Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

It's Easy Being Green

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

It's Easy Being Green

Article excerpt

Byline: Grant Edwards

Porsches and Audis have romanced him in the past, but nothing has stolen Gene Salvestrin's heart like a Tesla.

"I'm so glad that we did it. It's the best thing we've ever had ... it's my second wife," he said.

Publishing entrepreneur Gene and his wife Sharon, a property manager and part-time model, are regular users of the public charging station at Cairns, which is the state's usage hot spot on the Queensland Electric Super Highway which starts at the NSW border.

It takes about 1.5 hours to charge their black $180,000 Tesla Model X 100D using the facility, which offers a range of about 400km.

Based at Bellenden Ker, south of Cairns, they've never had an issue with the head-turning superstar of the electric vehicle world.

"There is a point where you want to make a difference in a good way so it's a positive way to protect what we have and the environment is one thing we have to nurture," Sharon said.

"It's amazing to not have to buy fuel.

"It's a computer not a car ... we have been to Port Douglas, the (Atherton) Tablelands and Mission Beach but we haven't taken the drive any further yet.

"The car will automatically shut down certain things that you are using, like the music or the air conditioning so you can get to the charge station."

Initially nervous about the car and its capacity, they quickly gained an understanding of its range.

During their 18-month ownership there have been no mechanical issues and servicing is done at their home by Tesla technicians.

The greatest challenge was installing a fast charger at their home. When plugged into the standard household power point a full charge would take 24 hours but the Tesla unit reduces that time to 5-6 hours.

Additional work was required by an electrician, plumber and trench digger for the unit which cost $16,000 to install. …

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