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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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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.

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