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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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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.


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