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The American-designed Tesla roadster offers a sweet blend of performance and efficiency, boasting a 3.9 s 0-60 acceleration and a 244 mile range.  (Source: The Green Howse Effect)

The charge door is sealed...  (Source: AutoBlog Green)

A record is set!  (Source: AutoBlog Green)
With a bit of smart driving the Tesla Roadster has plenty of juice

The old mantra that the driver makes the car (and not the other way around) never seemed more true than in a recent road test of Tesla Roadster.  A pair of drivers managed a record 313 miles on a charge during a challenge road trip across the Australian Outback.

Priced at near $100,000 the luxury electric sportscar has propelled Tesla into profitability this July and made it a new power on the U.S. auto market.  A typical 2008 Tesla Roadster features an intriguing blend of power and efficiency.  The sporty EV is capable of 0-60 acceleration in 3.9 seconds, making it faster than a Porsche 911 or Audi R8.  And it manages 244 miles on a charge, according to EPA testing cycles.  Of course, you can't be flooring the acceleration pedal, if you want to manage that kind of range.

Previous testing (aside from the EPA tests) showed the car's real world range to be about 241 miles, the range it achieved in the Rallye Monte Carlo d'Energies Alternatives held earlier this year.  Now a new test conducted as part of the Global Green Challenge in Australia has showed just how far the range can be extended by smart driving.

Driven by Simon Hackett and co-driver Emilis Prelgauskas, the pair managed to squeeze 313 miles out of the unmodified Roadster.  That took them from Alice Springs, in the Australian Northern Territory to a point just 183 km (appr. 113 miles) north of Coober Pedy, in South Australia.  The pair sealed the charge port door before embarking across the outback,  to make the record official.

Mr. Hackett emailed a note to Tesla Motors that night, stating, "Emilis and I have decades of experience flying gliders competitively and we applied the same energy conservation techniques to our driving, with significant results! The car had about 3 miles of range left when the drive was completed. We travelled 501km on a single charge. Let that sink in for a minute."

He continues, "The security seal was applied to the charge port door when we started the journey. As this is being done as part of the Global Green Challenge, we have a full set of official verifiers here who will attest to the results and to achieving the outcome. We were followed along the journey by our support crew and a documentary film crew - so we have it on film. It's late here and we have another 541k to drive (with an intermediate charge stop) tomorrow - and another two days of the event left after that. When we're done, we will have driven over 3000 km's in the Roadster over the course of only six days, from Darwin to Adelaide."

The record showcases that aside from great performance the Tesla Roadster can also be incredibly efficient.  That sets the bar high for luxury EV competitors like Fisker.  And with a more affordable mass-market entry on the way, even companies with non-luxury entries like the 2011 Chevy Volt have cause for concern.

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Go Tesla Go!
By obiwankenobi on 10/28/2009 2:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
Some of you are whining which seems pretty obvious you can't afford to buy a Tesla. :P

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By Hiawa23 on 10/28/2009 3:10:19 PM , Rating: 4
Some of you are whining which seems pretty obvious you can't afford to buy a Tesla. :P

LOL, are you serious? At that price, prbably 75% of American can't afford that. Is that supposed to be a knock or something? I don't think they are so called whining about that becuase of your reason.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By walk2k on 10/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: Go Tesla Go!
By freeagle on 10/28/2009 5:25:57 PM , Rating: 5
I doubt people drive the way they do on a circuit, even the ones with sport cars. The normal roads, including traffic, is far from the perfect race environment the circuits offer.

As a side note, Buggatti Veyron can consume its fuel tank in 12 minutes at full throttle ( )

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By walk2k on 10/28/2009 7:04:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes and the tires would only last 15 minutes at that speed anyway!

Obviously you're not driving it like on a track, but you're not hypermiling either. Point is it will be somewhere in between, yes the range shouge be longer than 55 miles, but it's not going to be 300+ miles either.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By PlasmaBomb on 10/29/2009 4:03:16 AM , Rating: 3
Rachel Konrad, a spokeswoman for Tesla, said at no time did the batteries in either of the two cars used in the Top Gear test drop below 20% charge.

