In terms of coast to coast records here in the UK, it’s a bit thin pickings when it comes to verified records they are far and few between. When setting a coast to coast record for the UK the rules are simple, the run has to be completed from Land’s End in deepest darkest Cornwall to John O’Groats at the tip of Scotland. Reversing the route also qualifies as a coast to coast run, as in it doesn’t matter which way you do it.
Cannonball Run Of Economy And Recharging
In recent years there have been only two car related records set from coast to coast in the UK, none of them related to out and out speed. The reason for this is likely due to the fact that any record breaker who publicized a run would end up in jail with their driving license removed from them quicker than you can say ‘you’re nicked’.
The most recent internal combustion related record didn’t even yield a time as it was done on a single tank of diesel, worse still the drive was completed in a brown Vauxhall Insignia of all cars.
For now, I have decided to leave one tank record attempts alone, speed records are also out of the question as I don’t like being in jail due to a little bit of speed. That leaves only one record to attempt, coast to coast in an electric car.
Setting A Record In A Nissan Leaf?
The current record is 27 hours and 46 minutes, in September 2015 the brave duo of Jonathan Porterfield and Chris Ramsay completed their record in a Nissan Leaf. They completed their initial run in 28 hours 38 minutes, not satisfied with this time they turned the Leaf around and headed south setting the record time of 27 hours and 46 minutes.
For those of you that know anything about cars, the Leaf is not exactly a record-setting machine. For a start, it’s barely capable of 100 miles on a single charge. In the real world that will be around 80/90 miles if your very careful whilst driving it.
The Car You Want To Shatter A Record
Now, I wouldn’t pick a Leaf for a record attempt or anything else for that matter. The car you need for this record is a smidge faster and vastly better looking, the Tesla Model S P100D.
According to my discussions with the nice people at Tesla, the P100D version of the Model S is in theory capable of 315 miles per charge, various Tesla owners confirm that close to 280-290 miles is possible. For any plan, however, I am going to be cautious and go with the 250-mile range that most P100D owners confirmed was possible with a mix of careful and not so careful (read: hooning) driving.
We now have a car and I’m sure I can find a friend who has no common sense to be my co-driver, but how do we get there?
If you were to take a conventionally powered car on this run you would cover 837 miles in around 15 hours 12 minutes-ish, this includes current traffic and roadworks but does not include any fuel stops or additional speed.
Driving a Tesla, however, conventional fuel stops don’t work and you have to rely on the Tesla Supercharger network to keep you going. While Tesla is gradually adding more Superchargers to the UK network, we are an age behind the USA. The total route includes charging stops which do involve and a bit of going off route during the total distance of 882 miles, total estimate time for this drive including the four stops to recharge is 17 hours 7 minutes total.
One major downside of using an electric car to do this is speed, as in if you try to use too much of it.
Every single electric car I’ve driven suffers from rapid battery depletion as soon as you give it a full dose of the electric beans. Additional factors such as bad weather and low temperatures could play havoc with the Model S’s battery range. From the plan I have drafted, encountering a mere 15mph of windy weather could add a full hour of time to the run. If low temperatures and say 25mph average wind hits then an additional charging stop could be required or we’d run the risk of pushing the car into charging points in Scotland, that is if we made it that far at all.
No one said that anything worth doing is easy, but why do this I hear you ask. Because, there are some things that money alone cannot buy, setting a record is one of them.