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Tesla Model 3 test drive issues: Couple stranded in rural Victoria because of charging cord – Daily Mail


How couple’s dream Tesla roadtrip turned into a nightmare after they became stranded without a charger deep in the country – as a tow truck admitted even he couldn’t help them

  • Couple hired a Tesla electric car for a road trip to test if they wanted to buy one
  • But they found themselves in rural Victoria without the correct cable to charge 
  • The next nearest charging station was out of order leaving them stranded
  • New tech platform Charghound has launched in Australia hoping to plug the gap 

A couple’s dream country road trip turned into a nightmare when they found their electric car didn’t have the right cable for a charging station leaving them stranded in rural Australia.

Bernadette and Stephen Janson from Sydney hired a Tesla Model 3 for the recent six-day journey to Echuca in rural Victoria as a ‘try-before-you-buy’ test run.

But the pair ran into trouble on day three of the journey when, with 12 kilometres of battery left, they went to hook their vehicle up to an electric vehicle charging station in the town of Leitchville on the NSW-Victoria border. 

They realised their Tesla didn’t have the cord they needed – and the station wasn’t working.

‘Massive drama today, we had enough charge to drive to the next town of Cohuna where there is a charger only to discover it’s not working,’ Ms Janson said in a video shared to TikTok.

‘We’ve been on the phone for three hours getting the run around between the car hire company, RACV and NRMA.’

Bernadette and Stephen Janson (pictured) hired an electric car to test out if they wanted to buy one but ended up getting stranded

The Tesla Model 3 (same model pictured) they hired didn't have a special charging cable included

The Tesla Model 3 (same model pictured) they hired didn’t have a special charging cable included

Ms Janson said she eventually spotted a tow truck that had stopped nearby and ‘rushed over to grab the driver’ but even he couldn’t help with the correct cables or any way to charge the car.

‘But he did say he knew of a lady that lives in Cohuna with a Tesla so we called her and she told us that to get enough charge to get back to Echuca would take about six hours,’ she said.

‘It’s 2pm now and we’ve been at this (place) since 7am so frankly that’s not ideal’.

The problem was only solved after the car hire company agreed to foot the bill for a tow truck lift to the next nearest charging station because the extra charging adapter they initially needed was not included in their car.

‘But we’re going to have to extend our road trip for another day,’ Ms Janson said.

Ms Janson

Their car being towed away

Ms Janson shared a video to social media detailing their drama and showing the car getting towed away (pictured)

Bernadette Janson was stranded with her husband because of the charging issue

Bernadette Janson was stranded with her husband because of the charging issue

The Jansons tale will only become a more common story as Australians increasingly purchase electric vehicles and the government continues its push away from fossil fuels to ‘greener’ alternatives.

As of 2021, electric cars made up nearly 2 per cent of new car sales but this is expected to grow to 18 per cent by 2030, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. 

Petrol-only cars will make up 24 per cent of sales by that year with the remainder being hybrid petrol and electric vehicles made by companies like Toyota and Mazda. 

One answer to the problem is marketplace style charging networks where drivers can access privately-owned charging stations across the country.

One Australian company already doing this is Chargehound, which bills itself as the ‘Airbnb of charging stations’.

‘We already connect 200,000 drivers looking for car parking through our other platform Parkhound, so it made sense to apply that principle to charging facilities as well,’ CEO Mike Rosenbaum said.

New tech platform Chargehound has launched in Australia hoping to plug the gap for EV car owners who need to know where they can get a charge

New tech platform Chargehound has launched in Australia hoping to plug the gap for EV car owners who need to know where they can get a charge

‘For a lot of inner-city residents living in apartment blocks or shared houses it’s very difficult for them to access charging options.

‘That’s the benefit of a peer to peer network – we will have the largest distributed network of electric vehicle chargers in the country.’

Some estimates put the number of public charging stations needed in Australia by 2030 at 2.8million with only a few thousands currently built.

Users of Chargehound pay for the temporary parking space with the electricity included and the owner of the site gets a commission. 



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