Snapshot

  • Most Tesla owners driving 10k+ kms a year
  • 90 per cent use a public charger less than once a week
  • Most charging takes place at home

The largest survey of Tesla owners in Australia to date has found the vast majority travel in excess of 10,000 kilometres a year – and only charge at home twice a week.

The report, compiled by the Tesla Owners Club of Australia together with the Electric Vehicle Council, also revealed 90 per cent of owners use public chargers less than once a week, showing they’re not overly concerned about their driving range and travel the same amount of kilometres as petrol and diesel car owners.

Eighty nine per cent said they drive 10,000km per year in their Tesla, while 38 per cent said they travel more than 20,000km. The national average for all passenger vehicles is around 11,100kms.

According to the report, the vast majority of drivers charge their vehicles during off-peak times, suggesting current market offers – such as time-of-use tariffs – are working.

Eighty per cent said they charge at home at least twice a week, though only 15 per cent reported topping up during the evening peak. Tesla owners with home solar systems said they primarily charge during the day, while those without do so overnight, peaking at around 1-2am.

Image: Tesla Model 3 charging at the AmpCharge station in Alexandria, courtesy Ludicrous Feed

The Tesla Owner’s Club of Australia (TOCA) was established in March 2016 by a group of enthusiastic Tesla owners, for this report 741 people were surveyed.

Most respondents lived in NSW or VIC, and while the split in most states and territories was unsurprisingly weighted in favour of metropolitan areas, in NSW the divide was almost even between Greater Sydney and regional NSW.

The majority of those surveyed were between 50 and 69 years-old, but ages ranged from people being in their 20s to over 80.

The most commonly owned car (prior to having a Tesla) among the group was a Volkswagen, followed by a Toyota, Mercedes or Subaru. Roughly 12 per cent said they use their Tesla to tow, 88 per cent did not.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said the study would be valuable for policy makers trying to boost Australia’s uptake of EVs.

“This study puts another nail in the coffin of the myth that driving range is an issue for EV owners with the vast majority driving the same average kilometres a year as Australia’s average passenger vehicle,” he said.

“We know range anxiety is a major impediment to people buying EVs. This finding is yet another reason showing there is nothing to fear.

“The survey also found that only 10 per cent of respondents charged their vehicles at work – indicating there is ample scope for employers to install charging infrastructure. If Australia introduced a fringe benefits tax exemption for workplace charging it would help align EV charging with daytime excess solar energy generation.”

“This survey is an excellent starting point for understanding Australia’s Tesla drivers,” said Pete Thorne, President of the club.

“With just 12 per cent of respondents aged under 40, there is the need to do more research to understand the preferences of younger drivers who may want to own an EV in the future.

“We’re calling on federal and state governments to take this research into account when deciding EV policy, which is a crucial part of Australia’s future.”

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