• 2010 Tesla Roadster set the Guinness World Record for the shortest charging time driving an electric car from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 2011
  • A decade later, the journey will be repeated in the very same vehicle to demonstrate the longevity of the electric vehicle’s battery life
  • UK charity Zero Carbon World is behind the awareness-raising drive
  • Charity donations for Zero Carbon World accepted via Just Giving

Representatives from UK charity Zero Carbon World will recreate a 2011 Guinness World Record by driving the same record-setting 2010 Tesla Roadster with its original battery pack from John O’Groats to Land’s End on 18 September 2021. With the electric vehicle now being over 11 years old, the aim of the 840 miles (1,352 km) journey is to dispel one of the most prevalent misconceptions creating a barrier to electric vehicle take up – that EV batteries only have a short life.

Making the journey will be Zero Carbon World trustee Dean Fielding, Glyn Husdon from OpenEnergyMonitor and EV specialist David Peilow, with Zero Carbon World chairman and ABB FIA Formula E World Championship racing driver Alexander Sims spending a short stint in the car.*

“There is a pervasive myth about the speed of EV battery pack degradation that is causing a psychological barrier to EV entry,” says Zero Carbon World Trustee, Dean Fielding. “Our aim with this initiative is to prove the longevity of the battery pack and dispel the idea that batteries need to be changed in as little as six to eight years. This misconception stems from both early responses to EVs and from people’s experience of battery degradation and ‘throttling’ in consumer devices such as phones, as proven in high-profile court cases. Our drive will enable us to present a direct comparison between the John O’Groats to Land’s End journey in 2011 and 2021 in the very same Tesla Roadster and its original battery pack.”

The Tesla Roadster has now clocked up over 61,000 miles, all powered by its factory-fitted battery pack that completed the 2011 trip. David Peilow and Zero Carbon World’s founder Kevin Sharpe used the Tesla Roadster to set the Guinness World Record for the ‘shortest charging time driving an electric car from John O’Groats to Land’s End’ in May 2011. Hampered by the then sparce infrastructure and restrictive charge rate, the pair completed the drive in 36 hours.

Over the past decade, the charging infrastructure has greatly improved. According to Zap Map, there are now over 25,000 public EV charging devices in the UK, installed across almost 16,000 locations and providing nearly 44,000 connectors. Of these, more than 4,800 are ultra-rapid or rapid chargers.

As a result, Fielding anticipates an improvement on the time taken to complete the trip. “The UK charging infrastructure has come on in leaps and bounds so we expect to be quicker than the original journey time,” says Fielding. “However, for us the focus is on demonstrating the longevity of the Tesla EV batteries, showing that there has been minimal degradation, and proving this is not a cause for consumer concern.”

The thought-provoking trip is being sponsored by several players in the energy and EV space: UK entech pioneer, Octopus Energy; designer and manufacturer of renewable energy products, myenergi; the UK’s leading electric vehicle charging app and charge point data expert, Zap-Map; reliable rapid charge point operator, GeniePoint; smart home energy monitoring tool provider, OpenEnergyMonitor; developer and manufacturer of EV supply equipment, Viridian EV; HEVRA, a network of UK-wide EV-friendly garage, and Dexel Tyre & Auto Centre, which supplied and fitted Continental EcoContact 6 tyres.

As a charity, Zero Carbon World is accepting donations to support its mission, with 100 per cent of contributions being used to fund its carbon reduction projects, which include donating electric vehicle charging points to businesses and organisations in the hotel, tourist and leisure industries. Those donating £30 or more ahead of the event on 18 September are encouraged to tick the ‘share your name’ option when making a donation – as many of these names will be added to the car’s livery as possible. Donations can be made via Just Giving: https://bit.ly/3E7ddPY

Zero Carbon World will be documenting the journey on the charity’s Twitter (@ZeroCarbonWorld) and Facebook (@ZeroCarbonWorld) channels.