Written by David Waterworth from notes by attendee Paul Wildman
Tesla Model 3 Bootcamp 2022 was TOCA’s first Bootcamp since 2019, due to the pandemic and other time demands. How the world has changed for EV enthusiasts in the last 3 years! In another 3 years, with the change of the Australian federal government, it will be transformed again. The Bootcamp was held on the 28th of May, auspiced, organised, and undertaken by the Tesla Owners Club of Australia (TOCA) at the RACQ Mobility Center in Cornubia, Queensland.
The primary facilitator was Luke Smith, President of TOCA: Qld. The day had something for everyone, from brand new owners who just wanted to know how to enjoy their cars, to super users who were keen for more detail. Everybody picked up a few excellent tips. Around 28 people attended, from people in their mid-30s to people in their early 70s. There were some 15 Model 3s, with a sprinkling of other Teslas and Australia’s only Honda e. Cost was around $40, including an excellent box lunch — all up, brilliant value.
Participants talked the joys of Model 3 ownership — the fun kid stuff that makes them love driving in “their” Teslas, the power, the fuel savings (especially when paired with solar). One family has two Teslas and they have both proved very reliable. Many expressed that they loved the Tesla community. Participants did interior and exterior walk-arounds, noting the following: the fog lights were hard to find and see unless someone outside was watching; some displayed tow bars and bike rack bars. There were discussions of wheel size, rim style, and aerodynamics.
The interior walk-around was broadcast to the screen inside for everyone to see and included seat adjustments, 12V power source, every button on every screen was explained and demonstrated. Attendee participation was welcome at any point. The ABC of EV ownership is, well, literally “Always Be Charging!”
Aerodynamics: There was an intriguing presentation and discussion from the slide on this. You can see that aerodynamics, and thus speed, are the The biggest user of battery energy, followed by low temperature and towing, which individually can reduce range by up to 40%. Don’t too on a cold day unless it’s around the block! Fortunately, low temps are not a big issue in Australia. Tire pressure, wheels, and inclines will also affect range.
Those interested can access and join TOCA on Facebook for merchandise, meeting planner, drives and social get-togethers.
Tow Bar: In Australia, this is what Paul calls a “big-ticket” item. TOCA has spent some two years and significant resources gaining ADR approval for a de-mountable tow bar, which is now available to be fitted to your Model 3 for $2000. A bike rack on the tow bar with bikes on it uses up to 50% more energy than without. A loaded yet aerodynamically slippery trailer, even though it’s heavy, uses less power than a pushbike rack with pushbikes.
Real World Range: The presenters were really frank about real-world range (RWR) — such that if you remove the charging buffers from your range expectations (don’t charge above 90% or draw down below 10%), you immediately lose 20% of the car’s range. If you then take off another few percent for the generous standards and conditions the cars are tested under, you will find a RWR of nearly 25% less than that quoted on the windscreen sticker when you bought the car. This was something that bothered Paul, as his Model 3 Long Range demonstrated a lot less range that the 635 km on the sticker. Now he knows why the RWR is more like 460 km. He added, “The sticker range is correct, though, for going from 100% to 0% on a very good day with a tail wind!”
Navigation: A major part of the day was given over to live trip planning using the “in-car” navigation system, and the apps PlugShare and A Better Route Planner. Paul thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and could understand a fair bit of it.
Paul’s key takeaway: “For me a key psychological part of the day was an oft repeated meme: your EV is to be an enjoyable experience. You can use it like a ‘normal’ car without any tech, or ‘nerd it up’ with your computer on wheels as we did to a point during the day. Both and in between are fine. The big issue is to enjoy your ride!!!”
Well done, TOCA.
Paul Wildman made “field” notes during the presentations. David developed these notes into this article. These are his takes and opinions on complex issues. Paul writes as an EV owner, not as a journalist or EV expert — as an “older” user.
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