A new “hypermiling” record for production electric vehicles has been set by a pair from Belgium, using a Tesla Model S P100D. The duo in question, Steven Peeters and Joeri Cools, managed to squeeze 560 miles (901 kilometers) out of the Tesla Model S P100D in question, by traveling at an average of 24 miles per hour (39 km/h) for right around 24 hours.
Before we go further about the short-term news, there’s a very important lesson to be learned and shared (again) regarding this record and how it relates to the practicality of EV life today. There are many situations in which an EV driver today could find herself/himself in a low-range situation and without an EV charger nearby. It is not just a hypothetical — it must happen every day in locations around the world. Probably the #1 best thing a driver can do in such a situation is … drive more slowly. In particular, ~24 mph is a pretty good sweet spot.
To emphasize: The rated range of a Tesla Model S P100D is 315 miles, or 507 kilometers (a bit less than the 335 mile rate range of the Model S 100D). That’s pretty much considered to be an accurate estimate (more or less) of the car’s “real-world range.” But the point the Belgium duo emphasized is that you can boost that range from 315 miles (507 kilometers) to 560 miles (901 kilometers) simply by driving slower than normal (which can include getting off a highway to travel on slower residential streets instead).
To key takeaway, again, is for any people who find themselves in situations where they would be better off extending the range of their vehicle beyond what’s “expected” (and, to be frank, many of us have already or will land in such scenarios). The #1 thing to do at such a time (other than find a place to charge) is to simply slow down and switch over to slower roads (if possible). Anyway, with that public service announcement out of the way, back to the news:
The new record surpasses one set right around 21 months ago by a decent margin (10 miles, or 16 kilometers) — which isn’t too surprising considering that the Tesla Model S P100D hadn’t really been taken to its hypermiling limits since its launch until this record was set. Though, who knows, maybe someone with an excessive amount of time on their hands can best 560 miles.
To be clear, for those unfamiliar with what this is about, hypermiling records relate to seeing how far one can travel on a single charge of the battery packs of an electric vehicle — or on a single tank of gas/petrol, for that matter — when utilizing a driving style that limits energy use.
Autoblog provides more: “Peeters, the owner of the new Tesla Model S P100D, wrote on his blog that he and his co-pilot Cools took a different approach than previous efforts by driving a ‘closed loop’ instead of going as far as they could in a relative straight line. In this case, the course was a 16-mile loop that the pair chose because it was flat, without traffic lights, and without intersections.
“Aside from being pulled over by the local police (who let them off once they explained what they were doing — try that in the US), the pair drove without interruption and settled in at 24 miles per hour as the speed with the lowest energy consumption. Peeters wrote that he would ‘learn from each round’ how to better take turns and approach other parts of the ‘course’ to keep the energy usage to a minimum.
“Peeters writes that the only real challenge was keeping the windows shut and the air conditioning turned off after the sun came up during the latter part of the exercise, after which the in-car temperature exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Perhaps they should have planned things so as to do the driving on a day that was expected to be cloudy?
Photo via Silver Lining