Electric cars are the way of the future, according to semi retired electric car enthusiast Charles Dalglish.
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The Hartley local was inspired to 'save the world' when his sister told him to build an electric car 10 years ago.
"It took a couple of years to kick in and eventually I did, I built an electric car and I had to research how to do it," he said.
As an experienced mechanic, Mr Dalglish knew how engines worked but said he'd never got involved with an electric car, so he went to Sydney and met with various electric car enthusiasts and became a member of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association.
"At that stage no electric car was available to be bought so I learnt about AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) and I met different people who were much more knowledgeable than I was about electronics," he said.
He eventually built three electric cars. It took him a year to build his first one.
"The first one I built was ridiculously expensive... the batteries, I could've bought my wife a brand new Honda Civic car so why would you bother to build an electric car? But I did achieve building a sports car and it was awesome," he said.
Mr Dalglish had his sports car for a few years before learning about the problems with lithium batteries.
"I learnt about the failure of lithium batteries if you don't look after them so I've had a few punishing lessons," he said.
He then went on to build a 4WD vehicle using the same electric components used in the sports car.
"I knew they worked and I've still got the vehicle and it works well," he said.
Having a passion for all things electric, Mr Daglish has also watched Tesla CEO and technology entrepreneur Elon Musk with great interest.
"Tesla of course have been leading the way, Elon Musk is a very clever man. In fact I was number 16 in Australia to order a Tesla, but I had to wait two and a half years.
"During that time Mitsubishi came up with a twin motor 4WD electric vehicle, hybrid, so when you run out of electric the petrol comes in and you don't even know about it, so I thought that was the way to go," he said.
As soon as he received his new hybrid he hit the road all the way to Melbourne.
"I drove to Melbourne just for the sake of driving it to Melbourne because a Tesla couldn't do that at the time, so that was just to prove a point and I also saved over $100,000. I enjoy Tesla but I can't justify the [cost] of it," he said.
Mr Daglish now owns an electric Hyundai Kona, the first of its kind in Australia.
"I heard two years ago that Hyundai were developing this car, very efficient indeed and great range. I ordered it without even knowing the end price and it turned out to be quite expensive.
"It cost me $71,000 but it's got a 460km range which in the electric world is awesome," he said.
His luxury electric vehicle has top of the range cruise control, driver attention warning, heated and air-conditioned seats and a heated steering wheel.
"It's an amazing car, it's very quiet and peaceful," Mr Dalglish said.
He said the ability of the electric car was amazing especially after he had received an email from Hyundai stating his car had just been serviced.
"I thought how? I ran over a kangaroo and I was worried about damaging my suspension but the next day I had this email saying my suspension's okay, my brakes are good, batteries are good - it's insane.
"I was a bit shocked about that and the other fascinating thing is, if I have an accident and my airbag goes off an ambulance is dispatched immediately to me," he said.
On his most recent trip, Mr Dalglish drove his Hyundai Kona to Mount Isa, Queensland in what he said was a true test of his limits.
"It was a real struggle the trip to Mount Isa and I did it just for the hell of it.
"There was a lot of pioneering required to do that, no one had done it before but there were a lot of kind people willing to help me," he said.
He said he had to charge his vehicle every night but also during the day.
"The problem is while we have NRMA fast chargers and Queensland have an electric super highway, anywhere else there is no charging facilities.
"I definitely had to charge during the day because the next filling station might of been at 300km so I had to aim to get there," he said.
Mr Dalglish said finding an electric power source was like trying to hunt the thimble, as a tourist once said to him.
"You need to go somewhere that has a source of three-phase (electric power), so showgrounds. I ended up going to a welding shop where they have three-phase and I borrowed some power off them," he said.
He said once you own an electric car, you're committed to go where the charger is.
"After a point it becomes irrelevant to where it is because you're not thinking petrol anymore," he said.
However he said it was not effective for the average person and there was a need for more chargers for long distances.
"We need fast chargers situated and then you could jump in the car and there'd be no trouble at all," he said.
With the recent NRMA chargers installed at the Lithgow Workies (set to officially open later this month), Mr Dalglish said NRMA was taking a step in the right direction.
"Electric is coming. The NRMA chargers in Lithgow are fantastic. They are an absolute stepping stone to the future, without them you can't explore.
"Everybody that wants to go on an adventure out west. [They] probably have enough range to get to Bathurst but to be sure they could call in at Lithgow. With a short charge they've got time to have a meal at the Lithgow Workies, it's an excellent idea," he said.
Mr Dalglish said having an electric car was good for mankind and in the long run could save you some serious money.
"You can get a basic electric car for $40,000 or a second hand one for around $15,000. Once you've got it, that motor will last indefinitely, they don't have exhausts that go wrong they don't have valves, anything.. it just circulates round on two bearings, and if those bearings are all right it just keeps going.
"So it's going to save a tonne of money on maintenance and oil that's another big advantage," he said.
He said it was then a case of charging it and a decent charger could be installed in your home for $2500 to charge overnight.
"Once you've got one you actually don't even really think about it, once you arrive home you plug it in and the next morning it's charged up for you to go anywhere, in my case up to 460km, which is more than most people want to do," he said.
Mr Dalglish said once someone has been for a ride in an electric car they could notice the difference.
"It's extremely quiet, it's got instant thrust, it's different and doesn't put out any pollution - that's the big thing. There's no CO2 coming out, providing you charge using solar," he said.
He said if he had a petrol car and electric car in the same garage and he needed to go out, he would pick the electric car every single time.
"The one time that you'd think twice is if it's out of range and it's a hassle then you'd take the petrol one but otherwise you should take the electric, it's better for the environment. It is the future," he said.
He said he has been in the Lithgow area for a long time and had only come across a few hybrid vehicles, no full electric ones.
"I'm standing out on my own and it feels very lonely and I don't understand, I own the most efficient motor glider in the world, why doesn't everybody have one?" he said.
You can keep up with Charles' electric car adventures via his blog.
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