Over 1,500 Tesla Roadsters around the world have now driven more than 10 million real-world miles, the greatest distance covered by any electric vehicle maker to date. Said Tesla CEO Elon Musk: “We owe this achievement to Roadster drivers around the world and their pioneering adoption of electric vehicles.”
The Roadster launched in 2008 as the only highway-capable EV in the world, and today it still has no equals. Roadster 2.5, the fourth iteration of the vehicle, demonstrates Tesla’s continuous innovation and close feedback loop with engineers and customers. It continues to break new barriers.
From Vancouver, Canada to Melbourne, Australia, the Roadster has proven that drivers don’t need to compromise to go electric.
As written on their blog from Ricardo Reyes:
Tesla Roadsters in over thirty countries have driven more than ten million real-world miles. That’s 500,000 gallons of fuel that didn’t burn and over 5.3 million pounds of averted carbon dioxide emissions. The credit goes to approximately 1,500 Roadster owners around the world who drive their electric vehicles in all conditions; they’re an enthusiastic group who often talk and blog about their experiences.
Tesla is committed to building the best cars in the world. And in doing so, catalyzing change in a very traditional industry by convincing drivers that EVs can match and surpass automobiles run by combustion. That’s not an easy task. But the Roadster has changed a lot of minds.
Of course, not everyone is enthusiastic. We also hear from vocal EV detractors. As with all new, disruptive technologies, there are plenty of misconceptions, rumors, and lies. We try to forcefully correct those before they get out of hand, and believe the industry is better for it. In that vein, with some reluctance, Tesla served the BBC’s Top Gear with a lawsuit yesterday for libel and malicious falsehood. It is the only recourse we have; our repeated attempts to contact the BBC, over the course of months, were ignored.
About two years ago, Top Gear ran a segment containing false and exaggerated criticisms of the Roadster. In the episode, two Roadsters are depicted as suffering several critical “breakdowns” during track driving. The show’s script, written before the cars were tested, has host Jeremy Clarkson concluding the segment by saying, “in the real world, it doesn’t seem to work.”
At the time, we were good sports. Tesla was a young start-up company, having delivered 140 cars to customers in the United States. Those early adopters knew what they were driving, and were not affected by the show’s lies. Tesla concentrated on building and delivering revolutionary cars.
Yet the show continues to air. According to Wikipedia, Top Gear has 350 million viewers worldwide. The programme’s lies are repeatedly and consistently re-broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers on BBC channels and web sites, on other TV channels via syndication; the show is available on the Internet, and is for sale on DVD around the world.
Today, we continue to field questions and explain the serious misconceptions created by the show. Many of us have heard: I know this car, the one that broke down on Top Gear. Despite the show’s buffoonery, Clarkson’s words are taken as truth, not only about the Roadster, but about EVs.