A few years ago, the concept of an electric car achieving 300 miles on a charge was virtually unheard of.
That made one duo's achievement in a Tesla Roadster very special indeed, even if their average speed was relatively low. But now, you can do that with a Tesla Model S and a few eco driving techniques--so how do you move the game on?
How about 800 miles? That's what one Japanese electric car-driving team has managed, in an electric-powered Suzuki Every kei-class minivan.
In fact, says Autoblog Green, the team's eventual record was 813 miles, negotiating a 15.5-mile course around Ogata village in Japan's Akita Prefecture.
A team of four drivers--including 1997 Dakar Rally winner Kenjiro Shinozuka--took turns driving. When you calculate just how long the record attempt took, you can see why--at average speeds of around 18 mph, that 813-mile distance will have taken over 45 hours.
Previous record attempts have been completed in regular vehicles converted to electric power. Surprisingly, this isn't the case with the odd-looking Every van: Suzuki actually built a limited number of production Every EVs back in 2011. Officially, the vans achieved a 62-mile range with a 550-pound load.
It's hardly a realistic test of electric car range, and we don't doubt that most readers would still prefer the 265-mile EPA-rated Tesla Model S sitting in their garage. But as an indication of just how much driving style can affect efficiency, it's an impressive feat.