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Tesla Fan Drives Epic Electric Car Trip To Prove BBC Wrong

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David Peilow Drives Tesla Roadster on Long-Distance Challenge

David Peilow Drives Tesla Roadster on Long-Distance Challenge

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The British Broadcasting Corporation, considered to be the center-pin of television and radio in the U.K., has always had a cautious view of the benefits of electric vehicles, often choosing to illustrate the limited range of electric cars in articles rather than the positive benefits. 

In typical form the latest BBC feature, a four-day trek from London to Edinburgh in a 2010 MINI E, has not spoken favourably about electric cars.  Journalist Brian Milligan has blogged and vlogged about his experiences so far, highlighting the length of time it takes to charge from a standard 13 Amp, 240V U.K. domestic outlet.  

But a Tesla enthusiast who is no stranger to long-distance electric car trips set off from London this morning in a 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5 to prove that some electric cars are capable of traveling the 400+ mile trip in a single day. 

Enter David Peilow, a long-time Tesla fan and active member on the TeslaMotorsClub.com website.  Last year, Peilow hit the headlines when he drove a total of 772 miles in a single weekend, charging a borrowed Tesla Roadster at 32Amp charging points en-route. 

2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5

2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5

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For today’s attempt, Peilow left the Tesla Motors London showroom around 6:30 in the morning in a 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5 loaned to him for the stunt. He was waved off by long-time EV advocate and actor Robert Llewellyn, whose online show Fully Charged seeks to educate the public about electric cars. 

From there, Peilow traced a route north, stopping for breakfast and making use of a privately owned Tesla High Power Charger (HPC) for his first recharge, capable of recharging the Tesla’s 54 kilowatt-hour battery pack in just over 3 hours.  His second recharge will take considerably longer, using a 32 Amp supply at a rest-stop en-route. 

By contrast, the BBC’s borrowed MINI E has been recharging using available public charging points, mostly capable of providing a measly 3 kilowatts of power and taking 7-8 hours to recharge the MINI E’s pack.  

Instead of charging just twice as with the Tesla, the BBC correspondent is charging 8 times, stopping for a few hours in some places and up to 8 in others. 

Expectedly, the BBC has cried foul, claiming that the race between a sub 100-miles per charge MINI E which takes 8 hours to recharge and a sportscar capable of at least 240 miles per charge which takes under half the time to refuel is unfair. 

MINI E at MTTS 2010 in Denver, Colo.

MINI E at MTTS 2010 in Denver, Colo.

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Unfair it may be, but Tesla owners and enthusiasts aren’t after a straight-forward race: they want to prove the BBC’s biased opinions about electric vehicles wrong. 

The whole premise behind the BBC’s four-day trek appears to follow traditional prejudice: that electric cars just aren’t practical for everyday driving and that charging them is painfully slow and impractical. 

Just like the Tesla fans, we know that with appropriate fast charging facility, electric cars can be capable of single-day trips well beyond the range of a single charge. 

With enough Level 3 fast chargers capable of recharging the 2011 Nissan LEAF’s battery pack to 80% full in under 30 minutes, for example, it is theoretically possible to drive well over 500 miles in a 12 hour period. 

Ultimately, that’s the conundrum facing electric vehicle owners and the single valid fact that arises from the argument between the BBC and Tesla owners worldwide. 

Unless high-power charging exists, or electric automakers fit chargers capable of drawing higher current Level 2 power, the question of long-distance EV trips will continue to cause the primary argument between EV and ant-EV supporters. 

We know David Peilow and wish him all the best on his trip. We hope he arrives before midnight and proves his point. You can follow his trip over at the TeslaMotorsClub forum and on Twitter by following @dpeilow

Will the trip change the BBC’s opinion of electric cars? Probably not. But at least someone is taking the time to prove their rather old-fashioned views of electric cars wrong. 

 

[Tesla Motors[

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Comments (13)
  1. This is the third time I've noticed the BBC writing stories with a biased nature against electric vehicles. Not a Fox News kind-of biased, but noticeable if you read between the lines.
    I watched BBC World News for over an our last night.
    The only advertisers were oil companies, airlines, and banks.
     
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  2. If you want to nit-pick; he's actually only toping-up; the trip is only one-&-a-half tank-fulls.
    Total fuel cost? Less than GBP 8. Or about $8 US at 11p per kW/Hr.
     
