It is hard to enjoy the scenic and tourist delights of the high country if you have to drive 40 km into town to charge your car. About 18 months ago, Rob noticed one of his guests hanging an extension cord out of the window of his holiday accommodation, “I hope you don’t mind if I charge my car?” he asked sheepishly. Rob met his first Tesla. The guest encouraged Rob and Annette (the manager of Ravensbourne Escape) to visit an Electric Vehicle Expo in Toowoomba (40 km away), and their passion for catering to EV-driving holiday makers was thus ignited.
“It was a whole new world,” Rob told me in a recent interview. “We saw a whole range of cars that we had never heard of and realised EVs were the future,” a future in line with the local government’s goals: “In Queensland, the government is offering a $3,000 rebate for new EVs that cost up to $58,000, as well as reduced stamp duty. The Queensland government’s goal is to ensure half of all new passenger vehicle sales are zero-emission by 2030, with that target increasing to all sales by 2036.”
Although they are still debating which EV to purchase for their own use, they are whole-heartedly encouraging the EV community to come stay with them. Enjoy the luxury escape and charge for free at the three MG-supplied chargers and the Zappi charger.
They have found that little guests can have fun, too. Here’s the story:
“Just after we had the EV chargers installed last year, a family stayed at Quingilli (one of our 4 houses that has a type 2 ChargeHub installed in the carport). The family were driving a diesel SUV.
“On the day they left, Mum sent me a message to thank us for the stay and also for keeping their 4 & 6 year old daughters entertained. The girls had found the Type 2 charger and were doing an ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ singing contest using the tether and plug as a microphone!”
Well, that’s a fun alternative use for a charger.
Here’s more about the resort/hotel as well:
“Ravensbourne Escape is situated in the locality of Ravensbourne, just north of Toowoomba, Queensland. High up on a sandstone ridge, capped by a basalt plateau, Ravensbourne supports a unique blend of wet eucalypt bushland and rich, remnant rainforest. These forests are home to towering Piccabeen palms and eucalypt species that support an abundance of wildlife and over 100 species of birds.
“The Ravensbourne locality is part of a high-altitude, micro region known as the High Country Hamlets. This charming collective of small communities is perched 650 metres above South East Queensland’s coastal plain and is celebrated for its seasonal climate, awe-inspiring cloud cover and rich, fertile soil. Our bountiful soil produces a range of seasonal food crops, including avocados, berries, citrus fruits, wines and other local produce.”
Rob and Annette (and the fellow chalet owners – it is a collective) built for sustainability. They thought globally and acted locally, sourcing and using low-carbon footprint materials. Installing EV chargers was the next logical step. MG’s program to supply chargers to accommodation sites that met the right criteria was easy to access. A local installer put them in, and now, Rob tells me 10% of their customers are EV drivers! This is increasing since the chargers were installed. I noted that this was higher than the current EV penetration rate in Australia, which is also increasing as new models enter the market in 2023.
The MG ChargeHub uses an Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and is compatible with all Type-2 port equipped EVs. This means that that it’s not only compatible with all MG electric vehicles, but also with most other EVs on the market.
All the new houses have solar panels, but these are mainly used to heat the outdoor spas. Owners are not allowed to have lots of panels, to try to keep the resort looking natural. All houses provide low-maintenance, low-energy, low-carbon-impact luxury.
Three-phase power is supplied to all the houses, so there is no issue with overload. Rob is allowing free use of the chargers at the moment, but there may have to come a time when it will have to be user pays. I advised him to keep an eye on his electricity bill, but also told him some EVs can go from 20% to full for as little as AUS$8.00.
Ravensbourne Escape is far enough away from major population centres — 90 mins from Brisbane (130 km), Gold Coast (180 km), and Sunshine Coast (180 km) — to qualify for the MG charger program. It is also about the right distance to drive an EV — although, you have to take into account that it is called the high country for a reason. EV drivers need to allow for the extra power it takes to get up the hills.
Recent customers have noted that a Tesla Model 3 can drive from the Gold Coast to Ravensbourne Escape and arrive with 50% power left in the battery (Rob called it the “tank”). A BYD driver appreciated that he could drive around the many tourist spots in the area and recharge in the evenings while sleeping. He didn’t lose any sightseeing time to the car’s charging needs.
“The High Country Hamlets is fast becoming one of Queensland’s favourite regions. Our scenic surrounds and long winding roads make for an incredible road trip and there’s always a reason to visit. Whether you’re looking to explore quaint country towns, incredible local eateries or our stunning national parks and lakes, there’s plenty to see and do in the High Country.”
Ravensbourne Escape joins Dreamy Escapes and many others as an EV-friendly destination in Australia: “As electric vehicles become more popular, we want Ravensbourne Escape to operate as your base of exploration. EVs have a driving range of around 300 to 400 km, which isn’t a lot when you’re driving out our way. Luckily our MG ChargeHubs and Zappi are here to make your life easier.” There is plenty to do — from horse riding, to hiking, to a chocolate shop and even a gin distillery. Or there’s plenty of time to do nothing as you enjoy the views at this 2000 ft height in the cool dry air of the mountains.
“Just like our friends at MG Motor, we believe in a cleaner era of driving with silent motoring, no petrol stations, and zero emissions, so we’re doing our part to make it happen. Whether you own an electric vehicle or are hiring one for a High Country holiday, our new MG ChargeHubs offer fast and convenient EV charging to power your journey,” Rob adds.
“Whether you’re coming from the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, or further, you can explore the High Country without worrying about your next charge. You can travel by day and charge overnight in your very own covered carport, ready for your next adventure. No more range anxiety, just arrive, charge and explore.”
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