-funded by NSW government destination charger grants, which are open to more applicants until May 3 2024 5pm for another round of funding.

    Disclosure: The car was loaned by Kia Australia for me to do an independent media electric vehicle (EV) review. I agreed to meet all the associated running costs e.g. tolls, charging etc.

    I would make one change to the NSW government destination charger grant rules. Currently they state:

    “You will publish your EV charger(s) location on at least one publicly available website or app (for example, Plugshare or Google. Details published on EV charging provider specific platforms will not be accepted”.

    While I understand that the intent is good to make charger listings public, I think this wording is confusing and may be discouraging destination charger owners from listing their chargers on Chargefox, Exploren etc.

    This is resulting in some destination chargers being under-utilised because non nerd/geek EV drivers don’t know what Plugshare is.

    As an example they hire an EV and look for chargers along their travel route in the Chargefox app or a list displayed in their car navigation app which shows nearby Evie, Chargefox, Exploren etc locations.

    I would change that NSW government destination charger grant rule to say:

    “You will publish your EV charger(s) location on Plugshare, Google as well as listing it on an Australian Charge Point Operator (CPO) public EV charger app”.

     

    We arrived at Albury with 30% battery and didn’t need a DC public charger there as we had pre booked accommodation at The Cottage Motor Inn Albury which has a 7kW destination charger bay listed on Plugshare, funded partly by the owners and partly by a NSW government grant.

    The motor inn owner had made sure the charging bay wasn’t blocked by a fossil fuel car by putting an orange witches hat there.

    We paid $40 for exclusive use of the charger including electricity usage until we checked out the next morning.

    I had my 7m Type 2 EVSE cable in the Kia EV6 GT-Line frunk which I plugged into the Wallbox. This added roughly 57kWh incl charging losses overnight.

    Carscanner Pro monitoring the car charging via ODBLInk CX

    That many kWh would’ve cost us about $48.45 at Tesla Albury so I was happy to pay the accommodation $40 to save charging time and leave Albury with 100% battery.

    Before readers start commenting that $4o is too much to pay for a destination charger. This motor inn is simple, clean, with good beds and low prices eg : our room was only $120/night. You can’t expect $40 of free electricity from an accommodation provider that charges so little a night.

    We checked out and left with 100% battery after breakfast the next day ⚡.

    After staying with family in Melbourne for a few days during Christmas we drove on towards the small town of Orbost.

    Charged from 72-100% at our overnight accommodation Orbost Motel which allows use of their outdoor power socket listed on Plugshare for a flat rate of $20. Added roughly 24kWh incl charging losses overnight using the KIA 10 amp 240V wall socket charger included with the car.

    Slow AC charging has more losses than a DC fast charger because it needs to be converted to DC for use by the car.

    If Orbost Motel was in an area with lots of cheaper DC fast chargers I would’ve used them. But Western Victoria has hardly any chargers and I didn’t trust the single chargers at Chargefox Orbost and Cann River to be working and without queues.

    It would’ve cost us about the same $20 to fast DC charge at Tesla Cann River the next day heading to Eden or $10 at Orbost Chargefox with a delay as an MG4 was using it when we arrived in town.

    However this way I didn’t need to stop at Cann River to charge next day and didn’t need to leave the motel to charge during dinner/breakfast time, so I was happy to pay $20 to save time and leave with 100% ⚡ charge in the morning.

     

    We drove into Eden with 56% charge. Eden has no DC fast chargers yet but 3 motels have installed AC chargers with NSW government grants.

    I paid to charge to 100% overnight at our accommodation Eden Motel which has 2 x 7kW AC chargers with built-in cables listed on Plugshare.

    If this charging facility hadn’t existed thanks to government co-funding we wouldn’t have driven to Eden at all, even though we wanted to see the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

    The Eden Motel prioritises guest use of the chargers but others can use if reception is open to allow access.

    The Wallbox app wouldn’t work when I was there so the owner charged $30 pro rata X % charge I needed. Cost $13.50 for estimated 42.35kWh.

    Carscanner Pro monitoring the car charging via ODBLInk CX

    Our next overnight stop was Queanbeyan.
    Hamilton’s Queanbeyan Motel had the best EV charging facililities of all my 2000km+ roadtrip accommodation. They are my default accommodation choice for holiday visits to Canberra and nearby.

    There are 4 x 11kW charging bays listed on Plugshare that can be booked with a room, co-funded by the owners and NSW Government grants. Each has a built-in cable and they are all accessible via the Exploren app.

    In a smart move by the accommodation owners their chargers are also available for Queanbeyan locals from 10am-5pm (with motel guest priority). The cost was $17.97 for 44.93kWh because they charge per kW.

    Carscanner Pro monitoring the car charging via ODBLInk CX

    I think Hamilton’s Queanbeyan Motel should be copied by other accommodation providers who have electric car chargers onsite:

    • Install more than one charger onsite for accommodation booking guests if there is enough electricity supply to your accommodation,
    • List your charger/s on Plugshare as well as Google,
    • List your charger/s on a major public charging app like Exploren or Chargefox so tourists as well as locals can easily find you,
    • Let people start a charge via an app or via RFID card tap
    • Charge per kWh rather than a flat fee. That way everyone pays a fair price for the electricity they use. If they use a lot of kWh they pay more and if they don’t use a lot they pay less,
    • Install plenty of solar panels on your accommodation roof so that daytime EV charging is using some of your own electricity rather than grid electricity.

    Have you used electric car destination chargers at holiday accommodation? Let us know what the experience was like in the comments. 

    Neerav Bhatt
    Neerav Bhatthttps://www.bhatt.id.au/blog/about-neerav-bhatt/
    Thanks to his broad general knowledge, research skills and ability to explain complex issues Neerav Bhatt has appeared in the online, print, radio and TV media including: ABC (Online, TV, Radio), SBS (Online, Radio), BBC World Service (Radio), 10 News TV, Sky News TV, Australian IT, Technology Spectator, Ausdroid, iTnews, APCMAG, IDG CSO and a variety of other publications. In 2023 he joined the techAU team and represents them at Sydney events.

    3 COMMENTS

    1. Good report and points made about finding locations. I’m currently researching overnight charging at Bendigo/Shepparton, and it’s a combination of PlugShare and asking Google, and even then I probably will call to confirm availability etc. I can’t wait for the day when all motels have chargers, working all of the time!

    2. Flash Jacks in Gundagai has a charge point which we used and enjoyed our stay at !!

      Also I do believe there is a motel in Echuca that now has charging!

      A list of motels with chargers would be amazing

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