While we had all of last century to work out the niggles of internal combustion engine powered automobiles, there's still a question or two hanging over electric vehicles - such as how long will they last? Tesla Motors is the early mover in the EV arena having commenced production of its Roadster model in early 2008 and with 1,600-odd of the all-electric sportscars now in the wild, the company has a growing pool of real-world research to draw on in that will help it answer this question and improve the long-term durability of its future models. At the head of the pack is European customer number 83, Hansjörg von Gemmingen, who has just clocked past 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles) to become the most traveled Tesla Roadster owner to date.
von Gemmingen, who lives in southwest Germany, has driven the Roadster consistently - including during winter - and uses a standard household outlet for nightly charging.
On and long-trips, which included an 800-kilometer (500 mile) drive to Berlin for the Tesla owners event last year, von Gemmingen says he was easily able to manage the challenge of recharging.
"As long as you have somewhere to plug in for a bit along the way, it's simple to drive the car no matter where you're headed," he said.
EVs are low maintenance by nature with no oil changes or new spark plugs required and we're not sure what work needed to be done during the car's first 100,000 kms, but it's still going ... and it's a genuine milestone for the fledgling auto-maker.
By the way, Tesla recommends a standard service and diagnostic inspection once a year or every 19,000 km (12,000 miles). Because it runs its own service centers, the company's model also lend itself to gaining valuable feedback on the overall performance of the fleet. According to Tesla the collective odometer for its Roadster customers is showing more than 11 million miles ... which would put the average distance traveled at around the 7,000 mile mark. Looks like Hansjörg is thrashing the competition.