The father and son team of David and Adam Metcalf, just finished a world-record attempt to drive the longest on a single charge in a Tesla Model S, over 400 miles. The Tesla Model S, equipped with an 85 kWh lithium-ion rechargeable battery, is EPA rated at 265 miles.
Metcalf’s Model S completed 423.5 miles before finally discharging and requiring a tow back to a charging station. Guinness World Record will be consulting with Tesla Motors to verify the Metcalf attempt which may take a few weeks.
According to Metcalf, the only modification that was made to the vehicle was to run the tires higher than standard pressure, which would reduce rolling resistance even further than low-rolling resistance tires already offer.
Otherwise, the only “fuel-saving” measures they took were responsible driving on long flat roads, avoiding speeding, and cracking the windows open a few inches and keeping the air-conditioning off. Elon Musk tweeted back, “Congrats to @dmetcalf for being the first to drive a Tesla Model S over 400 miles on a single charge!”
In an uncertain market for electric vehicles [EV], Metcalf’s careful driving shows that they are viable transportation in today’s society. Those who criticize EV range and recharging limitations are not looking at the big picture. When we drive averaging only 30 miles per day, even shortest-ranged EV is still good for a couple days or more before charging.
When it comes to Tesla Model S, the up-and-coming Tesla SuperCharger Network could make it possible to get across the country without spending a dime on gasoline. Driving responsibly, after driving 4 hours at 55mph, you could use the 30 minute recharge break to take a driving break yourself, which is safer for everyone on the road.
Tesla Model S is ramping up production to take care of the >10,000 customers on the waiting list. This particular Model S will be available in 2013 for $72,400 after federal tax credits, even less in certain states after state tax credits.
This might put the Tesla Model S out of reach of many consumers, but free fuel forever is certainly tempting, possibly saving thousands of dollars per year. Additionally, the success of the Model S looks to be paving the way for smaller and less expensive models for the rest of us.