Beyond sky-high prices, the fear of running out of charge on long-distance road trips is one of the main things that keeps people from investing in electric cars. And with relatively limited charging infrastructure throughout the states, especially outside of major cities, it’s a valid fear.
That’s why one YouTuber stepped up and devised a unique plan for his own range anxiety, converting his Tesla Model S to run on a gasoline generator. Seems counter-intuitive, though, with a 1,800-mile road trip across the Midwest ahead of him, he didn’t want to worry about needing to stop and charge along the way. We don’t blame him!
Matt Mikka, the creator of the popular YouTube channel Warped Perception, expressed his deep love for his Tesla. However, he also noted that he hated the inconvenience of having to frequently stop and charge it, especially when taking road trips.
“I’m not a huge fan of having to stop and charge, even if it’s faster than refueling a gas-powered car,” he shared in one video this past October.
Of course, as a Tesla owner, Mikka owns one of the best long-distance drivers.
With an impressive EPA-rated 405-mile range, the new Model S is among the top dogs in the electric car market. Even so, for Mikka, that 405-mile rating wasn’t going to cut it, and after five years of careful planning and more than a year of meticulous designing, he unveiled his Frankenstein creation, dubbed the “Cordless Tesla.”
What’s unique about his innovative system is that it charges the vehicle, whether parked or on the move.
Now, thanks to Tesla’s massive network of dedicated fast-charging stations, as well as the ever-growing availability of third-party charging stations, Teslas are some of the most convenient electric vehicles you can own. The recent support from President Biden certainly helps the cause, as more and more Tesla owners are getting to take advantage of improved charging infrastructure in places where it’s plentiful.
For Mikka’s journey, however, none of that mattered. And luckily for him, he was able to complete this Midwest trek without ever having to plug into a charging station. However, he did have to make a quick pit stop to fill up for gas.
Mikka also noted that his interstate rendezvous wasn’t without its challenges.
For starters, he had to take a break for around five hours each day to give his Tesla time to charge, as it was consuming more energy than the generator could generate while on the road.
Beyond that, when he stayed at hotels, he would keep the noisy generator running overnight in the parking lot so that by morning, he’d have a battery that was nearly full. It definitely wasn’t the most practical choice for someone staying in quieter areas, and he made a point to talk about how annoying he thought it must have been for other hotel guests.
On one stretch of highway, he said that a state trooper pulled him over for driving too slowly when he was trying to reduce his energy consumption.
So essentially, all of the unique changes that he made to his Tesla stripped the cost savings and environmental benefits of owning it in the first place.
He noted that throughout the trip, his fuel economy ranged from a relatively healthy 24 MPG at 50 MPH to a low 14 MPG at 80 MPG. Compared to the efficiency of a modern electric vehicle, these stats were far from what they should’ve been.
So, what’s Mike’s verdict on his hybrid creation?
“In terms of practicality, it wasn’t the best design,” he noted.
“While it was a cool thing to build, the lack of sufficient energy was a huge limitation. My ultimate goal is to take my Tesla out and drive at highway speeds for long periods without worrying about charging it.”
And yes, there are certain drawbacks to this seemingly ingenious concept, mainly the fact that he essentially built a less-functional version of a hybrid car, which, as we all know, already exists in the market.
Plus, even with its extended range, it still relies on gas.
After his experiment, Mikka told his viewers it was time to head back to the drawing board to develop a better design.
We’re glad to see that his quest to create the ultimate road trip car isn’t over, and we can’t wait to see what he conjures up next!