Back to the future

FREMANTLE council has benched plans for an electric car charging station for the moment, but this week got a look at a fully electric Tesla Model X as a prod from the manufacturer about the future of motoring.

Mayor Brad Pettitt, who has a hybrid car to go with his electric bicycle, says while the top-of-the-range Tesla’s $200,000 price tag was out of the council’s league, he agrees we’ll be seeing more electric cars on the roads and wants the council to be prepared.

Last month the council decided to delay the charging station, which was proposed for the Esplanade car park, after costs blew out.

Dr Pettitt says the council wanted the station to be off-grid and initially got an enthusiastic response from suppliers about keeping to budget.

But when it came time to commit, the council got the corporate equivalent of an awkward silence.

• Fremantle council’s Brad Pettitt and Jon Strachan (back right) try out the electric Tesla with Josh Byrne and his business partner Mark Taylor (back left). Photo by Steve Grant

He says the council will now rejig the plans to include a grid connection, which when installed will pop up on the Tesla’s enormous touch screen display.

The car demolishes myths about stodgy electrics, producing 0-100kmh in a face-flattening 3.1 seconds and roaring along for 540km before the battery runs dead.

It takes about 10 hours to charge the car fully at home (though for city running it’s mostly just top-ups) but super-fast charging stations can give it enough pep to go for about 350kms in under 30 minutes.

The Tesla rep reckons there’s just over 50 owners in WA, including mining magnate Andrew Forrest.

by STEVE GRANT

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