Tesla Model 3 Long Range (2020) – Australian electric car owner real world experience

The following is a discussion with Aussie electric vehicle (EV) owner Hugh Sykes about their purchase of a Tesla Model 3 Long Range (2020) and experience driving, servicing, charging etc.

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. 

Was your electric car bought or leased?


Please describe your purchasing / lease process experience … Easy, Mediocre, Frustrating..?


What has the regular servicing / dealership experience been like?

Good, except that Tesla servicing is at Chatswood, over an hour’s drive away from my home on the Central Coast of NSW.

How do you regularly charge your car for day to day usage?

Plug in to specially installed faster EV charger at home (set to use solar power or grid, whatever’s available)

What has your day to day normal charging experience been like?

Excellent – very convenient and cheap.

I plug into my Tesla Wall unit 3-phase AC charge point at home and set the car to charge at ultra-cheap off-peak rates between 12 and 4:00 am.

How do you charge your car for longer road trips on the weekend or during holidays? Do you prefer any particular brand of public fast charger during road trips eg Evie, Tesla, Chargefox and why?

I prefer to use destination chargers at hotels, motels or caravan parks where they are available because they are either free or much cheaper than using DC chargers and take no time out of your day.

Tesla chargers are the most convenient and reliable DC fast chargers for Tesla owners (plug in, charge, unplug and drive away with no need to log into an app or use a RFID card) but the most expensive.

After that, the other chargers are much of a muchness but I try to avoid or have a fall back option if the only DC charger in town is a first generation Tritium charger.

What’s the farthest road trip you’ve done in your EV and what did you learn from this experience that would be useful for others to know?

5,540 km – Home on the Central Coast, NSW, Cobar, Broken Hill, Mildura NSW, Halls Gap (VIC), Mt Gambier & Port MacDonell (SA) Portland, Ballarat, Melbourne, Wilson’s Promontory, Lakes Entrance, Bright, Central Coast.

Tessie performed wonderfully. It handled many km on dirt C Class roads in Victoria beautifully.

We learned to trust its range metre’s Km range at destination estimate.

However, if this estimate kept dropping during the drive to a particular destination, we found that by just dropping our speed by 5 KpH stabilised the range estimate and enabled us to reach our destination with an adequate charge reserve.

Does your EV have any special features like V2L reverse charging from the car to your portable/home appliances? If yes please share your experience using this special feature


If you have roadside assist included with the car purchase/lease and have had to use it, which company provided the service and what was that experience like?

Roadside assist is included but I haven’t needed to use it.

If you have had issues with your car and asked for these to be fixed under warranty, did the car brand do the right thing and fix it without causing you stress?

No issues to fix.

What are the 3 strongest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?

Performance, road holding, “Auto Pilot”

Excellent intelligent GPS navigator

Over the air software updates.

What are the 3 weakest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?

Fairly harsh suspension and cabin noise level.

The car’s GPS navigation system only includes Tesla DC Superchargers and won’t allow users to add third party chargers (however, you can navigate to a third-party charger address).

EDITOR: The Driven reported yesterday (Feb 14 2024) “many sites from other charge point operators like Chargefox, Evie Networks, BP Pulse and others are starting to appear in Tesla’s in-car navigation system”. The change also means that Teslas precondition the battery for third party fast DC chargers.

What is your view on car software updates? Some people prefer it be done by dealers, some don’t want updates, others want them regularly over the air?

Over the air is terrific – no issues.

What questions would ask your car manufacturer HQ if you could?

Please enable me to add third party chargers to my car’s GPS navigation system.

EDITOR: looks like Hugh’s wish has been granted already.

Would you buy or lease this brand of electric car again and recommend it to others?


Do you have any other comments about your electric car brand, experience etc?

Elon Musk’s antics appear to damage the Tesla brand and he should resign.

If you’re an Australian electric vehicle owner and would like to participate in this interview series by sharing your experience please contact me directly or add a comment below and let me know.


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