A team of Italian Tesla (TSLA) owners have just made auto history, driving a Model S P100D electric vehicle 1078 kilometers (670 miles) on a single charge.
The feat, which saw five drivers cover slightly more distance than a road trip from New York to Charlotte, was made possible by “hypermiling”: a technique that involves cruising at a consistently low speed. In a statement, the drivers said they averaged 40 km per hour (24.85 miles per hour) during their 29 hour journey across southern Italy, a speed they claimed is “realistic for a smooth city road.”
Keeping the car’s consumption to a minimum also involved switching off the air conditioning, using the brakes as little as possible and activating the autopilot setting. "The driving was made simply by the semiautonomous driving system, which helped us to keep a constant speed in the middle of the lane," said one of the drivers, Rosario Pingaro, in the statement. To cover the distance they used 98.4 kW/h of electricity, which is equivalent to 8 liters (3.78 gallons) of gas.
Tesla’s previous record of 560 miles was set in June 2017 in Belgium. When word emerged of that achievement, CEO Elon Musk challenged drivers to hit the 1000 km target on a single charge. As soon as Musk discovered that a group of drivers in Italy had achieved that goal, he took to Twitter to congratulate them.
Musk also used the occasion to highlight how no other electric vehicle has come close to matching this feat. Mileage remains one of the biggest concerns surrounding the industry, particularly given long recharging times and a lack of available infrastructure. (See also: Musk: This Is the 'Best I’ve Felt' About Tesla.)
On Tesla’s website, prospective customers can calculate the range of various models. The Model S 100D car used by the Italian drivers is listed as being able to travel at least 514 miles per charge at a speed of 45 miles per hour.
The Italian Tesla owners behind the latest record confirmed that the Model S P100D they used is a “normal production car with standard low rolling resistance tires.” (See also: Does Tesla Have Enough Cash for Model 3 Production?)