Hypermiling is the practice of driving vehicles as efficiently as possible in order to achieve the longest distance possible on one charge/fuel tank.

It’s not a useful way to determine the range of a vehicle, but it’s an interesting way to see how the way someone drives can impact fuel efficiency.

Tesla’s Model S has been a popular vehicle for hypermilers to push to its limit and now they set a new record: 901.2 km (~560 miles).

The previous record was held by Casey Spencer, a Tesla Model S 85D owner, who drove at ~22 mph throughout a 26- hour period.

Tesla has since released versions of the Model S with higher energy capacities and therefore, opportunities to easily beat the record.

Now Steven Peeters and Joeri Cools broke the record using a Model S P100D.

They took a different approach and only drove in a 26 km (16 miles) closed loop in Belgium. Peeters explains in a blog post:

“Our starting point was at a 22kW charger, which would also be our finish, to make sure we can get charged up again once we’re done with the challenge. From there we drove a small section of road that lead to our main “track”, being a 26km closed loop. Although it might be more beneficial to keep driving straight and preferable with a tail wind, our approach had the advantage that we could learn from each round. By the time we finished the attempt, we knew perfectly how to take every turn and roundabout to make sure we drove with the least possible consumption. And we also got to compare each lap at different temperatures, since we’d be driving through the night and the whole following day.”

Here’s the vehicle and the route:

They also decided to drive a little bit faster than the previous records: 40 km/h (24 mph). They found it to have the lowest possible energy consumption.

Their overall consumption reached a record low 88 Wh/km (141.6 Wh/mile):

“As time went by and we accumulated more and more laps of our “track”, we started to become extremely efficient at each and every corner. We managed to get an average efficiency over 50km below 100Wh/km and even had sections where the consumption over 10km dropped to 88Wh/km! We never thought it was even possible to get those values in a car that weighs 2.3 tons.”

Of course, climate control was out of the question so it was a long 23 hours and 45 minutes, but they managed to travel a record: 901.2 km (~560 miles).

Interestingly, when talking about hypermiling, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in 2015 that he would expect people to reach 600 miles (965 km) on a single charge in 2017.

It looks like he was pretty close. Maybe with a Model S 100D and only one person in the car? Someone wants to try?

Featured Image by Steven Peeters