Interestingly enough the Veryon will travel 50 miles on a full tank (12 minutes) at 250 mph.

Overcoming aerodynamic drag takes a lot of work ;)

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: Go Tesla Go!
By Spuke on 10/29/2009 2:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
A few owners are reporting ~100 miles with some spirited driving.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By Reclaimer77 on 10/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Go Tesla Go!
By Spivonious on 10/28/2009 4:06:56 PM , Rating: 3
lol, even the cheapest Ferarri starts at $185k.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By Reclaimer77 on 10/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Go Tesla Go!
By Spuke on 10/28/2009 7:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
A Tesla would most likely be a normally aspirated Porsche 911 shopper. And that customer doesn't necessarily have the extra $85k for a Ferrari. People still lease or make payments in this price range believe it or not. Now if the Tesla was another $50k then you're right in the Ferrari shopper group.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By Spivonious on 10/29/2009 9:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Plus the Tesla is not exactly a car you'd take on a road trip.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By adiposity on 10/28/2009 4:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not whining, I just have sour grapes. Jeez!

J/K, I know the car is ridiculously priced. But you don't make yourself sound any less jealous when you call those who buy something expensive f'ing retards.

The correct response is: "huh."


RE: Go Tesla Go!
By FITCamaro on 10/28/2009 7:08:59 PM , Rating: 3
For $100,000 I can buy a Vette and drive it for more than a decade. And it'll go 400+ miles a tank.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By Spuke on 10/28/2009 7:15:52 PM , Rating: 1
For $100,000 I can buy a Vette and drive it for more than a decade. And it'll go 400+ miles a tank.
Good luck getting a ZR1 for $100k.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By FITCamaro on 10/28/2009 8:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
I meant a regular 6-speed Vette.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By jonmcc33 on 10/29/2009 11:39:28 AM , Rating: 2
Um, you can get a brand new Corvette for $48,930. Heck, the 2008 Corvette Z06 is only $74,285.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By jonmcc33 on 10/29/2009 11:34:13 AM , Rating: 2
If I had $100 grand to spend it surely would not be on an all electric car that only manages 240 miles.

It's almost like the Mac to PC comparison. It's not that we cannot afford a's just that we aren't that stupid to waste our money on one.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By badmoodguy on 10/29/2009 12:25:31 PM , Rating: 3
This is true if you *only* had 100k. If you had lots of 100k bunches sitting around, you would probably be more inclined to buy it.

Views on money scale with how much money the viewer has.

RE: Go Tesla Go!
By Spuke on 10/29/2009 3:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
If you had lots of 100k bunches sitting around, you would probably be more inclined to buy it.
I wouldn't. I'd rather spend that particular $100k on Underground Racing twin-turbo's for the Gallardo.

By BrandtTheMan on 10/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: lol
By Spivonious on 10/28/2009 1:19:41 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see any gas stations around either.

RE: lol
By boobot on 10/28/2009 1:24:08 PM , Rating: 3
Good time to create mobile solar/wind power stations along these freeways. I'm thinking connect it all to an RV ;-)

RE: lol
By Murloc on 10/28/2009 2:00:50 PM , Rating: 3
yes and then wait at least 6 hours to get some charge?

RE: lol
By Tamale on 10/28/2009 2:19:19 PM , Rating: 3
better than being stranded!

RE: lol
By Screwballl on 10/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: lol
By chmilz on 10/28/2009 2:43:50 PM , Rating: 5
Drag created by said mill or dam would cause the car to use more power than the amount the device could create.

RE: lol
By autoboy on 10/28/2009 2:48:11 PM , Rating: 5
Or you can tow a gas generator. Ah the wonders of gasoline. Cheap, efficient, light, and powerful.

RE: lol
By Souka on 10/28/2009 4:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how much better range would've been if some spiffy solar cells were put into the roof, dash, hood..etc.


