MAY MONTHLY MEETING & AGM, Drouin Golf Club – Thursday 12th May

It was pleasing, as well as somewhat surprising, to see over 60 members and friends at our Annual General Meeting this month. As far as AGMs go, ours is always very short and pretty painless, but not the type of event that usually pulls a crowd – so perhaps our display car, Steve Defabrizio’s Tesla Model S, was the attraction!

An AGM always creates an opportunity to revitalize the committee either by reshuffling responsibilities or injecting fresh blood, and so it was this time. Mark McKibbin has stepped down from the position of Club President which he’s held for 3 years, but will remain on the committee. Graeme Hollingsworth has been persuaded to take on the leadership responsibility, but will also retain his Club Permit Officer role which is shared with Doug Armour. Trish Brooks and Judy Barnard, who have served on committee for several years, have decided to step down, and we welcome Claire Richards as a new committee member. Phil Finger has handed the role of Club Regalia Officer over to David Anderson; the rest of the Committee and responsibilities remain unchanged. We thank all members who have served or continue to serve on committee; it is through their efforts and leadership that our club continues to prosper.

We may have welcomed in a new look committee, but it will probably be cars like our guest’s incredible Tesla Model S that will make a bigger impact on our motoring future. The California-based manufacturer Tesla, began with a clean sheet and an aim to design and build an all-electric car; what they’ve done though, is place every other manufacturer on notice, that this is the automotive future. The Tesla Model S has no engine; instead, its all-wheel-drive supercar performance is powered by electric motors and lithium batteries stored under the floor. Steve’s car was the demonstration / media car that featured in a U-tube clip racing against a V8 Supercar. (Click on this link to view: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SESFklkEfo8 ) It originally had a 0-100 km/h time of 3.2 seconds, but thanks to an overnight computer software upgrade with ‘Launch-mode’, it will now do it in 3 seconds flat!

Fully charged the car has a range of over 400kms. It can be recharged at home or for free from several Tesla Supercharge Stations in Victoria and interstate where a half charge can be completed in 20 minutes, or a full charge in 45 minutes. The car is bristling with computer technology – from sensor-activated door handles to regenerative braking which helps to charge the batteries. There’s also the air-bag suspension which is fully automated and can be raised or lowered for different circumstances; the car even remembers the locations of these circumstances for future reference. It can also drive completely on auto-pilot (or hands free) although there are still some glitches which are expected to be ironed out in the near future. The Model S is a large, heavy car weighing in slightly over two tons. It seats five adults in comfort thanks to a completely flat floor, and there’s also ample room for luggage with a boot at each end utilizing the space normally taken up by a fuel tank and exhaust system. The batteries have a guaranteed life of 10 years and because there’s no engine and associated ancillary systems, the maintenance requirements are very low. There are about 700 Tesla Model S cars in Australia at present and Tesla has just released a smaller model which has been very well received and will keep the factory busy well into the foreseeable future.

An amazing piece of technology that gives us a glimpse of what may be in our motoring futures. We thank Steve for accepting our invitation to display his car and for telling us a little about its performance and features. It certainly added some interest to our AGM.

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