One Family’s Electric Car Journey

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This is the story Jonathan and Michelle told me after our last Coffee, Cake and EVs meeting at Bracken Ridge Tavern. He went from first impressions of a friend’s Toyota Prius, to a Hyundai Ioniq, and ended up with a Tesla Model Y — with a detour in a Hyundai i30 diesel. The journey began when Jonathan watched the movie, “Who Killed the Electric Car?”

“In 2002, my sister’s friend had a Toyota Prius. I didn’t even have my driver’s licence yet, but sitting in that car felt so next level. Who knew they wouldn’t move on? I was in Melbourne and amazed by the efficient, futuristic car. I watched the animation of the regenerative braking going back into the battery. Twenty years ago, we were on the precipice of the future. Why hasn’t Toyota advanced significantly since then?”

Jonathan and Michelle bought their first new car together in 2010, a Hyundai i30 diesel. Back then, diesel was touted as the most environmentally friendly fuel source and there weren’t many EVs around at the time. The Prius was twice the price.

When it was time to go electric, Jonathan researched electric vehicle options for quite a while. He wanted a Tesla but only the Model S and X were available and way beyond their budget. So, he widened the search and checked out the Kona Electric and the Kia e-Niro, as it was named in Europe. Tesla Bjorn did a good comparison and after this review Jonathan knew what he wanted. In March 2019, Jonathan went to Zupps and looked at a petrol Kona. The EV was not available yet. But the boot was tiny. By now, a baby had arrived and they needed room for a pram. The wise salesman suggested the Ioniq Electric with a 28 kWh battery (we are referring here to the earlier version of the Ioniq, not the Ioniq 5). One test drive later, Jonathan was in love. Please note: the Model 3 was not yet available in Australia, and any way, the boot entry wouldn’t allow for the pram.

One Electric Journey
Jonathan and his Hyundai Ioniq. Photo courtesy of Michelle Curro.

Jonathan still misses their Ioniq. “The driving feedback was great. The car would go from zero to 100 in about 8 seconds, which was plenty. The new Model Y isn’t much better. The Ioniq in sports mode had plenty of go. Suspension was softer in the Ioniq. In the 3.5 years we drove it we never had a problem with the 260 km range on the guessometer (GOM). It was reasonably accurate. If I turned on A/C the range would drop to compensate. It was a live calculation. We consistently used 9.5 kWh per 100 km on the daily commute (around 60km distance). So, the GOM was accurate and consistent. The app wasn’t intricate but it did the job and didn’t use much power. If you left the car parked, when you came back even two days later, the power was effectively the same.” No vampire drain!

Our Electric Journey
After-baby beard. Photo courtesy of Michelle Curro.

Jonathan and his ever growing family received their Tesla Model Y on September 22, 2022. With two kids now, they were having trouble fitting everything into the Ioniq. With the pram for shopping trips and all the junk you have to cart around, it was great to have two boots and a frunk. He purchased the Ioniq for A$50,000, kept it for 3.5 years, then sold it wholesale (because it was convenient) for $28,000.

Our Electric Journey
The happy couple with their new delivery. Photo courtesy of Michelle Curro.

Jonathan is keen to tell me about charging options. He says this is the most frequent question when discussing EVs. He is on a time of use (TOU) plan with Powershop. “Our Ioniq was a 4 four-hour charge at 7 kW, midnight to 4 am. This would cost 8.73 cents per kWh on weekdays. This equates to $2.44 to charge the Ioniq for 230 km. The Model Y costs us about $5 charged over two nights to travel 350+ km.”

Before making any decisions about an electricity provider, please consider all options.

Thanks to Jonathan and Michelle for sharing their electric journey. Let me know if you have a story to tell.

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David Waterworth

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].

David Waterworth has 729 posts and counting. See all posts by David Waterworth