Coal Miners Driving Teslas may seem like an oxymoron at first, but in the case of this particular YouTube channel, it’s actually something pretty amazing. I came across the story of these two brothers while working on another article about GM’s plan to convince Australia to adopt EVs. The two brothers, Daniel and Tim Bleakley, have created a YouTube channel where they share the experience of coal miners in Australia as they drive a Tesla.
Daniel Bleakley, a native of Queensland, worked in the mining industry in Western Australia. He lost his job during the global financial crisis and started a printing company — only to later step away from that to focus on climate activism. “I’ve been growing it ever since but now I’ve stepped away to focus on climate activism. I’ve done a few actions with Extinction Rebellion, did a 10-day hunger strike. I was arrested for gluing myself to the Siemens window,” he told Crikey. “I put my life on hold to agitate for change.”
Upon buying a Tesla, he was impressed with the car and wound up lending it to his brother, who was working in the coal mines. His brother showed it to some of his work colleagues and Daniel encouraged his brother to record their reactions. And thus, the series was born.
The brothers are making an impact in a way that isn’t confrontational, and who better to share the Tesla experience with than coal miners — people who are exposing their health daily to mine an energy source that is also killing our planet. Although I reserve no ill judgment on the miners themselves — we all have to do what we can to survive — I think it actually provides a sense of hope to the workers who may fear green and clean energy as the reason that their jobs will one day be gone.
Why hope? Because the demand for clean energy will equal the demand for workers in these fields. Miners and other fossil fuel employees would be a great asset to any energy company that is either making the switch to renewables or focusing on only creating renewable energy.
This is one of the newer videos. Ashleigh works as a heavy machinery operator. She drives haul trucks at a coal mine in Central Queensland, and this was her first time driving a Tesla. After exploring the display and getting comfortable, the first thing she noticed about the Tesla was that it was quiet as she drove. She noted that she felt that it had really nice traction. “It’s weird it slows it down for you almost like you’re using the brakes,” she said.
Just past the train tracks, Bleakly had Ashleigh do 0–100 kilometers/hour (0–62 mph for those of us here in the U.S.). Her reaction was the same as mine when I first experienced it as a rider in Wade’s Tesla Model 3. However, she was driving it in this case and you can clearly see how thrilled she was as she floored the accelerator. “Oh my god! That was in, like, 2 seconds.”
“Holy moly, dude,” she added as she floored it again.
Rearne works at a coal mine in Central Queensland and Bleakley met him while Rearne was riding his motorbike in the lane next to him. He rolled down the window and invited Rearne for a drive. The first thing Rearne noticed was how quiet the vehicle was. “You can’t hear anything,” he said.
Rearne also got to experience the 0–100 km/h rush. As he floored it and Bleakley asked him how it was, he laughed and said, “Awesome.”
“Oh, that is cool,” he added.
MP Katter has been a member of the Australian parliament for almost 30 years and he wants to see manufacturing brought back to Australia. This was his first time doing 0–100 km/h in a Tesla. Katter actually rode as a passenger in the 27-second clip. “Yeehaw!” he exclaimed.
Brock has a machining shop with 13 employees and does work for coal mines in the region. Brock has also had many powerful fossil-fuel vehicles over the years and this was his first Tesla experience. Brock was ready to floor it, but Bleakley had him come to a complete stop first just past an intersection. After flooring it, Brock’s reaction was, “Holy fucking hell!” His eyes got a bit blurry also.
“Now, Brock, you’ve got plenty of powerful cars. Have you ever felt much like that?” Bleakley asked. Brock admitted that the Tesla had some good traction.
The Bleakley brothers have a Patreon and are raising awareness about electric vehicles. They want to change the conversation about EVs in Australia by “putting bums in seats and letting politicians, sports stars, celebrities, and regular Aussies experience the incredible performance of EVs for themselves.” The funds from their Patreon will enable them to travel across the country while filming reactions, talking about cleantech, and talking about the post-carbon economy for Australia.