2011 Tesla Roadster starts longest EV trip in Australia

A 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5 set out this morning to break a record for the longest road trip by an electric vehicle in Australia.
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The Roadster will travel 3000km from Melbourne to Brisbane between today and March 30.

Tesla’s ‘Oz Goes Electric’ promotional tour will give people a chance to see the Roadster up-close, following the electric supercar company’s official Australian launch in January.

The Roadster will stop over in Wangaratta, Albury, Canberra, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast on its two-week journey.

The Roadster has an official range of 394km (although Tesla quoted 360km in its release), which is significantly less than a standard internal combustion engine-driven vehicle. If you think Tesla is going to risk it breaking down on the side of the highway, however, think again.

Tesla Australia national sales manager, Jay McCormack, said one of the main objectives of the road trip is to prove to Australian motorists that EVs do not mean compromising on range, performance or styling.

“This road trip is a milestone. It’s the first time an electric vehicle has travelled a significant distance in Australia, charging along the way,” Mr McCormack said.

A complete fast charge from a 240V charger takes slightly less than four hours.

“Many Australians will be seeing an EV for the first time, and we want them to see with their own eyes that electric cars can perform just as well as conventional cars without the emissions,” he said.

In October 2009, Australia’s first Tesla owner, Simon Hackett, broke the record for the furthest distance travelled by an EV on a single charge. With a light right foot, Hackett piloted the 2008 Roadster from Alice Springs to Coober Pedy for a total of 501km.

The Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport uses a lithium-ion battery pack to power a 215kW/400Nm electric motor. All 400 Newton-metres of torque is available from 0-5100rpm, while the motor will continue to spin all the way to 14,000rpm.

Accelerating from 0-100km/h takes just 3.7 seconds and it will go all the way to 212km/h.

Throughout the Oz Goes Electric road trip, the Roadster will be charged only by renewable sources of energy, including solar, wind, hydro and biomass energy provided by AGL Resources.

The Tesla Roadster is available in Australia for $206,188.

CarAdvice’s Paul Maric jumped in the driver’s seat of the Tesla Roadster earlier this week. Stay tuned for his full drive review in the coming days.