The following electric car road trip diary is written by Candice Berghan, an EV enthusiast who lives in Western Queensland with their family and a 2023 BYD Seal Dynamic single motor RWD . I met Candice at Evie Avenel where I helped setup the Evie app and account after I saw that they couldn’t start a charge .
I embarked on a Christmas road trip from West Queensland to Melbourne and back, to put my new BYD Seal Dynamic to the test.
In the course of my 5,700-kilometer road trip, the BYD Seal Dynamic remained steadfast, comfortable and a pleasure to drive the whole way, not to mentioned it turned heads and started a lot of conversations at each stop.
The BYD Seal Dynamic proved to be more than just visually appealing; its comfort was a standout feature.
The driving experience was enhanced by great torque, control, excellent suspension and I enjoyed the air-vented seats, that made it a comfortable drive throughout my trip.
Fellow BYD drivers on the road shared positive notes, expressing satisfaction with the car’s performance in real-world scenarios.
The only negatives were with the ADAS system and speed alerts needing to be manually turned off with each journey, which I’ve heard will disappear with the next update. But besides that the journey was pleasant.
I used cruise control the entire time to avoid double demerit points and had my air conditioning on high the whole way.
Despite this the Seal Dynamic showcased remarkable mileage, averaging around 480-490 km real world distance on ECO mode. The ability to travel considerable distances before charging added to the overall positive experience.
I found that the BYD’s blade battery technology, was unfamiliar to many in the EV community.
Conversations at charging stations provided an opportunity to educate others on the lithium-iron phosphate technology, dispelling misconceptions about charging slowdowns after 80%.
As this was my first time doing a major trip in an EV on unfamiliar roads, I was cautious and tried to charge every 250-300kms. I averaged 15.4 kilowatts per 100 kilometers at speeds of 100 to 110 km/h on cruise control.
The abundance of charging stations along the route was promising, yet the surge in EV drivers created some wait times and occasional faults at stations.
While inconvenient, the hope is for increased charging infrastructure in the future to alleviate such issues.
Notably, some EV charging providers, such as EVIE and BP Pulse, offered quicker charging, although the latter came at a higher cost.
Utilizing RFID cards proved more reliable than apps at certain stations, emphasizing the importance of having these cards for seamless charging.
Despite encountering blank screens on some charging stations, it appears the RFID card users experienced instant charging, which I am now going to get myself.
Although only having access to the apps I still managed, albeit it was a bit slower to get charging started.
Charging to 100% was the norm for me but I occasionally stopped at 98% to accommodate other EV drivers due to limited port availability.
I ran into issues like faulty stations and a scarcity of Type 2 connectors, I hope there will be an upgrade in this aspect to enhance the EV experience.
Tesla charging stations were prevalent, yet only a few of them were open to non Tesla cars and not all ports worked, so after a few uneventful tries I avoided them the whole trip.
EDITOR: It is unfortunately common to see Australian BYD electric cars having problems with Tesla chargers. Hopefully Tesla and BYD can get together and fix the issue as BYD is the second most popular EV brand in Australia so many people are driving them.
I also noticed that due to Teslas monopolizing charge bays at every non-Tesla station there were a lot of Teslas charging which caused longer wait times for other EV drivers.
I spoke to a few of them and they try to avoid the higher fees from the Tesla chargers so they prefer to use non Tesla chargers instead.
Questions about charging time had no straightforward answer, varying with station types and the charging capacity at each station.
The lowest I let my battery percentage drop to was 7%, as I wanted to get a real world distance measurement.
I would not recommend this in unfamilar territory but it was good to get an accurate km distance measurement.
Fortunately I was able to fully charge within an hour and 20 minutes using a fast EVIE charger.
Remarkably, the entire round trip, covering vast distances and circumnavigating Melbourne, Sydney and Gold Coast cost under $376 making the EV road trip a cost-effective alternative to air travel.
In conclusion, the BYD Seal Dynamic proves to be a reliable and enjoyable companion for long journeys, demonstrating good range, comfort, and innovative battery technology.
As electric vehicles continue to gain popularity, the hope is for an expanding charging infrastructure to support seamless road trips for EV enthusiasts.
If you’re an Australian electric vehicle owner and would like to share your road trip experience please contact me directly or add a comment below and let me know.