Simon Hackett and co-driver Emilis Prelgauskas with the record setting Roadster - click above for high-res image gallery
It's no secret that how you drive has as much – or more – influence on a vehicle's efficiency than any technology. Case in point is this week's Global Green Challenge in Australia. Simon Hackett shipped his 2008 Tesla Roadster down under for the event and proceeded to set a new world record for a production battery-powered vehicle. Hackett and co-driver Emilis Prelgauskas managed to squeeze 313 miles out of the lithium ion battery pack of the Roadster.
As the drivers crossed the finish, approximately three miles was left on the charge at the end of the run south from Alice Springs. That easily topped the 241-mile run by another Roadster earlier this year in the Rallye Monte Carlo d'Energies Alternatives and the 244 miles the car achieves on the EPA test cycle.
Of course achieving those kinds of range numbers means completely forgoing the performance capabilities of the Roadster, just as it would in any other sports car. The 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and 244 mile range is an either/or choice, you sadly can't have both. Tesla's press release is after the jump.
Tesla Roadster travels 313 miles on a single charge in what appears to be new world record
Competing in Australia's Global Green Challenge, Customer Simon Hackett's red Roadster goes from Alice Springs to Coober Pedy with 3 miles left on the charge.
Coober Pedy, South Australia -- (Oct. 27, 2009) – Tesla Roadster owner Simon Hackett and co-driver Emilis Prelgauskas completed 313 miles (501 km) in a Tesla Roadster on a single charge – a distance that appears to set a new record for a production electric vehicle.
Hackett and Prelgauskas are driving Hackett's red 2008 Roadster as part of the 10th annual Global Green Challenge, one of the most high-profile rallies worldwide for alternative fuel cars. Hackett is providing updates in real time on his blog.
The pair drove from Alice Springs, in the Australian Northern Territory, to the finish marker at a point 183 km north of Coober Pedy, in South Australia. They had an estimated 3 miles left on the charge at the finish marker.
The previous distance record for an electric vehicle was set in April, when another Roadster was the only vehicle to complete the entire, 241-mile Rallye Monte Carlo d'Energies Alternatives. It had an estimated 38 miles left on the charge.
The Tesla Roadster is the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production EV with a range greater than 200 miles (320 km) per charge. Tesla has delivered about 900 Roadsters to customers so far.
Hackett sent Tesla the following note before going to bed last night:
"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.
"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.
Tesla Motors' goal is to produce increasingly affordable cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla sells cars online and has delivered about 900 Roadsters to customers. Tesla operates galleries in California's Silicon Valley and Los Angeles; New York; Seattle; Boulder, Colorado; London and Munich.
Tesla achieved overall corporate profitability in July, thanks to strong demand for the Roadster. The all-electric sports car is faster than Porsche 911 or Audi R8 yet is six times as efficient as conventional sports cars. Tesla services cars in its galleries and through "house calls" so owners can enjoy hassle-free service without leaving their home or office.