This article was written by Josh Raymond and first published [verbatim] at

I have an old car. An I.C.E. car. A 1999 Holden Commodore. Vintage and burgundy. An internal combustion engine. A V6. It’s not just a Commodore though, It was a car, and an idea of a car conceived in a wholly different world. I’ve replaced the engine. It’s a little scuffed. Peak sales of the Commodore were in 1998 and 94,642 were sold by the end of that year. By the end of 2023, 87,217 car sales in Australia were proper EV’s. Electrification is well and truly here. I would like a new car.

It’s hard to describe how an electric car feels, how driving one feels. It’s like the idea of a car. Like someone has taken a large stiff metal iron and smoothed out creases and bumps and blips we might have been used to in something older, leakier, slower and creakier, flattening it into a gleaming shiny slip of a vehicle. It’s gadgety, its fast, it’s acceleration is linear, like you could keep pushing the pedal through the floor and it would never stop.

People are excited. OK, let me rephrase that, grey headed boomer men are excited. I am a Generation X grey (I’ve been grey since my early 20s.) Men at chargers talk charging, price, range, feel, stops, burgers, how the dog likes it, solar at home, plugs, phases, three phases, amps, all of the above. I liked that part of the trip. I was equally excited. My trip was an experiment. But most importantly the first time I’ve used chargers or driven an electric vehicle. I travelled 1727.3 km over five days. Sydney to Byron Bay and surrounds. 17.8 kWh used per 100km. 20:59 hours driving in the cabin and averaging 85km per hour (very average) in a 2023 Single Motor Standard Range Polestar 2 from 2023 with 8681 km on the clock, after my contribution.

Here is the shorthand. I love the Polestar 2. Thank you East Coast Car Rentals. I am a photographer and I shoot with Hasselblad cameras always. They are both Swedish! I am a Suecophile. But the charging infrastructure. It is simply not reliable or fast enough. Just today I filled out a generic BP Pulse feedback form. I was restrained. The most pleasant experiences were with the EVIE network chargers. Tesla Superchargers are fast and the closest to a modern gas stop. If you’re charging at home and traveling under 400km, 98% of the time you probably don’t need public charging. This is the argument against those that whinge public fast charging is not up to scratch. I would like to suggest that there is a far greater desire for long trips with access to fast charging at reasonable rates than is currently being discussed. This is the sort of trip I would like to be doing every few months. If I can charge at 0.8c a kWh at home do I really have to spend .85c at a Tesla Super Charger for 30 minutes?

A few stats about my trip. Eleven charging stops, generally four on the trip north and four on the return. My charging cost was close to $196.02, almost six hours charging time and 274 kWh into the car. I began with a 90% charge prior to leaving from Baulkham Hills early. It was rain all the way. I used all the apps and I wanted to mimic the stops I would usually make in my vintage ICE. First stop for a traditional ham cheese and tomato toastie at the BP at Beresfield just prior to passing around Newcastle. I had the least success with the BP Pulse app and the Pulse chargers. The core of each trip’s charge was a Tesla Supercharger at around 30-40mins minutes and mostly at Port Macquarie’s New Thrumster stop. It would appear that no-one ever needs shelter from sun or rain at any charging infrastructure. Every charger is generally thrown out the back and dumped with the transformers and only occasionally a bin or specific amenity. The actual experience is a throwback. It’s undercooked. But access and using the Tesla Superchargers is fast and mostly seamless. I did have to fake a US address and postcode to register my credit card on first use? Hello Tesla? What went wrong? #awful

I wouldn’t say I had range anxiety. My gorgeous slick black Polestar could manage 420km on the clock with enough e-juice. But I had charger anxiety. It currently requires learning the system, the apps, the chargers, the plugs, the rates, the times, the computers. I was hyper engaged and excited in that one leg of the trip north. Doing it again would be less tangled. The Polestar has great audio. It has a solid hefty driving style. It is wonderful into the corners, fast and assured. But then the next stop. How long, how much and when is the next stop?

Yours hopefully, Josh
Future Polestar owner

Josh Raymond is an Australian Photographer and Artist.

He has been commissioned for work in major print publications, theatre, television and film and is often sought as a collaborator for significant Australian visual artists.
Find Josh’s work on Instagram.