2013 Tesla Model SEnlarge Photo
When Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] first announced a 250-300 mile range estimate for its top-spec 85 kWh Model S, it suggested that 400 miles could well be a possibility for some drivers.
Owner David Metcalf was the first to prove that theory last December by extracting 423 miles of range on a journey through Florida.
European owners are now getting in on the act too. Despite a less clement climate, drivers in the Netherlands have already got close to that number, at 625 kilometers, or 388 miles.
What separate the two journeys is the driving style. Metcalf's 423 miles, a world record, was set at an average speed of 18 mph. The Dutch team, sponsored by Athlon Car Lease and driven by students from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU Eindhoven), was attempted on regular Dutch roads, in traffic, at regular speeds.
The team's 16-hour journey to complete its 388 mile trip works out as an average speed of just over 24 mph. Still not high, but representative of busier roads, and still a great advert for the Model S's ability to cover distances far greater than the car's 265-mile EPA rated range, particularly in lower-speed rather than highway driving.
While not a world record, the journey does also represent a European record for electric cars, and one that probably won't be beaten for some time--with no other electric car sold there able to challenge the Model S's range. The long-distance attempt has been recorded in several videos on the Tesladriving.nl website.
After the first Model S outside North America was delivered in Oslo, Norway a few weeks ago, Tesla has also announced via its Twitter feed that the first customer car has now been delivered in the Netherlands too.
The country is an important hub for Tesla Motors, as the home of Europe's Tesla distribution center.
[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]