Tesla charging photo sparks anger – but there’s more to the story - SUV VEHICLE

Tesla charging photo sparks anger – but there’s more to the story


A photo of a Tesla Model 3 at a Queensland charging station has sparked anger online, but the original image highlights an important issue for EV owners.

A photo of a poorly parked Tesla Model 3 at a Queensland charging station has drawn ire online, but the original uncropped image reveals a potential flaw in Australia’s EV charging network.

A cropped version of the image was circulated on social media in April 2024, showing the Tesla sedan parked over the kerb and protruding onto the nature strip while plugged into a BP Pulse charging station.

RELATED: Can electric cars tow caravans?

Commenters on Facebook insinuated the driver was lazy and had parked over the kerb simply so the charging cable would reach their car.

“I’m aware they don’t have a spare tyre, I wasn’t aware that they don’t have reverse,” the image was reportedly captioned.

However, an uncropped version of the photo was later shared online, revealing the real reason the Model 3 was parked in such an unusual manner: it was towing a trailer.

Backing the trailer into the spot would have meant the charging cable wouldn’t reach the car – and the vehicle would have protruded too far into the path of oncoming traffic.

The original photo dates back to 2023 and was taken at a BP service station in Maroochy Plaza on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

“At bp, safety is paramount and we encourage all drivers charging up with bp pulse to park safely in designated zones,” a BP spokesperson told Drive.

“As we continue to expand our bp pulse network in Australia, we are looking at opportunities to design drive-through charging bays where space allows at our sites.”

While the owner of the Model 3 could, of course, have unhitched the trailer before charging, the controversy does highlight a problem specific to EV owners who use their vehicles to tow.

Can I charge my electric car with a trailer or caravan attached?

EV charging bays pose a challenge for electric car owners towing a trailer, as they are often in privately operated car parks where space is limited.

Nationwide, the road rules state that large vehicles over 7.5 metres in length can’t be parked on streets in built-up areas for more than one hour – but there are no specific rules for private car parks.

Drivers must also leave three metres of clearance for passing vehicles.

Meanwhile, private car parks operated by Wilson Parking or similar permit cars with trailers to enter, but often charge a higher rate for vehicles with trailers given they occupy more space.

This is an issue worthy of consideration, especially as more towing-capable EVs enter the Australian market.

In North America, Tesla has begun rolling out Supercharger sites specifically designed for Tesla models towing trailers or caravans.

These spaces double as charging bays for the massive Cybertruck – which measures more than 5.6m long – and allow easy access to a Supercharger as well as plenty of clearance for passing vehicles.

Currently, not all electric cars can tow, given towing can have adverse effects on a vehicle’s electric range, but a handful of models sold locally are rated for towing substantial loads.

The Tesla Model 3, for example, is available with a tow bar kit that enables the vehicle to tow up to 750kg unbraked or 1000kg braked.

Meanwhile, electric models from Kia, Polestar, BMW, Volvo and Genesis are all capable of towing at least 1000kg braked – with some of them able to tow up to 2000kg braked.

“Most charging stations aren’t designed to cater to cars with caravans,” the RACV told its members in a January 2024 article.

“For that reason, with the current infrastructure, you’ll likely have to unhitch the trailer so that you can back or nose into the charging space – or so that you don’t block other vehicles.

“If you’re visiting caravan parks, it’d be worth calling ahead to see whether they’re okay with you charging and what facilities they have. A regular powered site could be fine for slow charging if you’re planning on spending a couple of days there.”

The post Tesla charging photo sparks anger – but there’s more to the story appeared first on Drive.


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