Australian Winery Lets EV Drivers Drink While Charging Their Cars

While electric vehicles come up with a lot of perks, one aspect of driving them continues to be time-consuming: charging them up. Most drivers are familiar with the time it takes to fuel up a standard car, and the few minutes you might spend in a convenience store or gas station to grab a quick snack while you refuel, but it's harder to imagine spending 30 minutes inside a grab-and-go place while your EV charges up. This common quandary got people thinking: Is there a way to make charging your EV a pleasurable, relaxing experience? If you're in the vicinity of Moores Hill Winery in Australia, the answer is a resounding yes. 

Moores Hill Winery is 100 percent sustainable, from solar roof panels to reusing their water. Completed last February, there are 100 solar panels on the top of the establishment that generates 30 kilowatts of energy. In order to keep electricity flowing at all times, they’ve added 81 kilowatt-hours of battery storage. The entire winery runs on a closed-loop waste management system. Surplus power is given to people that stop by when they need it. 

Even better for visitors? The wine. Any visitor that has an electric vehicle can charge up while enjoying a glass of wine. Fiona Weller, one of the winery’s co-owners, told ABC Rural that the location appears for Tesla owners that are looking for a place to charge their vehicle, saying, “Tesla drivers are quite organised and like to plan their trips. So Moores Hill will pop up so they can combine a charge while they’re doing some wine tasting.”

Water is needed to create wine, and that’s both harvested naturally and recycled. The Tasmanian winery has two 50,000 liter tanks that holds rainwater. All wastewater created in the winemaking process is used on a bush block. Bush blocks are privately owned patches of native trees and shrubs in Australia.

Why would a winery go off the grid? It cost over $114,000 annually to transfer grapes over toward one of their facilities to create bottles of wine. While it cost more to install and use solar power than plugging in traditionally, Weller said that it would end up paying off in the long term as rates from utility companies keep going up.

“I think people are a bit frustrated by the lack of activity from government in terms of promoting renewable energy,” Weller tells ABC Rural. “So they see us as a small business that’s doing what government and other businesses should be doing.”

Moores Hill’s new winery provides a great stop for those traveling with EVs, or anyone who needs an excuse to go out and get a glass of wine. Just make sure to drink responsibly, and declare someone in your trip as the designated driver before you start to imbibe. 

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