If you've owned an EV for any length of time, you've probably realised that you're part EV driver, part EV advocate.
Despite EV uptake rapidly accelerating across the world, a lack of knowledge - and a pinch of mistrust - seems to be an obstacle yet to be overcome here in Australia. A recent Nielsen poll revealed only 16% of respondents know enough about EVs to feel like they could make an informed purchase decision.
Which is why, when I saw a post on the Tesla Model 3 Australia Facebook page asking if anyone was going to a nearby shine 'n show car gathering, I jumped at the chance to meet up with Steven, a member of the electric vehicle community, and see how he and his beautiful red M3 enjoyed being the only EV at an event designed for gas guzzlers.
How were you received at the motor show?
When I arrived at Motors at the Mansion with my Tesla Model 3 Performance, the organisers weren’t sure what category to put me in. I jokingly said ‘modern classic’.
From visitors and fellow car enthusiasts I got an overwhelmingly positive response. There was a constant flow of people looking at the car, inside and out, many of whom had questions and comments. A lot of the people I spoke to were traditional rev heads, owning classic V8’s, vintage cars, Harley Davidsons etc.
Of the many tens of them I spoke to, only 2 or 3 had negative comments to say about electric cars, usually about battery life and the grid not handling the power drain when everyone plugs in their car at night. A few were well educated with respect to EVs and were keen on buying one in the next few years.
People of all ages were fascinated by the car, from 5 to 90 year olds. One older gentleman returned two or three times with further questions and wanting another look. A lot of women were very interested too, although I shouldn’t have been surprised as my wife loves driving the Model 3.
I spent 5 hours at the show, talking constantly about the Model 3 and electric cars in general. I printed a couple of information sheets about the Model 3 and stuck them on the windscreen to answer most of the basic questions people had.
What were the three main questions you were asked by visitors?
How long does it take to charge?
How far can you drive when fully charged?
How much does it cost to buy?
What can other EV owners do to stop misinformation and educate Aussie drivers?
Take your EV to car enthusiast events, open the doors and let people look and ask questions. Don’t bother with trying argue for EVs in online comment sections or social media comments.
Most of all, talk to everyone around you about EVs. Take as many friends and family as you can for test drives and show them the car. The more informed people are, the greater the uptake will be.