Simon Hackett's electric Tesla Roadster is making the most of its rapid recharge facility in Australia's Eco Challenge; as other challengers show off their fuel efficiency in the 3000km race.
It helps when you're lucky enough to drive the world's fastest electric car, so it's no big surprise to see that the car everybody is talking about in the Global Green Challenge outback event is the Tesla Roadster.
Over the past few days, Internode Managing Director Simon Hackett has been blogging about his experiences driving a Tesla Roadster in the Eco Challenge, one of the event categories in the Global Green Challenge.
Because of the longer distances required by the race, the typical electric car would be at a significant disadvantage - due to the charging capacity needed to give it the same range as a long distance diesel or even a hybrid vehicle.
The Tesla takes 3.5 hours for full battery charge to achieve a nominal 390km driving range. Many of the race stages are over 600km in length, rather than the short city trips that some electric car manufacturers design their vehicles for.
|Tesla takes a pit stop to recharge. Image source: Internode blog|
Hackett has worked his way around this challenge by having a special generator truck follow the Tesla around the course.
At designated pit stops and food breaks, the Tesla batteries are backed up by a generator, for an average of two hours. Hackett is also driving the car very slowly to ensure maximum milage from the batteries. How slow? An average of 55km/hr on some legs of the journey.
On day one of the race, the car drove 338.8kms at an average of 143 kWh (kilowatt hours). It consumed a total of 48.44 kW of energy over the day - one of the key benchmarks by which cars taking part in the event are compared.
|The Tesla Roadster hits the desert road once again. Image source: Internode blog|
The Eco Challenge is not so much a traditional land race in trying to get to the finish line first, but a test among drivers to complete the 3000km course by using the least amount of energy, the most efficient use of that energy source (such as diesel, unleaded, or electricity) and with the least amount of pollutants and carbon emissions per 100km.
A total of 17 vehicles completed day two of the eco race, with drivers stopping at Tennant Creek. And the Tesla Roadster wasn't the only car posting strong 'fuel' efficiency.
Results for other vehicles include the Holden Sportwagon at 6.19 litres/100Km, while the Skoda Superb was listed at 4.70 litres/100km.
|A travelling generator gives the Telsa Roadster a battery boost. Source: Internode blog.|
Fuel consumption figures for the Hyundai Santa Fe models averaged 5.24 litres/100Km. Two Kia Sorento entries weren't far off the Santa Fe's. The best fuel consumption figure for these cars were 4.91 litres/100Km.
A Ford Fiesta ECOnetic powered by diesel achieved a very impressive 3.13 litres/100Km, while the Mini Cooper D's achieved a fuel consumption rating of 3.30 litres/100Km.
In the Solar Challenge, where the race resembles a more traditional 'chase the black and white flag', Japanese entrant Tokai Challenger from the Tokai University is currently leading the field, while UNSW Sunswift's IVy is holding strong in 7th position for Australia's best place in the solar race so far.
|UNSW's Sunswfit IVy holds 7th position in the solar challenge|