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  3. Great work by David; the BBC are downright tiresome with their dishonest petrol-headed stance. Makes it quite hard to be proud of them.
    By the way, your link for @dpeilow is broken; missing an 'i' in the URL. Correct link: http://twitter.com/dpeilow
     
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  4. Great article and good luck David. It's pretty obvious who is funding BBC.
    Thanks for the correct Twitter link Richard. :-)
     
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  5. @Michael, Sorry, got a nit-pick for you. It is KW-Hr not KW/Hr (not kilowatts per hour). Personally, I like the simple KWH.
     
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  6. What I found personally frustrating is the journalists car has an in-built fast charger, but most UK public charging points don't have the high amperage socket to support it.
    When the journalist visited the public charging manufacturer, why didn't he ask him why?
     
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  7. Road trips are all about the charge rate, not the battery size. For trips over about 300 miles, a Nissan Leaf with access to Level 3 charging is faster than a Tesla Roadster. So the whole argument that only the expensive Roadster with its giant battery pack is suitable for long trips is totally wrong.
     
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  8. I really like the tesla, and it would fit my normal travel fine, with 240V, and the ability to have 415V 3 phase at home charging at home is a non event, however australia has no charge points - and certainly none beyond the black stump, deisel is king there, I have however acheived on a normal run 880Km on a single 50 l tank in my 2005 mini cooper (auto) - so the new DI motor should get me 10-15% better (my old '76 mini K 100cc used to AVERAGE 3.5 l/100km - better than my '76 mini SS + supercharger + 1312cc which sucked 40 l/100km at 200+ kph (top of 237kph measured) - powr here is around 24c KWH - but water heating is 15c KWH. I like to see the range extended to be able to run sydney- brisbane with an overnight charge in the middle. My longest trip was 3100km non-stop in 31h 15m from outer sydney to cairns (roads altered since then). Ultimately i hope to see solar cells for australian cars running air con and/or recharge batteries.
     
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  9. The range of the tesla (though fantastic now, even up to 347 miles on a single charge) could increase if Some old NASA technology was included like the FES (Flywheel energy system) to capture more of the brake regen and so give another 30 percent or so of efficiency. They could add this as an option. This FES is just being used on race cars right now(by Porsche no less)and could theoretically give a good boost of up to 500 miles for a single charge.
     
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  10. What annoys me the most is that people or journalists are always focusing on the 5% of trips that are over 50 miles, and not recognising that even an EV with only 50 miles of range covers 95% of your needs.(87% trips in Europe less than 25 miles). If you want to drive 500 miles in one day, rent a petrol vehicle! You'll still have reduced your emissions by 95% overall.
    Why do we always need the one object that does everything? This is how we come to find people driving around in SUVs or 4x4s in town, so that they have that mountain climbing capacity 'just in case'.
    Long live Tesla, and down with the naysayers holding on desperately to what they know rather thant embrace the future...
     
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  11. if EVs had standardized battery packs (multiple, compact units) and there were charging stations that accomodated them, the battery exchange could be faster then pumping petrol! The only reason we don't already have such a system is.....?
     
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  12. Until our government instigates a deadline for all the county councils in the UK to implement adequate charging posts we will never be able to take advantage of this remarkable technology.
    Take where I live as an example, Plymouth in the County of Devon. It could so easily become the test centre for The Electric City. Our military dockyard is vast and now reduced to all but a handful of ships to support, yet the engineering history and experience is there. It could 'regenerate' ( excuse the obvious pun) into a manufacturing base for these wonderful vehicles. The out of town commuting areas are within a 30 mile radius and in conjunction with a modern monorail/tramcar public transport system could see the complete electric city. Admittedly we are a long way from the major cities and transport links, but the advantage here is that the scheme is small enough to be set up easily and quickly, and is in an area which needs inward investment to create real long term jobs. Our waterfront is world renowned and therefore the clean environmental aspects of electric vehicles would fully complement this. Hats off to the politicians in California who enabled Tesla to thrive.......If only our lot had just one ounce of that forward thinking.
    Cheers. Bob Ewens.
     
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  13. IT ABOUT TIME THE BRITISH PUBLIC HAD THE COICE!!!! WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A FREE COUNTRY!!!! WITH SATALITE CABLE ETC, IT IS ABOUT TIME THE BBC FUNDED THEMSELVES
    GIVE THE PEOPLE THE CHOICE WHERE TO SPEND THEIR MONEY!!!IT WOULD HELP WITH THE VAT INCREASE!
     
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