Imagine this: cruising through the sun-baked expanse of Australia's outback in a silent electric sports car, the iconic red earth stretching out to the horizon. Sounds improbable, right?
Well, that's exactly what Porsche brand ambassador and former Formula One driver Mark Webber did, embarking on an electrifying adventure from Darwin to Tennant Creek in a Taycan 4S Cross Turismo. This wasn't just a scenic road trip; it was a groundbreaking journey pushing the boundaries of electric mobility in a region not exactly known for its abundance of charging stations.
Webber, no stranger to adrenaline-pumping challenges, readily embraced the unknown. The vast Northern Territory, with its sparse population and rugged terrain, presented a unique set of obstacles. Charging infrastructure was limited, requiring careful planning and reliance on slower AC charging. But the Taycan, with its impressive range and off-road capabilities, proved up to the task.
The journey unfolded like a postcard come to life. From the vibrant sunset over Darwin Harbour to the Nitmiluk Gorge teeming with crocodiles (both freshwater and the more formidable saltwater variety), the Australian wilderness offered a constant spectacle.
Days were spent traversing the Stuart Highway, a lonely artery lined with weathered roadhouses and the occasional gargantuan road train thundering by (described as trucks with four or five trailers, reaching up to 53.5m in length).
The pace was leisurely, punctuated by stops at quirky outback towns like Daly Waters, where a pub owner and his trained donkey provided the evening's entertainment. Nights were spent under star-studded skies, recharging both the Taycan and the spirits of the travel crew.
Despite the initial scepticism, the charging process proved surprisingly smooth. Public AC stations delivered up to 22kW, exceeding expectations and extending the Taycan's range with each stop. The unexpected became a recurring theme, with even the most basic campgrounds offering charging options.
After 1284km and 321kWh of electrons devoured, the Taycan rolled into Tennant Creek, marking the triumphant conclusion of their electrifying odyssey across the Australian outback. The verdict? A resounding success. "I'd never have thought that things would go so smoothly with an electric car in the outback," admitted Webber, speaking with a newfound respect for the capabilities of EVs.
The journey was a testament to the growing reach and adaptability of electric vehicles. The Australian outback, once the domain of petrol-guzzling behemoths, has been breached by a silent warrior, proving that adventure can be found not just in speed, but in the quiet hum of electric exploration.
Even Australia's most remote corners are becoming accessible to the silent revolution on four wheels. And who knows, you might just see a familiar F1 legend behind the wheel, grinning from ear to ear as he conquers the outback, one kilowatt-hour at a time.