Land’s End to John O’Groats in a Tesla Roadster

Dean Fielding, February 18, 2022

My interest in electric vehicles and alternative energy sources started at a young age. I have always been interested in science, motorsport and the environment. I am passionate about the injustice of misinformation about electric vehicles and determined to share the truths and benefits of electric car ownership. This has motivated me to drive across the country in different electric vehicles raising money for Zero Carbon World, achieving Guinness World Records and challenging the perspective of electric vehicle critics.

I decided to drive from Land’s End to John O’Groats again in September 2021 using the Tesla Roadster. I chose to drive the 11-year-old Roadster to test the longevity of batteries. It is something often cited by critics as being a reason to object to electric vehicles, and it is hard to contest because electric vehicles simply haven't been around for long enough to prove otherwise, until now. The Roadster was the first lithium battery production vehicle and is therefore the oldest example.

The Tesla Roadster was incredibly efficient, achieving less than 225 Watt hours per mile (4.4 miles per kWh) driving most of the time at 70mph where possible, most other petrol super cars are incredibly inefficient. This also meant that we didn't need to spend much time charging. We completed the whole trip over 14.5 hours faster than the original trip and over an hour faster than our best prediction - despite being stuck in traffic for a while! The cruise control made the drive so effortless and smooth, and the car ate up the miles with ease. The most surprising part of the trip was how well the battery and thermal management of the car allowed an 11.5-year-old electric vehicle and battery pack to complete the trip effortlessly and so much faster than the first time around.

The charging infrastructure has improved dramatically in the last 10 years, with the deployment of rapid DC charging completely changing the dynamic of travelling long distances in electric vehicles, enabling much faster and more convenient trips. I decided before the trip to make one minor alteration to my car, and that was to add a Chademo charging adapter. I can now charge up to five times faster than before due to advancements in charging technology, with the adapter saving me a lot of time and money in the long run. The cost of this trip in my Tesla Roadster was incredibly low. The 843-mile trip only cost me around £49. This would have been over three times more expensive if I was using fuel, and this was with me using relatively expensive public chargers, which are four times more expensive than home charging.

Reaching John O’Groats was an amazing moment, the satisfaction of proving the batteries last over 11 years and completing the journey much more quickly than we expected was amazing and a huge credit to the Tesla technology in the car. The trip was completed in 21 hours and 27 minutes, shaving over 14 hours from the 2011 time. It proves beyond doubt that now the only remaining barrier to widespread electric vehicle adoption is now largely just a psychological one.

The initiative has raised over £5,000 in donations for Zero Carbon World’s low carbon projects. Ask Dean about his trip and other activities @zerocarbonworld @deanfieldingf1.

Dean would like to thank everyone who supported the trip, including special thanks to David Peilow, Glyn Hudson, Evan Tuer and Alexander Sims and everyone who donated to the charity for their support on the journey.

Tags: Roadster