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Tesla breaks record for going the distance

Roadster owner in Australia drives 313 miles on a single charge as part of alternative-fuel vehicle rally. Achievement is reportedly a record for a production electric car.

Simon Hacket and Emilis Prelgauskas at their 313-mile mark in Coober Pedy, South Australia.

A record for a Tesla Roadster driven on a single charge was set at 313 miles (501 km) in Australia on Tuesday.

Tesla Roadster owner Simon Hackett and his friend Emilis Prelgauskas drove his electric sports car from Alice Springs, Northern Territory, to Coober Pedy, South Australia, as part of an alternative-fuel vehicle rally called the Global Green Challenge.

The Tesla's electric-charge port door was sealed shut at the start of the 313-mile journey and the trip was filmed for a documentary, as well as monitored by contest officials. The Tesla's lithium ion battery, which the company assures owners will last over 200 miles between charges under normal driving circumstances, had 3 miles to spare when the team reached its destination in Coober Pedy, according to Hackett's chronicles of the race experience on his company blog. (Hackett happens to also be the founder and managing director of Internode, an Australian national broadband and Internet services company.)

Hackett said in his blog the achievement is actually a record for any production electric car, not just a Tesla Roadster, which is why his team was so careful to record it. To squeeze as much distance out of the Tesla's battery as they could, Hackett and Prelgauskas tried to drive at a consistent speed of 55 kph (roughly 34 mph) for a large portion of the almost 12-hour journey.

"The security seal was applied to the charge port door when we started the journey. As this is being done as part of the Global Green Challenge, we have a full set of official verifiers here who will attest to the results and to achieving the outcome. We were followed along the journey by our support crew and a documentary film crew--so we have it on film," said Hackett.

While Tesla Motors is not an official sponsor of the contest or Hackett, the company has shown support by spreading the news of Hackett's success. It's not hard to imagine why as Tesla poises for a major retail expansion.

The stunt may certainly speak to consumers who likely drive nowhere near 313 miles in a single day, but are still reluctant to hem themselves in with a car restricted to a limited number of miles between recharges.