Might've eeked out a % or two...another 10+km...but I really haven't a clue.

RE: lol
By matt0401 on 10/28/2009 11:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
It'd be a neat concept. Solar cells on the roof of a car could add power into the system reducing draw on the battery, resulting in a longer range, the same effect as charging the car as it drives. Admittedly, it wouldn't add a huge amount of range, but it would give them the ability to charge the car in the middle of the desert for free. Of course, as a reality check, this is a very niche feature. It wouldn't be as effective, for example, in London as in the Mojave desert.

To the guy who mentioned the wind turbine on the roof, I'll have to guess that was a joke. I don't understand who anybody could be that stupid.

RE: lol
By mindless1 on 10/29/2009 2:38:51 AM , Rating: 3
It'd be a total waste, the added weight and expense could simply be used to put another battery pack in the car, and the limited amount of solar cells you can put on a car won't charge it in a reasonable amount of time, and they will degrade and become yet another excessive expense in maintaining an electric vehicle.

Hint: If it were a reasonable thing to do instead of a marketing line-item to pretend-environmentalists, all the cars would already have them.

It could potentially be equally effective in London though because there would typically be a larger % of time spent parked charging rather than driving straight through the desert.

RE: lol
By tmouse on 10/29/2009 8:07:46 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I think if this were to happen it would be in the form of molded parts with solar capacity. Think along the lines of the "solar shingles" mentioned in precious articles. The hood and roof could actually be 1 piece collectors. We probably are not there yet, but then again we probably are not really that far away IF there was interest. Now how much you gain is open for debate and of course it would only get better with time. I can envision entire cars where the bodies are laminates with solar capacity and before any one jumps in and screams about cost keep in mind it will be expensive at first then scale will drop the prices (I can remember when discussion about mobile phones with GPS capabilities were considered ludicrous considering the added costs such technology had at that time). I foresee the possibility of having apply able coatings (like paint) someday that could provide the ability of any surface to become solar collectors, of course we are not there yet but people are working on it. I think hood and/or roof 1 piece panels that match the car is a real possibility, of course you would have to keep your car clean ; )

RE: lol
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/29/2009 11:25:41 AM , Rating: 2
Almost as stupid as suggesting solar panels on this car would do anything more than keep a slight breeze on the occupants as they waited for the vultures to find them.

RE: lol
By hduser on 10/28/2009 5:49:42 PM , Rating: 1
How about getting a semi to push the Tesla for a hundred miles? You can ride the brakes on the Tesla for a little regenerative braking/charging.

RE: lol
By walk2k on 10/28/2009 7:06:58 PM , Rating: 1
There could be one directly behind the camera...

but it wouldn't matter anyway seeing as this is a pure electric (NOT HYBRID) car!

RE: lol
By mindless1 on 10/29/2009 2:40:17 AM , Rating: 1
The concept you replied to, if it were possible to do, would in fact matter.

RE: lol
By PrimarchLion on 10/29/2009 12:15:10 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe they brought a really long extension cord.

Right good
By icanhascpu on 10/28/2009 1:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
Great except for the fact that to get those numbers you need to be an "expert glider" and know all the tricks in energy conservation.

Hell, I used to turn my gas powered 70s VW bug off and coast down 10 miles worth of mountain road. THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT EFFICIENT.

RE: Right good
By Jedi2155 on 10/28/2009 2:25:44 PM , Rating: 5
Yes it does. You're driving more efficiently.

RE: Right good
By icanhascpu on 10/29/2009 10:28:49 PM , Rating: 3
Yes it does. You're driving more efficiently.

You said exactly what I said yet Im rated down and youre rated up. What are people reading here?

Driving the way I said makes ME more efficient. It does not make the CAR more efficient.

RE: Right good
By bildan on 10/28/2009 2:43:47 PM , Rating: 1
The energy management skills learned while flying gliders are extremely applicable. I've flown gliders for the last 50 years. Using essentially the same techniques, my long term average mileage with a '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee is 24mpg (EPA says 14mpg) and I don't arrive much later if at all than the lead foots.

