Kangaroo Island to Port Lincoln, electric car 4 day Australian road trip in 2024 Polestar 2 long-range single motor

The following electric car road trip diary is written by Stan Gorton, a South Australian EV enthusiast who lives on Kangaroo Island with his dog Twiggy and a MY24 Polestar 2 long-range single motor.

RAA Charge at Tumby Bay

The following is my account of travelling from Kangaroo Island to Port Lincoln in a Polestar 2 Model Year 24 long-range single motor EV over four days in January 2024. 

On the early SeaLink ferry headed to my old town of Port Lincoln, about 850km each way for another Polestar 2 road trip!

On board was my faithful collie dog companion Twiggy, always posing for my PlugShare photos, and I was recording the trip for a trip vlog on my Kangaroo Island TV channel on YouTube.

Interestingly the SeaLink crew tested my battery temp before boarding and EVs need to go in Line 5 and get on last. This was the first time I had to go through this.

Polestar 2 ahead of the yellow line on the SeaLink KI ferry

My initial thought was this is actually great because you get pole position for getting off ahead of the traffic to go up the hill on the mainland, but then I realised you get more salt spray up the back.

Good news as more recently I found out these EV rules will be abandoned when new ferries start service in 2025.

While boarding to get to Port Lincoln, I had a discussion with a crew person about vehicle fires and set him straight on the how small the real numbers were.

After making my way through Adelaide traffic, I decided to do a charge at the Paralowie Evie station just on the northern outskirts of the city.

I probably didn’t need to do this as my Polestar had the range to make it much further north, but I road trip with the mantra of “Always be charging”, particularly as I had not travelled this way before.

As I kept driving north, I was surprised when Google piped up in my Polestar mapping, interrupting my tunes, to tell me the RAA charger at Port Wakefield was broken. 

You always got to have a bit of drama on a roadtrip right! 

Thankfully I had charged to 80 per cent at Paralowie, so I had enough charge to get to the next charger at Port Augusta anyway. 

But I thought I would check it out anyway, getting it to work with the RFID card, but the other guy here could not get it to work with the app. 

The RAA subsequently got back to me a week later to explain that the app had crashed statewide, but that cards had still worked.

This was the second time a system wide app had impacted on my travels, so having the RFID card is crucial.

Polestar 2 charges at the Port Wakefield RAA 150kw charger thanks to Stan’s RFID card.

Now at the Port Wakefield RAA chargers, I helped an Adelaide family out heading north their MG ZS EV and let them use my card in exchange for cash. 

I ended up making it around the Spencer Gulf to Whyalla with 32 per cent, averaging a very efficient 15.3kWh/100km, thanks to a tail wind and road works slowing the pace.

Smooth sailing so far, and I’ve never seen so many wind turbines along the road, it’s great to see my state supporting more renewable energy. 

At the RAA rapid charger at Whyalla, I charged to 90 per cent, initially getting 120kw at 32 per cent.

Now I was ready for the final 260km stretch to the destination. We’d had a tail wind but were now heading south into the wind. 

I arrived at my friend’s house in Port Lincoln with about 20 per cent at about 8pm. It was great to catch up with an old friend, and wow hasn’t this town changed in 18 years!

Got the Polestar 2 plugged into their power socket overnight for a slow 2.4kW charge rate.

Final stats for this leg were:

  • Distance 815km @ Average Speed 85km/hr
  • Total cost from the three charge sessions was $55.15 
  • Efficiency 16.6kWh/100km
  • Driving time 9 hours 57 mins

Nothing beats sleeping under the stars, or in this case clouds… also great to be back in my old hometown.

Time in Port Lincoln

Had an enjoyable couple of days in Port Lincoln where I lived from 2000 to 2006, catching up with old friends. 

Spent a bit of time on the foreshore checking out the sights. Went into to Port Lincoln Times office to meet my colleagues and do some work, hung out at the marina and saw the fishing boats.

My second night was spent the night camped next to a couple of very noisy koalas at the settlement of Tulka just south of Port Lincoln.

In the morning, I let a friend drive the Polestar 2 out to Sleaford beach where someone unfortunately was washed out to sea the day before, and we also checked out Fisheries beach.

Also saw my old house at Tulka and visited my old neighbour.

Later that day I also travelled the 50km distance up to Tumby Bay to check out and use the RAA 150kw rapid charger there.

In Port Lincoln itself, the RAA only has 7kw AC chargers at the marina, but hopefully that will change.

RAA Charge at Port Lincoln Marina

The RAA has done an excellent job putting in SA’s regional network of chargers, using great Kempower chargers and using the ChargeFox payment system.

The return trip

The return trip after two days in Port Lincoln, saw me return on Sunday, the same way charging at the same stations – Whyalla, Port Wakefield and Paralowie. 

I pulled over just before Whyalla when the car clocked over 10,000 km to take a photo and celebrate for the vlog I was recording the whole trip.

I also stopped in at the Whyalla vet who has installed their own personally funded 75kW DC fast charger, located at his surgery just across the street from the RAA’s new rapid charger.

I didn’t used them because you need a separate Evansa app but I wanted to check them out. This charger would get used a lot more if it was on a bigger more well known charging network like Chargefox or Exploren.

I had time to add a few brief stops along the way, including an interesting roadside stall near Port Pirie with lots of salami and pickled goods.

Another quick stop to check out the Loch Ness Monster in the middle of the salt lake at Lochiel.

I made it through a much quieter Adelaide on late Sunday afternoon and made it onto the last SeaLink ferry of the day.

Again, my car was temp tested and got on last, and had to be parked ahead of the yellow line at the very back of the ferry.

Apparently the crew even let cars on at 100 degrees but not if they’re damaged. My car was ambient 21 degrees, so all was good.

My paranoia made us switch off the one pedal regen on the big hill down, but I don’t think I’ll bother in future. 

Also they just use one of those temp sensor attachments on a phone to measure. 

I don’t mind the inconvenience of the checks, which is so minor, but it’s that these rules reinforce the perception that EVs are dangerous that bugs me.

Being banned from the fuel truck ferry runs is also a disadvantage but these runs are few and far between, so it’s not so much a big deal either. 

Arrived back in KIngscote just as it turned dark, and then spent some time washing the salt spray and dust from the island roadworks off the Polestar 2, which clicked over 10,000km somewhere just south of Whyalla. 

Can’t wait for the next Polestar 2 road trip! 

Final stats for the Kangaroo Island to Port Lincoln, Lower Eyre Peninsula and return trip:

  • Four days, three nights
  • Distance: 1847.0 km @ Average speed: 79 km/hr 
  • Efficiency: 16.9 kWh/100km
  • Time behind wheel: 24hr 11min
  • Fuel cost: $130 + bottle of Pepperjack cab sav to pay my friend for charging from their home power socket
  • Ferry cost: $160 
  • Accommodation: Starlight motel aka swag 
  • Total odometer after just under 3 months ownership: 10,621 km 

(Above posted on EV Threads live as kangarooislandstan )

Video Trip Diary

EDITOR: I’m publishing a regular series of articles with the views of Australian EV owners about their EV ownership experience.

This will help fill an information gap as the majority of electric car news articles are about new car launches and there’s relatively little published about the longer term Australian ownership experience after you’ve paid for your electric car. Hopefully this shared information helps other Aussies make their own EV purchase decision. 

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.


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