3rd February 2015
A couple of months ago RenewEconomy suggested that if ever the current Coalition government was to be convinced about changing its renewable energy policies, and embracing the energy future, then maybe they should all be given test drives in a Tesla Model S. (See our story: Could a Tesla test drive cure Abbott government’s deep denial).
It turns out that Malcolm Turnbull, the electorates favourite would-be leader, has done just that. While Queensland Premier Campbell Newman was awaiting his judgment day, and calls were increasing for Tony Abbott to face his, Turnbull was in Fremont, California, visiting the Tesla Factory, which he said was a “great thrill” -but not as much as the test drive itself.
Turnbull posted this photo and the comments below on his Facebook page. He recognised how battery storage is likely to provoke an “energy revolution”. Pity that more government MPs and policy makers are not in tune.
“The all electric cars are being made in a huge factory that used to belong to GM and Toyota,” Turnbull wrote. “It shut down and then four years ago Tesla took it over and it went from being an industrial relic to the home of what many regard as the world’s fastest and coolest electric car. And many of the workers at Tesla today are auto workers who had been laid off when the old GM/Toyota plant closed. Tesla has gone from employing 500 people to 11,000 in five years. A reminder of how innovation drives jobs.
“Walking through the highly automated assembly lines was inspiring, but nothing matched taking a test drive in the latest Tesla S model. This one has a range of 265 miles (about 480 kms) and accelerate to 100 kph in 3.5 seconds. The key of course is the battery technology which is improving all the time both in terms of cost and energy density.
“Batteries have the potential to revolutionise the energy market, reducing peaking power requirements, optimising grid utilisation of renewables and in some cases enabling consumers to go off the grid altogether. The excitement of technology in the Bay Area is exhilarating…..but not quite as palpable as the jolt you feel when you hit the accelerator!”
And we say “absolutely” to that.