There's no point in buying an efficient car and then wasting that potential efficiency with bad driving habits.

Yes, it's snowing hard in Colorado but the Jeep has 4WD - and if it gets wrecked, my loss is trivial.

RE: Right good
By Spuke on 10/28/2009 7:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
I don't arrive much later if at all than the lead foots.
That's because most of the lead foots don't make use of the extra speed. I drive a sports car and have seen people flash by me at a good 20+ mph more than I'm doing (I typically do 80 mph on the fwy) only to catch up with them at an offramp 10 miles down the road. Or, my favorite, they get "stuck" behind someone in front of them and I just drive right by cruise control engaged the whole time.

Don't get me wrong, doing 120 mph (~200 kph) or more is fun but you're just wasting gas if you're not using that speed to actually get to your destination faster. I've noticed that on some stretches of fwy that going faster than a certain speed simply doesn't get you to your destination any quicker.

Faster than porsche 911 now.
By greylica on 10/28/2009 2:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
If Tesla is faster than a 911 in it´s debut, I am expecting it to be the a challenge for CCX and CCJs...
And 300 Miles isn´t bad at all.
If this car could run 100 miles per day with a single charge, it´s sufficient for a driver to go home/work every day.

Congrats Tesla!
Innovators Welcome!

RE: Faster than porsche 911 now.
By walk2k on 10/28/2009 3:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's no challenge to the Konigseggs. It's not even faster around a track than the gas/petrol powered Elise that it's based on. It's very quick off the line and fast down the straights, but the extra 900lbs or so of the batteries really kills the cornering.

RE: Faster than porsche 911 now.
By silverblue on 10/28/2009 8:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
I should add that on Top Gear, the Tesla had tyres designed for rolling resistance and not cornering. If this is the same for all Roadsters, then that would also contribute to them being unable to corner.

Being an American car though, that wouldn't be that surprising ;) (if you believe that most American supercars are built to pretty much go in a straight line... I wouldn't know)

RE: Faster than porsche 911 now.
By silverblue on 10/28/2009 8:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
*Corner at speed, I should've said, though it was implied.

RE: Faster than porsche 911 now.
By UNHchabo on 10/28/2009 8:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
If you're talking about the Top Gear test track, it was faster than the Elise. Slower than the Exige though.

RE: Faster than porsche 911 now.
By Spuke on 10/29/2009 3:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
If Tesla is faster than a 911 in it´s debut, I am expecting it to be the a challenge for CCX and CCJs...
It depends on the 911. If it's the turbo, then 3.9 isn't fast enough.

Car and Driver 0-60
Tesla: 4.1
911: 4.1
911S: 3.9
911 GT3: 3.7
911 4S: 4.0
911 Turbo: 3.0

With the exception of the Turbo, the acceleration to 60 mph is a wash between the cars.

RE: Faster than porsche 911 now.
By Spuke on 10/29/2009 4:11:46 PM , Rating: 1
And 0-60 isn't really a good measure of a cars performance in a straight line . The 1/4 mile is the accepted benchmark because not only does it show the hp difference represented by the final mph but it also gives you an indication of how drag affects higher speed acceleration.

Car and Driver
Tesla: 13.2@103
911: 12.5@113
911S: 12.4@114
911 GT3: 11.8@120
911 Turbo: 11.3 (no mph listed)

Looks like all these cars are significantly faster and, yes, in the 1/4 mile, .5 second is significantly faster. BTW, 13.2 is not slow.

Cold weather
By Uncle on 10/28/2009 1:32:11 PM , Rating: 3
Try testing the car in colder climates, but then again no one will drive these in the winter time.These tests are mostly done in the hottest areas of the world. What is the percentage output drop per Celsius drop with these batteries.

RE: Cold weather
By GraySplatter on 10/28/2009 2:17:35 PM , Rating: 4
I went up to the Boulder, CO gallery this last weekend to check them out and I asked that exact question. The battery pack actually has a sealed fluid thermal regulation system on it that keeps it cool in the heat and warm in the cold. It's running all the time whether the car itself is -- it was making a very quiet "gurgle" sound on the showroom floor.

