When modern electric cars first appeared in large numbers about five years ago, long road trips were often an adventure.

The relatively sparse network of public charging stations meant driving long distances required considerable planning and commitment on the part of electric-car owners.

More recently, an increase in the number of public charging stations and Tesla Supercharger sites has made electric-car road trips routine in the U.S.

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But that's not the case in Australia.

Australian drivers can go hundreds of miles without seeing any signs of civilization at all—let alone a charging station.

Nonetheless, several drivers have completed road trips through Australia in the Tesla Model S over the past few years.

2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S

The latest involved a husband and wife team covering 5,400 kilometers (3,355 miles) of Australia's North West-Coastal Highway in a Model S, as detailed in a post on One Step Off The Grid.

In a testament to the underdeveloped state of electric-car charging infrastructure in Australia, the trip was done without plugging in at any dedicated charging stations.

Instead, the couple had to improvise sources of power, including plugging in at a golf course during one of their stops.

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To locate charging sites, they relied on town officials, other locals, and a member of a regional car club.

As if driving across the Australian Outback in an electric car wasn't enough of an adventure, the Model S also served as a makeshift hotel for six of the 13 nights of the trip.

A mattress placed behind the front seats provided ample room, according to the driver.

Tesla Supercharger DC fast-charging site, Goodland, Kansas. Photo by Electric Conduit Construction.

Tesla Supercharger DC fast-charging site, Goodland, Kansas. Photo by Electric Conduit Construction.

Trips like this could become more commonplace as Tesla works to expand its network of Australian Supercharger DC fast-charging stations.

While the U.S. network is fairly dense, Australia currently has just seven Supercharger sites, according to a map on Tesla's website.

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These sites are clustered along the country's southeast coast, primarily between Melbourne and Sydney.

Tesla Motors does plan to add more stations, and perhaps it will eventually have enough to allow drivers to travel across Australia more conveniently.

[hat tip: John]


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