As part of its Australian launch for the $100,000-plus Model S sedan, Tesla Motors committed to building a dozen different Supercharger stations by the end of 2015. The first station outside metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne is now open, in Goulburn near Canberra. It’s now possible to drive Tesla’s electric cars between Sydney and Melbourne, for free, without having to stop overnight to charge.
The eight-bay Supercharger station is open in the Goulburn Visitor Information Centre, around seven minutes’ drive south off the Hume Highway linking Sydney and Canberra. The Visitor Information Centre is located just off the main strip of Goulburn, and it’s a seven minute drive to get back onto the Hume Highway either to travel north to Sydney or south towards Canberra.
A Tesla Supercharger can deliver 270km of optimal distance driving range to a Tesla Model S in 30 minutes; a longer charge will increase the range available up to the car’s 502km rated maximum if the full battery charging option is selected, otherwise the car will stop charging at around 90 per cent charge to maintain the best possible battery health and longevity. Tesla has installed 501 Supercharger stations around the world since the Model S’ 2012 launch, with almost 2300 individual Supercharger bays available to customers.
The Goulburn Supercharger installation is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere; there’s a slightly smaller six-bay installation connecting Canberra and Melbourne in Albury-Wodonga. The combination allows Tesla Model S and Model X owners to drive between Australia’s two largest cities and the national capital without stopping for more than an hour at a time to charge — the top Model S can fill its 85kWh battery from nearly empty to nearly full in that time. Charging at Supercharger stations is, Tesla boasts, also free for life.
Other Superchargers are already up and running around New South Wales, just like the Goulburn one; there is a six-bay permanent Supercharger station at Wodonga on the NSW-Victoria border, and a temporary two-bay Supercharger at Euroa. Outside of those, there are four Superchargers at the Richmond showroom in Victoria, four Superchargers at the Star casino in Pyrmont in Sydney, and two of the five Superchargers at Tesla’s flagship showroom in St Leonards on Sydney’s north shore are open to the public 24/7. [Tesla Motors]
P.S — I drove a diesel Pajero down to Goulburn for Tesla’s official opening ceremony for the Supercharger station there. Over the 362km round trip, I used 36 litres of fuel; at the average Sydney price today of 124.4c per litre, my trip cost $44.59. A Tesla would have done it for free, and its emissions would have only been that of the power station used to produce its battery’s electrical charge.