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by George Skentzos

While the HSV Maloo may have claimed top honours, another stand out entry in the 2009 Global Green Car Challenge has been the Tesla Roadster which set a new distance record for an electric vehicle.

The Tesla Roadster, piloted by owner Simon Hackett and co-driver Emilis Prelgauskas, completed 501km on just a single charge between Alice Springs and Coober Pedy.

The previous distance record was set in April by another Tesla Roadster which was the only all-electric vehicle to complete the entire 241-mile Rallye Monte Carlo d’Energies Alternatives with around 61km worth of charge to spare.

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“Emilis and I have decades of experience flying gliders competitively and we applied the same energy conservation techniques to our driving, with significant results! The car had about 3 miles of range left when the drive was completed. We travelled 501km on a single charge. Let that sink in for a minute.” said Mr Hackett.

“The security seal was applied to the charge port door when we started the journey. As this is being done as part of the Global Green Challenge, we have a full set of official verifiers here who will attest to the results and to achieving the outcome. We were followed along the journey by our support crew and a documentary film crew – so we have it on film.

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“It’s late here and we have another 541k to drive (with an intermediate charge stop) tomorrow – and another two days of the event left after that. When we’re done, we will have driven over 3000 km’s in the Roadster over the course of only six days, from Darwin to Adelaide.”

The Tesla Roadster was the first production EV with a range greater than 320 km per charge thanks to another innovation as the first production vehicle to employ lithium-ion battery cells.




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