Here’s a Target for Electric Cars: 1,223 Miles on 1 Tank of Fuel

Mercedes E300 Bluetec Diesel Hybrid Goes 1223 Miles on One Tank of Fuel

You may or may not have heard about the Mercedes E300 Blue-tec hybrid that recently went from Tangiers, Morocco to Goodwood in the UK on a single tank of gas.  1,223 miles on just under 21 gallons of fuel.  It was part of the “Africa to UK Challenge”, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.  The goal was to make the trip at local speeds, in local traffic, on a single tank of gas.  It’s a great video documenting a fascinating journey.

Which got me thinking (something generally dangerous for me).  Is this the kind of range that engineers at Tesla and other electric car manufacturers using as a goal?   Tesla has made tremendous leaps in battery technology.  The 265-mile range of the Model S is significantly better than the Roadster, and most other EVs.  But are they thinking about 1,200 miles on a charge, or just 300?  I don’t have an answer, and I’m not expecting to hear one from you, either.  Granted a 265 mile range is a big improvement over the Nissan Leaf.

Over the past year, General Electric has discussed the value of a “flow battery” to increase charge and range.  The sharp minds at Argonne National Laboratories and the Illinois Institute of Technology are working on increasing electric car range as well, in a joint project funded by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency.  I’m also wondering what the electric car racing engineers at Formula-E will come up with as well.  It’s pretty well documented that breakthroughs at the race track end up in production vehicles.

Will we as consumers see the kind of improvement similar to what our CATV providers grudgingly give us?  Or will we get blown away by an electric car with a 500 mile range?  Time will tell.

 

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Sebastian James

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