It was about 35 degrees and snowing (roads wet, not icy) and I took one out. It did just fine on the roads going up the canyon. I don't think I'd want it out with more than a quarter inch of snow, though. I actually managed to scare myself a couple of times -- maybe I shouldn't have been taking the corners so fast. :-)

By ksherman on 10/28/2009 1:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
Your fifth and sixth paragraphs are nearly identical.

Regardless, pretty slick. Glad this roadster is doing well!

RE: Redundancy
By Maharajamd on 10/28/2009 2:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, what's up with that Mick?

RE: Redundancy
By Mortando on 10/29/2009 12:02:44 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, what is up with that Mick?

Such Negativity
By room200 on 10/28/2009 1:40:51 PM , Rating: 3
I can see that whenever I want some positive energy, just come to a thread about an American car company. <sarcasm off>

RE: Such Negativity
By mckirkus on 10/28/2009 1:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
The reason people are frustrated is because this is not news. Two guys drove the thing very carefully and went 28% longer than possible during normal daily driving.

If you read the headline you might think that there had been some improvement to the battery pack.

They seem to left out something important....
By Pneumothorax on 10/28/2009 1:33:17 PM , Rating: 2
So, how fast were they going? 35mph?

By Davelo on 10/28/2009 4:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
My first question too. What was the average speed during the course of the test? Were there any stops made? Was it on flat terrain or was it up and downhill? I hope it wasn't only downhill?

Real-world testing!
By IcePickFreak on 10/28/2009 4:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
I mean that's great and all, but the Australian outback is pretty much flat and straight as far as I know; look at the picture of them on the roadside even. They probably never changed speed, and never turned the wheels more than a degree or two. I wouldn't be surprised if they made sure they were driving downwind as well just so they could make big claims and cram all the details into the fine-print, which is naturally lost in 'news reports' such as this - Free marketing hype FTW.

RE: Real-world testing!
By Alexstarfire on 10/29/2009 7:33:31 AM , Rating: 1
If it's anything like hypermiling in a Prius then going a constant speed is horrible for it. Gotta Pulse and Glide to get the insane MPGs you hear about. Though, even without doing that it's fairly easy to get good mileage if you just coast when necessary.

Ridiculous price?
By zinfamous on 10/29/2009 12:04:12 AM , Rating: 1
Not sure why people think this is such a ridiculous price for this technology.

This is a really, really expensive car to make right now, and production is very, very low. IIRC, they aren't making too much on each car sold.

Tesla finally hit a profit for the first time in what...6 years? Once they improve process, manufacturing of these batteries becomes cheaper and more efficient, then price would likely drop. They're already pushing a mainstream sedan for 2013, I believe, in the $45k range, which isn't too shabby considering pricing on the Volt, and what the Tesla will most likely achieve in terms of performance and efficiency in comparison.

RE: Ridiculous price?
By mindless1 on 10/29/2009 3:05:11 AM , Rating: 2
You miss the point. Technology for technologies' sake is a misapplication. You could tack $20K worth of tech onto a bagel toaster and that too would be overkill.

When you think ahead you aren't looking at the bigger picture, that as always once they hit a competitive market segment there will be, by definition, competition. Anyone with deep pockets can make an absurdly priced new toy, but it does not translate into success in other market segments till you go back and strip away all the excessively priced tech.

$45K is not a "mainstream" sedan. That's approaching semi-luxury SUV territory before we even consider that the average mainstream sedan has gotten smaller and by american companies... not totally not mainstream at even $35K.

For my next trick...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/29/2009 11:31:55 AM , Rating: 3
I am going to try to set the record driving from the top of the rockies onto the plains with a decompression wind at my back...

By roykahn on 11/2/2009 7:14:22 AM , Rating: 2
The other world record they set was for the most amount of smug created by a car.

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