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DATE News (chronologically)
01/12/10
automotive
Tesla goes over 300 miles on single charge  Last week in Australia the record was broken for the longest distance traveled on a single charge in a production electric vehicle.  The electric vehicle was a Tesla Roadster – the only one owned in Australia – which reached a maximum distance of 501 kilometers (311 miles) on a single charge.

This happened during the Global Green Challenge, a relaxed race where environmentally friendly vehicles have been competing over the 3000 kilometer (1864 mile) course from Darwin to Adelaide.

To make sure there wasn’t any secret recharging going on, the Tesla had it’s recharging flap sealed shut and an official car followed behind every step of the way. The long range was all down to “Hypermiling”, a technique where you glide as much as possible, use as little power as possible, and react early and gently to approaching obstacles and hills.

I offer my congratulations to Simon Hackett and his co-driver Emilis Prelgauskas on breaking the long range record in their electric car.

Now while the Tesla Roadster’s achievement is impressive, it’s certainly not the first time an electric car has traveled such a distance on a single charge. In fact in 1996 a Solectra Sunrise achieved 603 kilometers (375 miles) on a single charge, using comparatively low-tech Nickel Metal Hydride batteries during the American Tour de Sol rally.

While the Solectra Sunrise never made it to full production, it came very close – even completing crash testing. I think the Solectra Sunrise was ahead of it’s time: gasoline in 1996 was only around $1.20 US per gallon.

But what if 603 kilometers on a single charge just isn’t enough?  No problem. In 1999 Mitsubishi broke the world record for the longest distance traveled in an electric vehicle on a single charge.

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