Mini E Tortoise Caught By Tesla Roadster Hare On 500-mile U.K. Trip
The U.K. institution known as the British Broadcasting Corporation recently embarked on a near 500-mile trip with one of Mini’s experimental Mini E fleet, which was arranged in part to highlight the inconveniences of electric vehicles. Not surprisingly, things got pretty inconvenient.
The BBC’s story, airing on English television, chronicles journalist Brian Milligan’s drive from London to Edinburgh, a journey of some 484 miles. According to the automaker, the Mini E’s range is roughly 100 miles, but driving habits, traffic conditions, and ambient temperatures can have an effect on that number — potentially whittling it down to as little as 60 miles. Not surprisingly, charging stations were few and far between along the route and Milligan was forced to wait for hours at a time for the electrified Mini to charge before continuing.
After Milligan published his frustrations on both his blog and Twitter feed, EV advocates started to cry foul. British EV fan David Peilow was so incensed, he arranged a publicity stunt with Tesla Motors to counter the BBC story. Borrowing a new Roadster Sport and leaving after Milligan had a two-day lead, Peilow set out to beat the BBC to Edinburgh.
He did just that. The Roadster, equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack offering roughly 245 miles of range (and, importantly, a 3.5-hour recharge time on a 240-volt charger), managed to make the trek in a single day. Pielow needed to stop only twice, and, having left in the wee hours of the morning, managed to sneak into Edinburgh hours before Milligan did.
The BBC is crying foul, noting the sporty Roadster’s range is nearly twice that of the “practical” Mini E. But beyond the obvious PR stunt for Tesla, Pielow’s counter drive did serve to notice that despite the significant obstacles, the hurdles to widespread EV may yet be overcome someday.
Source: Tesla, BBC