North Cape, Norway to Tarifa, Spain and our second Guinness World Record
My son, Ben Cottam-Allan and I were already record breakers, holding the Guinness World Record for travelling between John o’Groats to Land’s End, the most southern point. This was a distance of about 850 miles which required just over 3 hours 44 minutes charging time which we completed in October 2015.
Last year, we challenged ourselves to go a few steps further and we were awarded a second Guinness World Record for shortest charging time to cross Europe. This meant travelling from Nordkapp in Norway, the most northern point of Europe to Tarifa in Spain, the most southern point of Europe. The distance was nearly 4000 miles and we only used 13 hours and 7 minutes of charging time to complete the journey.
This leaves only the third Guinness World Record for shortest charging time which is across the USA. We have not attempted that…yet.
In late July, my son and I set off for our attempt. We left Nordkapp, 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle in a cold mist, late at night. We had the midnight sun to help us drive all through the night and part of the next day before we stopped at a hotel to rest. It was one of many hotels on the journey, which had Tesla chargers in their car parks.
The first part of the journey was 250 miles between the start point and the first Supercharger. It is the most northern Supercharger in the world, (350 miles north of the Arctic Circle). We did not have the confidence at the beginning to drive that far on one charge, although at the end we did manage more than that distance on one charge. We therefore stopped at a slower charger midway. From then on, it was Tesla chargers all the way to the warmth of the finish post at Tarifa Town Hall in Spain. We completed the 4000 miles distance in 8 days, with an overall charging time of 13 hours and 7 minutes which gained us a second Guinness World Record. Our consumption rate was only 247 watt-hours per mile.
Our journey, as well as the most recent record run by German team - Michael Willberg, Frank Mischkowski and Martin Wrobel, has demonstrated that this journey from one end of Europe to the other can be undertaken at normal driving speeds using Tesla Superchargers and Destination Chargers alone. It demonstrates the rapid development of the Tesla Model S and the Europe wide network of chargers. There is now no longer an excuse in Europe for driving anything other than an electric car.
Guinness World Record Attempts across Europe
The first Guinness World Record for shortest charging time across Europe was set in 2015 by a German team - Michael Willberg, Frank Mischkowski and Martin Wrobel, Electrified World Record Tour: Tarifa - Nordkapp. They drove in the other direction from us, starting at Tarifa in Spain and reaching Nordkapp in Norway with a charging time of 19 hours and 58 minutes. This was a remarkable achievement as there were no Tesla Superchargers in Spain at that time and none in the top part of Norway.
2017 has seen no less than three attempts at the record across Europe. Marie Guerre (French), Sascha Bloemhoff (Dutch) and Paule Kiénert (French) set out in a Tesla S P85+ in June from Nordkapp in Norway. They beat their target of four days and beat the Guinness World Record achieving a charging time of 18 hours 22 minutes. They also created a new record of the furthest distance travelled in an electric car in four days, nearly 4000 miles.
The final team to set off were the original Guinness World Record holders, Michael Willberg, Frank Mischkowski and Martin Wrobel who drove a Tesla S 100D. They set off on July 28th, two days after we had completed our attempt from Nordkapp. They drove continuously, stopping only for recharging. They showed great skill in their recharging strategy, charging while the charge rate was high, driving to Superchargers with a very low charge at the destination Supercharger and missing out a number of Superchargers that they simply didn’t have to use. The overall result was a total journey time of just over 3.5 days and a charging time of only 9 hours 51 minutes and 54 seconds. One of their great achievements was that they only used Tesla Superchargers between the start at Nordkapp and end at Tarifa.
The table below summarises each attempt.
|7th to 11th August 2015||Michael Willberg, Frank Mischkowski and Martin Wrobe||19 hours 58 minutes|
|9th to 12th June 2017||Marie Guerre, Sascha Bloemhoff and Paule Kiénert||18 hours 22 minutes||308 watt-hours/mile|
|18th to 26th July 2017||Jeff Allan and Ben Cottam-Allan||13 hours 7 minutes||247 watt-hours/mile|
|28th July to 1st August 2017||Michael Willberg, Frank Mischkowski and Martin Wrobe||9 hours 51 minutes 54 seconds||283 watt-hours/mile|
Each team achieved something unique in each of their attempts: Michael, Frank and Martin set the record in 2015. Marie, Sascha and Paule were the first to drive the furthest distance in an electric car in four days; we achieved the lowest consumption; Michael, Frank and Martin then achieved the shortest charge time and shortest journey time.
All teams experienced an unforgettable extended road trip.
Our favourite part of the journey was Norway. We had never been there and were surprised at the length of the country.
The Scandinavian part of the journey is almost half the length across Europe. The scenery was stunning. Even though it was summer, we saw snow-capped mountains. As the Tesla climbed from Nordkapp, going south, there was ice by the roadside. We saw a mass of reindeer in the north and stunning waterfalls as we travelled.
We met some interesting people on our travels
In Norway, we met a family from Oslo with young children in their Model X. The father is a keen supporter of Liverpool football club, which is the team my son, Ben, supports so he had a chat about football while we were charging. We have kept in touch since then.
At another Supercharger, we met an interesting inventor and he told us about his ideas for keeping reversing cameras clean.
When we reached France we were greeted by another family who had been keeping track of the journey on the Tesla Owners Group Facebook page and had contacted us in advance to arrange to meet at the next Supercharger stop.
The Tesla itself was an ideal touring car with plenty of space and with Autopilot most of the way, very relaxing to drive.