850 Miles In A Tesla Roadster In A Weekend: Crossing The Line

Yesterday, we told you about the remarkable 850-mile electric-car road trip planned by David Peilow and Kevin Sharpe, who intended to drive from the tip to the tail of the United Kingdom.

Their goal was to test out the new electric-car charging network that the team created in conjunction with Tesla Motors.

After 24 hours and six recharge stops, the pair rolled into Land's End at 8:40 pm.  We caught up with David for a quick chat.

"It's gone well: The schedule was spot on, the time taken to charge the car and the travel have gone to plan," he told us. "We've been driving into heavy prevailing winds and rain, with a fully loaded car, but even with the heat on we've not experienced any range issues."

In fact, he said, it was only the huge interest the pair's journey received--with requests for interviews and photo ops all along the route--had added to the journey time.

Start at John O'Groats

The drive allowed the pair to test how an electric car with a relatively long range, like the Tesla Roadster, can make long-distance journeys.

It's true that the journey would have been simpler if the pair had taken a regular gasoline car, though it seems that the gap has closed a great deal.

In total, the Tesla Roadster required just over 10 hours of charging to cover a 900-mile route. However, if we subtract the time that would have been spent eating and sleeping anyhow, Peilow and Sharpe spent just 2 extra hours versus using a gasoline car.

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Comments (6)
  1. This is a great way to continue to get a positive message about EVs and move away from the gasoline mindset. EVs are not the perfect solution, they have their limits. But then again, gasoline cars have their limits as well (price, pollutions, noise, etc).

  2. A great read indeed. I remain a bit sceptical however, with electricity costs on the rise, the trip would've been quite more expensive if they had to pay for the electricity out of their own pocket. Over here on the mainland, one kwh costs about 24cent (24/100Euros), also one should remember that electricity has to be produced somewhere and a big amount still comes from coal plants. As for nuclear power... add up all the costs, including for transporting and storing the burnt-out elements and it is the most-polluting and most-expensive way of creating energy. Suddenly, the ordinary Diesel car seems quite economy-friendly.

  3. What I want to see is a Nissan Leaf with a family of four, luggage for a holiday and see how far it will go on a full charge. I've asked UK owners - no takers. I'm guessing it will be 50miles or less. Not exactly an everyday family car.

  4. @Clive I did a little investigation; it seems that the extra weight doesn't factor that highly. It appears that the weight of batteries, metal & plastic determine the range more so that the humans & their luggage. Talking to someone that recently did a few long range drives with a fully loaded car it doesn't seem to have affected range at all, or at least not enough to register.

  5. Now what is America's excuse for not mass producing electric cars and super charging stations? It is difficult to break America's greed and gluttony for oil, isn't it? It seems that more businesses can profit from electric cars than they can from ICE cars. Like someone said on this rag, "When was the last time you saw a hotel giving away free gasoline?" That hotel can give away free charging if they have a GE's solar park somewhere around their business. Several businesses can build the solar park and all would benefit.

  6. You forget that manufacturers of ICE's also make a lot of money on maintaining the car after you have driven it off the lot. AAA in 2009 came out with a survey, and it estimates the average cost to own and drive a typical car is around $8400 per year. Those costs include insurance, gas, and service. I pay about $800 a year for insurance so the rest on that on average is the gas and service. You can look up the True Cost to Own (TCO) on your car here if you like?


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