Tesla Roadster goes the distance at European road rallies

The Roadster won first place last weekend in the Bridgestone Eco Rally, an 89-kilometer (55-mile) sprint from Brighton to London. With Britain’s racy Energy Secretary Chris Huhne at the wheel, the Tesla Roadster took a detour through a London traffic jam and claimed the chequered flag at Waterloo.

Tesla also turned heads last week at the eSilvretta Rally, a modern take on Austria’s beloved Silvretta Classic Rally. The Roadster effortlessly completed the three-day, 159-kilometer (99-mile) rally in a single charge – with plenty of energy to spare for test drives with fans and prospective customers.

The Tesla Roadster is certified to travel 340 kilometers (211 miles) on a single charge in normal European driving – but it’s easy to drive even farther. By simply tapping the Roadster’s touchscreen display, you can toggle from “performance mode” to rally-friendly “maximum range mode” to squeeze extra juice out of the car’s industry-leading lithium-ion battery pack.

The electric car Roadster with lithium ion batteries can also be charged at conventional outlets throughout Europe. This means rally drivers can simply top off at evening breaks or anywhere they can plug the car into a standard 240-volt outlet – if they need to charge at all.

And the winner is…

The Roadster is no stranger to rally circuits. Internet entrepreneur Simon Hackett set a new world record late last year, when he drove his Tesla Roadster 504 kilometers (313 miles) on a single charge during an eco rally in his native Australia.

In March, a Tesla Roadster became the first electric vehicle to win the nearly 1,000-kilometer (621-mile) Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally. Driven by Formula One driver Erik Comas, the Roadster beat nearly 100 competitors in range, efficiency and performance and became the first electric vehicle to win an FIA-sanctioned competition.

Where will the Tesla Roadster set new records? Check out Tesla’s popular Facebook site to see how the Roadster fares in the following high-profile events later this summer:

* The Tesla Roadster will travel 570 kilometers (354 miles) through scenic Basque Country during the Eco Rally Vasco Navarro. The two-day event, which begins July 16 in Vitoria, Spain, is sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.

* Starting in Munich on August 3, numerous Tesla Roadsters driven by their owners, will conquer the Alps in the all-new E-Miglia Rally. The four-day event highlights high-performance, eco-friendly cars along a 560-kilometer route through the mountains of Germany, Austria and Italy.

* Tesla will set the pace August 7-8 at the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix in the city’s scenic Fælledparken. Last year, Teslas were driven by Prince Joachim of Denmark, LeMans winner Jan Magnusson and Pro AM driver Ronnie Bremmer. Tesla has more celebrity drivers in store this year – and special celebrations at its newly opened Copenhagen showroom.

Tesla’s goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars with lithium ion batteries for mainstream buyers relentlessly driving down the cost of Electric Vehicless. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures Electric Vehicles with lithium ion batteries and EV powertrain components, and is currently the only automaker in the U.S. that builds and sells highway-capable Electric Cars in serial production.