3607km Melbourne VIC to Yorke Peninsula SA – Ioniq 5 electric car road trip diary

This electric car road trip overview discusses my 3607km Easter 2024 holiday drive from Melbourne (Victoria) to Yorke Peninsula (South Australia) and back again in a media loan Hyundai Ioniq 5 EPIQ AWD 2023 I had for 3 weeks.

Disclosure: The car was loaned by Hyundai Australia for me to do an independent media electric vehicle (EV) review. I agreed to meet all the associated running costs e.g. tolls, charging etc.

Overall I think the far Western corner of Victoria past Port Fairy and all of rural/regional South Australia are under rated as a holiday and road trip destination, especially if you’re a person who likes to travel to scenic places a bit off the beaten track where there are hardly any people.

TLDR EV Road Trip Charging top tips

For those who don’t have time to read my 4 part trip diaries which will be published soon, my tips below about electric car holiday road trips are based on my extensive experience test driving many thousands of km in a variety of media loan EV’s with a range from 300km to over 600km.

Electric Car Range – how much is enough?

  • I recommend buying an electric car with at least 450-500km WLTP range for long road trips, especially when driving rural and regional routes.
  • Cars with less than 450km WLTP range are much more likely to result in charger reliability anxiety during journeys.
  • It is far more enjoyable to do an EV road trip with a car that has around 500km WLTP range because you can choose which chargers to stop at based on when it suits you, not because you desperately have to stop because the car battery is running low.

Choosing Chargers – where should you stop?

West of Melbourne on M1/A1 – Use Tesla Superchargers

Speaking generally Tesla superchargers are the most reliable charging network, with the most multi charger sites and they’re usually the most expensive. You get what you pay for.

If you’re driving between Melbourne and Mount Gambier on the M1/A1 route and are in a rush the best chargers to use are Tesla Geelong, Corio, Colac and Warnambool. Before Tesla opened access to these for all brands of electric car there weren’t any chargers faster than 75kW available on the M1/A1 west of Melbourne

Only some Tesla superchargers in Australia are open for other brand EVs to use. You need the Tesla app logged in with an account made, saved payment info and then search to see which supercharger locations you can use. At time of writing BYD ATTO 3 and Seal are incompatible with some Tesla superchargers (check plugshare listings).

South Australians are lucky to have RAA Chargefox Network

In South Australia the RAA Network on Chargefox is by far the biggest public charging network. It’s much better designed and faster than the East Coast state public funded charging networks.

Just look for the big yellow painted chargers and get your RFID card registered in your Chargefox account if you don’t want to use the app.

Before you drive off check whether the RAA locations you will pass are 7kW (slow AC chargers BYO cable) or 150kW/200kW (fast DC chargers built-in cable). Evie and Tesla have a handful of chargers in the South East of the State.

Since the RAA uses Kempower fast chargers note that the way these are designed means that only 800V electric cars like the Ioniq 5, EV6, EV9, Genesis, E-tron and Taycan are able to achieve the top 150kW or 200kw charge rate. All other brands of 400V electric cars like Tesla, BYD and MG will only charge at 120kW max speed.

Charge while sleeping & Which Chargers to skip

Wherever possible stay at accommodation where there are 7kW or 11kW chargers on site so you can plug in on arrival and be at 100% by sleep time or the morning. I used RAA 7kW AC BYO cable chargers at several of my accommodation locations during the trip

Assume that any single 50kW charger location is broken, unreliable or busy when planning a road trip. If you can get a top up charge from one of these it is a bonus, don’t rely on it working. I usually skip single 50kW charger locations if I need to drive a lot of km that day.

Make your charging motto ABC – always be charging – top up the car every 1.5-2 hours or so. Stop and check out the scenery, walk around small towns, have a snack at the local bakery etc.

Charging Cost

The total “fuel” / recharging cost for an EV road trip trip is much cheaper if you can recharge to 100% overnight at your holiday accommodation each night and start from home on Day 1 with a full battery charged up by your own low cost home electricity / solar panels:

Yes I said 100% full battery – there are completely untrue rumours that charging your EV to 100% for a few weeks each year while you’re on holiday will cause noticeable battery deterioration

Being able to use a 7 or 11kW destination charger at your destination family home, motor inn, hotel, holiday home etc each night is very convenient and time saving because it lets you drive away the next day with 100% battery charged while you slept. You can’t do that in a petrol/diesel car!

Some accommodation providers will let you plug your car into a standard 10 amp power point overnight but be aware this won’t be enough to refill your whole battery. Expect a top up of 20-30% depending on your EV battery size. Offer to pay $10-$20 for this. Your car using 20+ kW of electricity costs your accommodation owner money, especially during electricity peak evening pricing and at night time.

Charger Planning and OBD Apps

To help me plan the charging route, expected electricity usage each day and see live as well as logged car statistics I used two apps that accessed car data from a OBDLINK CX plugged into the Ioniq 5 OBD port:

Note: ABRP will give you a good idea of the battery % level you can expect when you arrive at your destination. It can also suggest places to charge.

