The flagship Model S model from electric car maker Tesla already boasts the ability to travel around 300 miles before its internal batteries need to be recharged. But now a group of fans from Italy has proven that it is possible to push the vehicle even further as they managed to drive for 600 miles before the on board stores of energy were depleted, according to the International Business Times.
The key problem for people who want to buy or hire a Tesla may well be the range, but this record-breaking project proves that it is more than possible to drive a Model S as economically as possible and exceed expectations in terms of how quickly it consumes power.
The main limitation which made this 600-mile range achievable was on speed, as the participants in the challenge never pushed the car’s speedometer beyond the 25 mph mark. So-called ‘hypermiling’ is popular amongst electric car aficionados as well as those who prefer traditional vehicles with combustion engines, with speed being just one of the factors which influence efficiency.
Other changes made to make the Model S 100D even less power-hungry were the addition of tyres with lower levels of rolling resistance than are included as standard. The person behind the wheel also opted to brake as little as possible to preserve the car’s momentum and avoid the need to accelerate.
Even other optimisations, such as disabling the air con system, had an impact on its range. They chose to take advantage of the Model S’ autopilot setting, which meant that maintaining the 25 mph speed throughout the run was much easier than would otherwise have been the case if the human driver was solely in charge of keeping their eye on the dials.
To cover 600 miles, or a little over 1000km, while travelling at an average speed of 25 mph was obviously not an easy or quick task and, in fact, the run lasted for 29 hours in total.
Proof in the pudding
Another benefit of the Model S is that it records and displays a wide array of statistics and data which drivers can see, hence making it easy for the team behind this attempt to broadcast their results to the world and prove that their claims of doubling the advertised range of the car were genuine.
To cover the same distance while using the same amount of energy would be equivalent to a petrol-powered car driving 600 miles with just eight litres of fuel in the tank; an impossible feat which once again highlights just how efficient electric vehicles are in comparison with their archaically designed contemporaries.
Even Tesla chief exec Elon Musk was aware of this record being set, as he used Twitter to verify the run. It beat an earlier record of 560 miles by a significant margin and indicates that if you buy or hire a Tesla today, you can go a lot further in it than you might think.