Much has been said lately about electric vehicles (EVs), with a number of vehicle brands now offering everything from small runabout hybrids through to fully electric performance vehicles. Electric and hybrid cars are also proving to be a polarising issue for car enthusiasts, with many grumbling that they won’t drive anything other than a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.
When it comes to performance electric vehicles, there is little doubt that the Tesla Model S ticks all the boxes:
- almost 3.0 second 0-100km/h,
- available in all wheel drive,
- and it has…wait for it…a self-driving Autopilot feature!
There is no denying that the reviews and coverage around this car have been incredibly positive, and Tesla’s presence in Australia is growing as a result.
However, to get the real low-down on the Tesla Model S, who better to speak with than Evoke Limousines, Australia’s only limousine company that exclusively uses a fleet of them to chauffeur clients all over Sydney and NSW.
Pia from Evoke Limousines was kind enough to take the time to speak with Spares Box about their business and the future of electric vehicles.
Why did you decide to start a limousine service using only electric cars that are arguably the first production model electric super car?
We need to move towards more sustainable forms of transport across all modes – from the cars people drive right through to public transportation, which includes hire cars. With the Tesla Model S arriving in Australia late last year, there was a great opportunity to move towards sustainable hire car transportation, providing customers with a zero emissions journey in comfort and luxury, so I went for it!
Why should we use Evoke Limousines over other companies that use more conventional vehicles?
- Customers are guaranteed a zero emissions journey in one of the most advanced cars on the planet. To put the zero emissions journey into perspective, a vehicle in a similar class such as an Audi A7 from Manly to the Airport emits approximately 6kg of CO² (or probably more once the VW Group comes “clean”!), but the same trip with Evoke is emissions free.
- Customers get to experience the most advanced car in the world. From the electric drivetrain to the center console and even the autopilot, there are plenty of new and unique things to experience.
- We also provide free wi-fi, bottled water and an iPad that customers can use to control the in-vehicle music or simply surf the web.
Are customers usually bemused by the absence of noise that you would get from a conventional internal combustion engine?
Of course! The sheer quietness and smoothness of the Tesla Model S surprises the majority of passengers as soon as the car begins moving. This is fantastic for corporates as it provides a great environment for them to continue to work on the go.
Are there any memorable funny comments you have had from clients or members of the public?
One of the most common questions is “where is the engine?” This is always a fun one to answer, as it doesn’t have one!
You have professional chauffeurs – do they ever make use of the Tesla’s famed ‘Autopilot’ technology?
Absolutely! Autopilot has very useful for the long distance trips that we have recently completed, such as to the Hunter Valley and Newcastle.
We understand that the Model S has not only a rear boot but a front one as well! When Evoke Limousines is picking someone up with luggage, where do you usually put it?
The Tesla Model S has a huge amount of storage space. Since we started in May 2015, we have completed over 2,000 zero emission trips and of those we have had to use the frunk (Editor’s note: I burst out laughing at the use of this term) once, which is testament to the enormous amount of boot space that the car has.
Where do you go to charge your vehicles and how long does it typically take?
We charge our vehicles using the Tesla Supercharger network in Sydney, which is carbon offset. This typically takes 20 minutes, however if the car arrived with 0 km remaining, it would take approximately 40 minutes.
What do you think is the future for electric cars in Australia?
I believe that in 10 years time electric cars will be the norm in Australia. Like any new technology, electric cars today are expensive, but the price will come down once adopted by the masses (think back to mobile phones when they were first introduced). Currently the biggest cost are the battery packs, but once the Tesla Gigafactory is finished, the battery pack will cost significantly less to manufacture.
I am also hopeful that the government will assist in giving EVs a kick-start by introducing incentives to encourage Australian’s to make the switch to EVs. You only need to look at Norway where government incentives have had such a large impact that over 10% of new cars are electric – I might add that EVs use locally made electricity which supports Australian jobs.
What’s the best thing about the Tesla Model S?
There is no other car on the market that you can say gets better with time, but that’s exactly what you get with the Tesla Model S. The over the air software updates never cease to amaze me!
What products do you prefer to use to keep your vehicles in such an immaculate condition?
Thanks Pia, we will be sure to keep an eye out for your very unique vehicles on the road.
Want to travel in VIP luxury style with zero emissions along the way? Check out www.evoke.limo for more info.