The move Supercars champ never thought he’d make

IT is the ironic twist Russell Ingall never saw coming.

As the 2005 Supercars champion puts it, he has spent the majority of his 54 years in cars "where the main aim is to pump as much fuel into the engine as possible, which means pump as much out the exhaust as possible."

"I remember in the early days of Supercars it used to look like a steam train, they used to pump that many emissions into the exhaust," he recalled.

Now he's driving through the streets of the Gold Coast in an environmentally friendly petrol-electric Porsche Cayenne Hybrid.

As they headed towards a change of cars, he and wife Jules decided to see what all the noise - or lack thereof - is about in the electric car market that is taking off.

Four months into their ownership, they are sold on the concept.

"It takes a lot of getting used to but after owning it for a little while now, I get it," Ingall said.

Russell Ingall with his Porsche Cayenne Hybrid at The Spit. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Russell Ingall with his Porsche Cayenne Hybrid at The Spit. Picture: Glenn Hampson

"The power and the torque is incredible, like it has actually blown me away. I was expecting it to be pretty slow but the beauty about electric motors is you have got maximum torque from the first bit of throttle you put in whereas any petrol or diesel engine takes a while to build up to it."

Porsche Gold Coast sales manager Nick Price confirmed it's a field that is undergoing an "exponential increase" in popularity.

"People are moving away from diesel powertrains now in favour of petrol-electric powertrains simply from an efficiency point of view," Price said.

To that end, the Ingalls have only fuelled up about once a month and have been pleasantly surprised to see charging their car not have a marked impact on their power bill.

Ingall after winning the 2005 Supercars championship.
Ingall after winning the 2005 Supercars championship.

With diesel being phased out and electric on the way in, Ingall has called for more charging stations to become available to the public to handle the rising demand.

"Julia has taken a recent trip up to Noosa and there is charging stations all the way up so the Sunshine State is definitely leading the way," he said.

"But the other ones, Sydney, Melbourne, all of the other capital cities have got to start jumping on-board with this because it is going to happen and the only thing that will slow it down is infrastructure, not the amount of people that actually want them."

Pacific Fair is a location on the Gold Coast where car charging is available.

Price confirmed Porsche will likely sell their first fully electric cars on the Gold Coast in 2020 with the Taycan sedan - five years in the making - to provide 500km range with the ability to recharge to 80 per cent capacity in just 15 minutes.