However

  • you need to open and check the relevant charger apps before driving off and see whether the planned Evie, Chargefox, Tesla etc charger stops are actually working or they’re under maintenance, damaged by vandalism etc.
  • I still prefer to use WAZE for turn by turn navigation because ABRP is not as good at that

Easter 2024 EV Road Trip Car Details

Model: Hyundai Ioniq 5 EPIQ AWD 2023

Range: 454km WLTP claimed. Real world range for my efficient driving style was 400km when driving at 100-110km/hr highway speeds. If you have a lead foot and accelerate hard it’ll be more like 350km range.

Distance travelled: 3607.3 km mostly on highways and country roads @ 18.8kWh/100km. The Ioniq 5 EPIQ has dual motors and 20 inch tires which both make it less efficient than a RWD single motor Ioniq 5 with 19 inch tires. As a rule smaller tires mean longer range, more efficiency and better ride comfort as well handling.

Charging rate: Up to 240kW at a 250kW+ 800V compatible charger.

Passengers: 2 adults in the front seats.

Aircon: on all trip 21.5C cooling , fan setting 1.

Driving Mode: When on highways maximum i-Pedal regenerative braking was used and the car was in ECO mode throughout.

Speed: Apart from driving manually at lower speeds in towns and on windy roads most of the journey was in automatic cruise control mode at exactly the speed limit on the car speedo or real GPS speed limit shown on Waze (about 2km more than Speedo).

Cargo: boot full to cargo cover, back seat passenger feet area full of bags

Ioniq 5 EPIQ 2023 Verdict

Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the most practical family drive, a sensible choice with a spacious boot, modern interior and the most base model inclusions out of all the Hyundai/Kia E-GMP 800V cars. The base model Ioniq 5 Extended Range is the best value in my opinion.

I don’t like digital mirrors as they add cost and increase potential repair bills if damaged, while being less useful than old school reflective mirrors.

Larger 20″ wheels are pointless practically as they reduce range and noticeably reduce ride quality on poor quality roads.

The Ioniq 5 suspension is a bit bouncy when going over rolling sections of road. Since the car weighs about 2 tonnes the designers have optimised for a softer rather than a hard jarring sporty ride.

Alternatives

  • Kia EV6 RWD GT-Line is the best E-GMP option for sporty singles and couples as it has the best dynamic driving experience. You have to pay more to get the same inclusions as a more affordable Ioniq.
  • Hyundai Ioniq 6 is best for couples / singles doing long road trips who like 1920s retro styling and super streamlined efficiency for maximum range.

4 Part Easter 2024 EV Road Trip Diary

Part 1: Melbourne to Mount Gambier via Waurn Ponds, Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Portland one way. Mount Gambier to Melbourne return trip via Warrnambool and Colac. Detailed trip diary and photos coming soon.

Part 2: Mount Gambier to Adelaide via Naracoorte, Keith, Coonalpyn one way. Adelaide to Mount Gambier return via Murray Bridge, Meningie, Kingston SE, Robe. Detailed trip diary and photos coming soon.

Part 3: Fleurieu Peninsula: Mount Lofty summit walk, Hallett Cove, Victor Harbor, Goolwa. Detailed trip diary and photos coming soon.

Part 4: Exploring Yorke Peninsula from Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park at the South-Western tip to Bute, Snowtown and Lochiel / Lake Bumbunga in the North. Detailed trip diary and photos coming soon.


Comments

5 responses to “3607km Melbourne VIC to Yorke Peninsula SA – Ioniq 5 electric car road trip diary”

  1. Sorry you missed getting to KI but you found a great alternative. South Australia is indeed a fantastic place for an EV holiday. Ps I have yet to charge my Polestar to 100 per cent. Maybe one day I’ll feel the need.

  2. Warwick

    Excellent article. Intrigued by your comments about older people and the Ioniq6…. that’s me 🤪.

    Do you have any evidence regarding the impact of tyre size on efficiency and ride. I would be most interested.

    I have found that driving in wet conditions also has a significant impact on efficiency. Any comments on this as I found a difference of about 3-4kWh/100km increased usage in the wet.?

    Cheers
    Warwick

  3. Neerav Bhatt

    Hi Warwick

    Have a look at this American government fuel efficiency test data as an example where the only difference is tyre size:
    Model S Plaid (19 inch wheels) 396 mile range
    Model S Plaid (21 inch wheels) 348 mile range

    This video also has a good explanation: Why Big Wheels Are A Bad Idea On Electric Cars – Range Impact!

    I have heard people say that wet weather reduces EV efficiency but I couldn’t find a clear scientific reason why

    Another big factor is wind resistance, if you’re driving into a strong wind that will definitely result in worse efficiency stats.

    On the flip side if you’re driving with a strong wind behind you it will help your efficiency stats look better.

  4. Philip Argy

    Why can’t e-GMP cars get more then 97kW from a Tesla supercharger when they can get 240kW from a Tritium ultrafast charger? You referred to a design flaw … ?

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