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Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.


Trying to Impress Country Folk with a Tesla Model 3

“Not interested — I’ve got a cruiser.” That was the answer I received as off grid exponents tramped through the mud past my low-slung sexy Model 3. Not interested. And no wonder. My Tess was probably the most inappropriate electric vehicle to have at The Goomeri Off Grid Expo in country Queensland. Many times that last weekend, I wished I had a Ford F-150 Lightning or a Tesla Cybertruck.

Although many people stopped and asked the usual questions, some curious and a few having a go, it was obvious that I was two years too early. In two years, we should have the Ford, maybe a Rivian or a Cybertruck, and definitely some Chinese electric utes to display. One long conversation I had was with a farmer who needed a vehicle to tow a horse float, complete with horses, several hundred km — no, the Model 3 wouldn’t do that. I was out of my depth.

People preferred plants to Teslas! Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Crowds gathered in front of the plant stall, the Polkadot tiny house, the Red Earth battery display, but I was flat out getting one or two people to stop and chat to me. I needed a big SUV or 4×4 to make an impression and provide for the market. They will come and the off-gridders will buy them. They just aren’t here yet. Even a Model Y or BYD Atto 3 would be good, but they have only just arrived and seem to be confined to the cities.

Initially, I found it disheartening that so many people were not interested. Paul, with his T3 van, got a bit of attention, but even he was heard to say, “How long are we going to do this?”

Paul and David relaxing at the end of the day. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

In the last few months, Tess answered the questions of curious onlookers at four EV expos in Brisbane and 6 in country towns around Queensland.

Sometimes I need to take a step back and reflect on the fact that we were early adopters of a megatrend. Individual attitudes to electric vehicles are no longer so important; the transition will happen anyway. With the appropriate vehicles, government support, and some astute advertising to counter the FUD, the good people at Goomeri will soon be driving electric utes, fourbys and light trucks.

And Tess, Paul, and I will be able to spend our weekends at home!

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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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