The Tesla Model 3 - the car of the future or the car for right now?

Photo of Tesla vehicle

The Tesla Model 3 – the car of the future or the car for right now?

If the idea of owning an electric car seems a bit futuristic – you know, something you might do ‘one day’ – think again.

With the likes of Tesla producing affordable, yet aspirational cars like the Model 3 and a surprisingly extensive, and ever-increasing charge network, it’s hard to understand why you wouldn’t want to own one right now.

The Model 3 well and truly holds its own in the performance and safety stakes compared to its petrol-powered counterparts. Then when you add the obvious environmental benefits of an electric-powered motor, it’s hard to pass up.

Priced at just north of $70,000, the Model 3 is the most affordable Tesla yet. But if you’re thinking this is Tesla’s ‘budget’ model, you’d be wrong. While the spec might not quite match up to Tesla’s more extravagant models, the Model 3 still offers plenty of luxury and feels ‘special’ enough to know you’re driving a Tesla.

This innovative car manufacturer’s mission is to ‘accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy’ and it would appear they mean that quite literally. The Model 3 can go from 0-100km/h in just 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 261km/h thanks to improved handling and aerodynamics from the carbon fibre spoiler. No compromise on performance there.

Photo of Model 3 Interior Glass Roof Blue Sky
The Model 3’s glass roof, with UV protection, offers a sense of openness that only a convertible can beat

Safety is also another big focus for Tesla. The Model 3 has a 5-star ANCAP rating and is consciously designed for optimum safety. The cars 12 ultrasonic sensors ensure that you’re forewarned of any close calls. And when on autopilot, the Model 3 can automatically steer, brake and accelerate with your active supervision. It’s not about taking over your role as the driver. It’s about reducing the stress of driving and helping avoid collisions.

And if you’re worried about running out of juice, don’t be. With a 560-kilometre range, you can get a long way on one charge. More than enough distance to cover most journeys or at least to get you to the next charge stop to top up. However, if you charge overnight at home, you’ll head off every morning with a full battery.

Charging your Tesla Model 3 is as easy as plugging in your phone. The Model 3 comes with a complementary Wall Connector providing up to 90kms of range per hour of charge. All you need to do is install your Wall Connector next to your parking space (indoors or outdoors) for handy, everyday access.

But what about when you’re on the road? Where can you top up if your battery is getting low? While on the surface it might seem like there’s not much infrastructure out there for electric cars just yet, you might be surprised at the extent of the already existing network when you start to look.

Photo of a Supercharger Station
You’ll find Tesla’s Supercharger stations at intentionally handy intervals right down Australia’s east coast.

Tesla is installing a growing number of Tesla Superchargers in major centres around the nation. These are essentially fast-chargers that charge directly to your Tesla battery. At each Supercharger station you’ll find multiple Superchargers to minimise waiting time and keep your pit stop down to the bare minimum. Where possible owners are billed per kWh (kilowatt-hour) and, in Australia, the average price is 42 cents per kWh which typically works out to just over half the cost of petrol.

In South East Queensland, you can plug into a Supercharger in the Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley, Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast and even as far afield as Toowoomba and Gympie.

And if you’re doing the Brisbane to Sydney road trip, no problem. You can Supercharge your way down to the harbour city, topping up at Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie along the way. In fact, you could keep on going as far as Tassie or Adelaide – all on Supercharge.

To add to the expanding Supercharge network, Tesla is also busily installing ‘Destination Chargers’ at places where you’re likely to spend a while like hotels, restaurants and shopping centres throughout major centres. The idea is that you won’t even notice the charge time if you are busy sleeping, eating or shopping. Simply plug in on arrival and charge up the Tesla for a few hours or even overnight. Conveniently, you can also monitor and control your charging from your phone with the Tesla app.

Photo of Model 3 My Tesla Phone App
Check in and manage your charge using your phone with the ‘My Tesla’ app.

Finding charge locations is as easy as plugging your destination into the on-board Trip Planner of your Model 3. The route generated will automatically take you through Superchargers as you travel to your destination. And if you’re doing some pre-planning at home or in your hotel room, you can explore your route on Tesla’s website for suggestions of the best places to stop along the way.

In addition to the Tesla charging network, there are also more and more non-Tesla charging stations popping up all over the place. You’ve probably noticed the odd one at some of the service centres along the major highways. This gives electric car owners even more options which ultimately equals greater freedom. All while saving the planet. Woohoo.

With the right adaptor, you can even charge your Tesla from a standard power point, albeit, very, very slowly. But just like a jerry can top up when you run out of petrol, it might just be enough to get you home or to a charging station where you can charge up properly.

Going electric is an exciting new world, but it’s no longer the domain of early adopters. With impeccably refined vehicles like the Model 3 and charging stations cropping up like mushrooms, there really is no reason to wait.

There is also a growing list of resources available online to help you on your sustainable driving journey and navigate the world of plugs and adaptors you’ll need for various charging situations. There are even Tesla owners clubs where you can learn from the initiated and share the joy.

The learning curve may be steep but the pay-off is worth it. For yourself, and the planet

Model 3 Performance Red Turn
Is this your car for right now?

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