Member News | EV Diaries

Trial start date: 24 January 2023

Jenna is a high school teacher from Kingsley. She signed up for the EV for a Week trial because she was considering an EV for her next car. She felt an EV would be better for the environment, have interesting tech features, and could save her money on fuel.

Her main concern going into the trial was charging infrastructure. Follow Jenna as she goes about her daily life, faces charging challenges, and decides whether an EV will work for her lifestyle.

Age group 30-44
Location Kingsley
Occupation High school teacher
Current car Hyundai Kona
Trial car Polestar 2
Total kilometres travelled 302km

Before the trial: EV believer      After the trial: EV skeptic

Day 1

RAC branded Polestar 2 electric car parked in driveway

Today I picked up the EV from West Perth and drove home down the freeway north in heavy traffic.

It took a while to get used to the 'feathering' of the accelerator and not having to use the brake as much. I then picked up my husband and we drove to Mullaloo beach.

I then looked up where to charge and the only option through Chargefox was at ECU in Joondalup. Even though we could see on the app the charger was out of order, we drove there anyway to see where it was located.

It is frustrating not knowing exactly where to charge and if the charger will work.

On a positive note, the EV is very smooth and quick to drive. It is a different style to a normal car as once you take your foot off the accelerator it brakes rather heavily until you get used to the driving style. 

Benefits or surprises

The harshness of taking your foot off the accelerator.

Challenges or frustrations

Frustrations of finding a charger that works and is within a 5km radius.

Kilometres travelled: 46km

Charged: I went to a charger and the charger was out of order.

Day 2

Today I drove on the freeway to Rockingham.

I am still getting used to the accelerator and not braking.

I was also concerned whether the brake light would come on as I was not actually touching the brake. I got a family member to check if the brake lights would come on when I took my foot off the accelerator—they do.

I also tried charging the car in the carport. It was quite slow. It got to 3% in one hour, which is quite time consuming. The car also used quite a bit of electricity going down the freeway, which I was surprised about.

I then took family members to dinner and had people sit on the back seats. Feedback from family was that it was quite roomy and comfortable. I tried the windscreen wipers and am getting used to the features within the car. The car is easy to charge and connect the cables to the car and see the lights to indicate the car is charging. 

Benefits or surprises

How much electric the car used on the freeway. Also, how easy it was to charge the car in the carport although it took a long time.

Challenges or frustrations

Trying to find a charging station in Rockingham.

Kilometres travelled: 78km

Charged: Charged at home. It was easy enough although it took a long time to charge. No public station nearby.

Day 3

Woman standing in front of RAC branded Polestar 2 electric car at electric charging station

Today I drove from Rockingham back to Kingsley on the freeway.

There are no charging points north of the river, so I went to RAC head office to charge as the battery was around 46%.

I found the plug of the charger really heavy and awkward, and even though it was easy it was cumbersome compared to a fuel pump.

Another challenge is time — it took 25 minutes to charge to 90%. In this time there was nowhere to sit. I felt exposed in this location on a public holiday.

No one was around and a few people were walking around, so I did not feel safe. The charge stations don’t have a person working there like a service station, so safety is also an issue whilst waiting for the car to charge. 

Benefits or surprises

It is good to see on the dashboard how long the charge will take and what percentage is charged.

Challenges or frustrations

Finding a charging station north of the river which works.

Killing time while waiting for the car to charge was frustrating — perhaps all electric cars should come with free deck chairs :).

The safety aspect of waiting in open public spaces for half an hour while the car charges is another challenge.

Then there’s waiting for chargers to be available — as we were waiting another electric car came up and he had to wait until I had finished because the other chargers were out of order. The chargers also have scheduled out of action days, which is frustrating. 

Kilometres travelled: 78km

Charged: Charged at RAC head office.

Day 4

Today I did a few short trips around the suburbs.

I was by myself and went for coffee and then went to the shopping centre. I could do everything I would normally do in the EV that I could do in my normal car. The car is quick to start and go, especially using my phone to lock/unlock car. 

Benefits or surprises

Nothing today.

Challenges or frustrations

It would have been ideal if there were charging stations at the shopping centres that I went to so that I could 'top up’ while I was running errands.

Kilometres travelled: 10km

Charged: I didn't charge as there was no charge at the shopping centres that I went to.

Day 5

Today I drove to Bullsbrook.

I drove the car at the 110km speed limit to see how it performs. The car was easy to drive. However, I found it annoying that you have to be seating in the car for the air con to start.

When it is hot, the Polestar 2 is very hot inside, and it does take a while to cool down. 

Benefits or surprises

The car runs well at freeway speeds.

Challenges or frustrations

The car's air con will not turn on until sitting in the driver’s seat.

There were also no charge stations where I drove today. I feel the Polestar 2 doesn’t do that well with battery economy. 

Kilometres travelled: 70km

Charged: Did not charge as not near any charge stations.

Day 6

Today I organised my day to charge the EV. I drove to RAC head office to charge, however when arriving all chargers were being used and 2 cars were waiting. This was frustrating as I did not want to spend a whole day charging.

Benefits or surprises


Challenges or frustrations

The charging of the car is a major concern and I really had to plan my day to accommodate charging the car. I will not have the time once I go back to work.

I am finding the charging a real headache as I am constantly having to think about where to charge and accommodate my day to charge.

Also, it is very time consuming while waiting for the car to charge.

Kilometres travelled: 20km

Charged: I went to RAC to charge. It takes too long to charge at home and plus I do not have solar panels.

EV experience in a nutshell

It was good to trial an EV and to realise the difficulties of charging. 

There were no working charging stations that I could find north of the river. Also, I felt unsafe staying for over an hour in a public place waiting to charge. 

Using public chargers was too time consuming and I felt it was a waste of time. I had to plan my day around when I would charge and how far I could drive before it became too low. 

Based on this experience, I would not get an EV. The charging is too difficult if you don't have solar panels to balance out the price of charging. I will be getting a hybrid with no charge required instead.

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