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Matthew first became our customer in March 2017. He was one of the first people to buy a Nissan LEAF in Australia and was struggling to find a company that would rent him an electric (or even a hybrid) car while he was travelling for business or family vacations.

He had long wanted to drive a Tesla and this is how he first got in touch with evee.

Over time Matthew became a regular client and also shared his story of passion for electric vehicles. It takes a great deal of determination to do what he did a few years before even Tesla Roadster went into production.

Without further ado, here’s Matthew’s story written by him for your reading pleasure.

My First Electric Car

In 2005 the time had come to purchase a new car and I was ready to make the switch away from petrol to the electric car. To my dismay I couldn’t buy one and there was only a tiny niche industry in the conversion game. After a long search I found a company that agreed to help me convert a Toyota Hilux Ute, into a fully electric vehicle, at tremendous expense.

65K dollars, one tonne of batteries and one year later the day came when I drove my very own four door electric Toyota Hilux. I will never forget that first amazing quiet drive around the streets of Cambelltown. All went well until we reached a couple of hundred metres of very moderate suburban slope. We bravely headed off and the car made it half way up with a good run up. The moment we started going backwards with the pedal to the floor I asked

“Is this the best electric cars can do?”

“Yes” the engineer replied, “unless we spend another $100K on lithium batteries and an AC motor…”

Well after several re-builds, a new engineer, and new cooling systems, I drove that truck 40,000 kilometres in the following years on the lead acid batteries that gave me just 45 kilometres of range at 60 kilometres per hour, at best – until they started to lose capacity and I had to live with 30 kilometres of range only. Things have come a long way
since those early pioneering days!

Nissan LEAF and Travelling

Once the LEAF came out in Australia we were early adopters and for ten years now I have enjoyed silently sailing past petrol stations – except when we go away and have to hire a petrol car!

As frequent travellers we have become tired of the usual hire car companies, especially as we never seem to get the hybrid car we order. Step in evee! The perfect, personalised rental car service. Really wanting to get behind the wheel of a Tesla? Without paying hundreds of thousands? Try evee! They offer clients not only the experience of driving amazing electric cars, but a viable alternative to other commercial rental car companies.
We fly to Sydney and Melbourne from time to time to visit family, or for business – evee have cars that perfectly fit our transport needs.

evee Experience

Our first experience with evee was a family beach weekend where we hired the Tesla Model S. This vehicle provided a very practical solution for our transport needs, three child seats in the back, mum and dad in the front.

Evee organised everything for us and even met us at the luggage carousel and helped us with the prams, cots and many bags. Normally we need to hire a giant seven seat people mover to fit our kids luggage, but in the Tesla we can put our suitcases under the bonnet where there is normally an engine, leaving plenty of room in the back for the
pram and cot. The car was perfect and we headed off to visit grandparents and cousins around Sydney and then to the Northern Beaches for the weekend.

Picking up the Tesla at Sydney Airport
Tesla Model S comfortably fits 3 child seats

We drove the Tesla 200 kilometres, and, while we did charge the vehicle for free on the supercharger when we visited the amazing Tesla store in St Leonards to check out the new Model X, we didn’t actually need to and could have done the entire weekend without about charging at all.

Charging at St Leonards Showroom

The very next week I returned alone to Sydney for a business trip. Evee was able to hire me the very competitive priced Nissan LEAF, which was absolutely perfect for my overnight trip. After my appointments I stayed in Avalon. It was very convenient to charge overnight from a regular power point in Dad’s garage. In fact it was much more
convenient than having to find a petrol station near the airport in Mascot when hurrying for the return flight the next day. For many business trips, just around the city area, charging would not be necessary at all.

Nissan LEAF – Perfect for the City

The evee cars are beautifully presented, like any hire car service, and the knowledgeable team are able to explain all the features and operation of the car. The service was personalised and excellent and the prices very reasonable. The Tesla Model S is of course the fastest, funnest, safest, most efficient and most practical in terms of storage space of any car in it’s class, considered to be the most significant technological breakthrough in automobiles ever -with an autopilot seen to be believed (we drove 40 minutes from Newport to North Sydney without hardly touching the brake or accelerator- the car follows the traffic perfectly starting and stopping at lights and managing the speed effortlessly).

The LEAF is an excellent car that is comparable in price to a regular small rental car from any other commercial company – except there is no fuel to worry about and your drive is accompanied by the soft yet amazing futuristic whir of the electric motor! We are looking forward to our next car with evee!