• Apr 1, 2009
Not long ago, the guys at Top Gear had the chance to enjoy a Tesla Roadster (sadly, the video of that much-discussed event is no longer available). Two things Jeremy Clarkston and crew criticized were the Tesla's range and brakes. The Roadster has now made a strong counter-claim about its range. Recently, a Roadster was taken to the Rallye Monte Carlo d'Energies Alternatives where it managed to go 241 miles on a single charge, just about the maximum range the Roadster is rated for (244 miles).

The car ended up being the only EV on the race, which went from Valence, France, to Monaco. The course used highways, where speeds of 90 km/h (60mph) were common, two-lane roads at 60 km/h (40 mph), and some 30 km/h (20 mph) mountain roads. Did the Roadster have a problem? Nope. The drivers didn't even stop to have lunch. The Roadster finally reached Monaco after 387.6 km (241miles), and the indicator said the car could run for another 61 km (38 miles). An absolute record for a production EV.

[Source: Le Blog Auto]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes Big 3 it can be done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is just good publicity.

      At this point any EV good news is welcome even if doesn't really reflect what the average person would do with EV.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So you want to see the Top Gear Tesla review? Once something goes online, it's hard to keep it offline. Even if you take it off one source, it'll usually pop up somewhere else. Like this! http://video.aol.com/video-detail/top-gear-reviews-the-tesla-roadster/4052367588.

      Cheers
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whilst this is all very nice clarkson was not talking about range in normal use which this article appears to be. he was talking about range when used on their track which would of been pretty flat out from start till battery death.

      Clarkson likes to push the limits of what they can get away with saying. the program has no cooperate sponsorship it's funded by us brits paying our TV license fees so they can get away with most things so don't worry about it folks
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thank you, that was what I was going to say. The Top Gear review may or may not have been accurate, but this race is not at all the same and doesn't prove anything as related to the "findings" of Top Gear.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Top Gear the UK TV show may have no corporate sponsorship but other activities Clarkson et al perform under the Top Gear banner do - e.g. TG Live sponsored by Shell. Oh yeah, who supplied the hydrogen in the FCX review, again?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Keep it up Tesla! Their zero compromise vision is truly remarkable and commendable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Matt: Thank you for the compliment, The Tesla Roadster, and Top Gear's review, have enflamed quite a few emotions, because of what the Tesla symbolises. I'm simply trying to keep some perspective on the issue.

      You are correct about the astronomical cost of fuel cells, and the ongoing cost issues surrounding the platinum required to make them currently. The point Top Gear was making, which I believe to be a very astute one, is that fuel cells are the only current technology that has proven to be both clean and refuelable, at any cost. The ability to refuel is the great linchpin, and the last great fortress of the ICE. Mass adoption, to the tune of complete replacement of the ICE under all circumstances, will not happen unless cars can refuel. Currently, only fuel cells allow this.

      What Top Gear is perhaps unaware of, as many who are not keeping up with the bleeding edge of battery/ultracapacitor development, is the advent of quick charge technology. However, fuel cells have not been resting on their laurels either. There is still development, as you mentioned, but there have been advances. The major advances are coming in the form of replacement materials for platinum, in order to drive the cost down, and there has been success. Commercially viable fuel cells are getting closer to being a reality as well. While my personal thoughts favor battery/ultracapacitor technology, due to efficiency and infrastructure advantages among others, It is still very much a race.

      We must not loose sight of the fact that the end goal is nothing short of ensuring the complete irradication of the ICE. In the end, we need to lay our hopes not only with batteries, but with whatever technology will allow for quick refueling, because in that lies the secret to completely and irreversably overthrowing the ICE for good.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's very misleading. Those speeds suggest 'parade laps' instead of 'race'. That said, I don't think it matters for 99% of the buying public. Most will buy this car to pose and brag about green cred and actual track junkies will buy a ICE car that has been proven capable of sustained track use
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pretty damn impressive, especially when you consider they were getting whipped around... One more nail (as if any more were needed) in Top Gear's deceitful claims' coffin. Hopefully they can be laid to rest now...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice, pretty impressive.

      What was the average speed and how did the it compare with the others in the race?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Rallying seems like a great way to show off the Tesla Roadster's capabilities. In theory, the Roadster's maximum range is over 400 miles (644 km)! But you'd need to drive at a constant 17 mph (27 km/h) on a level road without wind for around 23 hours! That's the most efficient speed according to Tesla's CTO ( http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=70 ). The 244 mile maximum range came from EPA specific conditions where the driving profile, air density, elevation change and accessory use were all very tightly controlled. Outside of the lab the variation in driving, weather and routes means that the actual max range will vary.
      • 5 Years Ago
      heh... nice attempt by the PR guys...

      unfortunately, if I drove my gasoline car at the listed kind of speeds over such terrain, I'd be expecting to get north of 40mpg (UK) for the whole trip.

      If I went off and gave it a full-on sportscar track day battering like TG did? As you might expect to use an Elise-based roadster? I'd be lucky to see 20mpg. And I believe exactly the same effect happened there. The regenerative brakes would have pulled some energy back, but there's a limit to how fast you can charge the batteries is there not...? So a lot of the battery power will have disappeared to wind resistance and brake disc heating instead.

      Very easy to get big range numbers in gentle driving (90kmh roads? What of the 130kmh autoroutes France has so many of, or even 110kmh dual-carraigeway multipurpose roads?). Not so much in racing.

      I know TG are not that great a source of hard-hitting motoring journalism for the everyman, and more a big of sensational escapism, and I too found some holes in the Tesla / FCX coverage - but give them their due; they don't lie. The BBC tends to get pulled up pretty hard if they try.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Goiod show Tesla, I'm not fussed about Top Gears range claim as they were driving it flat out but this should show that the car is reliable and good for distances.

      They just gotta get their factory going and get the price down to really start shifting them in numbers.
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