The Kilometre Millionaire
Starting and ending in Starnberg, Germany, I drove to Tarifa, Spain in my Tesla Model S P85+ and from there to the North Cape, Norway. Across Europe and 12 countries, as the crow flies this is only 7,766 km but my selected route covered over 14,283 km ... and then another 989,000 km before and after that in the same Model S - that is, in short, the history of my biggest record so far.
At first, being a frequent driver (40.000km per year), I only wanted to know what everyday life with an electric car would be and whether it would work at all. On September 30, 2009, I started running one of the first Tesla Roadsters (VIN 083) to be delivered to Europe. Driving long distance at that time was anything but easy, because there were basically no Superchargers. It was therefore a trip looking out for red CEE sockets and any other charging possibilities. With hundreds of Supercharger locations with thousands of stalls and thousands of Destination Charger locations on the continent, that experience is not recognisable today.
Extreme electric driving made easy
In the first three years that I drove the Roadster, I covered a good 200,000 km. In October 2014, after a further 200,000 km of Roadster pleasure, media called me an "extreme electric driver", and the "marathon-kilometer man". Granted, it depends a bit on your everyday life, but both my Roadster (now with 633.000 km) and my Model S, which I have been driving since my birthday in August 2014, have always proven their suitability for everyday use.
1,000,000 km in just five and a half years: people may expect a lot of problems. But far from it. Charging options that don’t work? No, because the Superchargers work everywhere and every time. Scraping ice in the morning (on the way to the North Cape to -32C)? No, thanks to the clever air conditioning function of the app, which preheats the car and the battery on request. Having the oil changed? ... logically also omitted. Fuel costs? No! I also have never had an issue with availability of service appointments when needed for any small warranty work.
Instead, I didn’t even need a service centre for a whopping 300,000 km, except, of course, because of new tires. In the meantime, Tesla has what I believe is the world's best developed Supercharger network, which is predominantly powered by green electricity. Not to forget the many hotels with Tesla wall box connectors.
The time spent so far with my Model S has never been boring. Instead, I always strived for new goals. Highlights of the past years included the Rally Beijing - Shanghai, a wonderful trip to Ireland, an Eastern European trip to Bulgaria, and not least back in 2010, the E-Mobile Star Ride in the Roadster from Freiburg to Berlin. There I was the only one out of 26 participating Roadsters who had proper long-distance experience in my electric car! It was then I realised that I wanted to show the world that you can drive with an electric vehicle, far and wide.
Nine years later, on 28.11.2019, we wrote automotive history in Germany! The first 1,000,000 km are behind me in a 100% electric vehicle, my Model S P85+.