Internode Blog

We did it!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 by

After a very long day yesterday (don’t we say that every day?), Team Internode did what they intended to do: set a new distance record for a production electric car.

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Simon and Emilis making history

In the words of the man himself:

On Tuesday 27 October 2009, Simon Hackett, Managing Director of Australian national broadband company Internode, who owns the only Roadster in Australia, has driven it with with co-driver Emilis Prelgauskas, to a distance of 501 km’s (313 miles) on a single charge.

The world record-setting distance for a production electric car on a single charge was achieved as part of the Global Green Challenge (http://www.globalgreenchallenge.com.au). The car had about 3 miles of range left when the drive was completed.

Security Seal applied before the record breaking drive

Security Seal applied before the record breaking drive

The distance will be fully accredited by event officials in due course, and preparation for the record-setting drive included security sealing of the electric charge port door at departure and full on-road supervision of the vehicle during the drive.

The path driven was to the south from Alice Springs, in the Australian Northern Territory, and ended at a distance marker on the highway at a point 183 km north of Coober Pedy, in South Australia.

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Internode’s favourite road marker on the entire Stuart Highway

Congratulations, team! We did it!

- Jessica Citizen

And they’re off!

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 by

In the cool desert morning, Simon and Emilis have set off on their attempt to break the current distance record for a production electric vehicle.

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Motor Sport Manager from the South Australian Motor Sport Board, Jeff Mattner,
applies a seal to the Roadster’s “fuel tank”.

At 6am, the weather is lovely and cool at the moment, with a slight breeze (not a headwind! Hoorah!). It’s an auspicious start to what will be one of the most interesting – and exciting – days of the event.

We’ve been asked a lot of questions about what we’re doing, and people are interested to hear that the basic plan for today involves driving at a steady speed of around 55kph, with driver changes every two hours to avoid fatigue. That means travelling pretty slowly for around 9 hours or so, before recharging once the battery is flat (and the record is broken!), and then driving at a more sensible speed into Coober Pedy. It’ll be around 12 hours of driving time, plus 3+ hours of charging, so you can see we’re settling in for a looong day, even by our standards.

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Erring on the side of caution,
Kingsley applies an additional seal to the generator.

I’ve got a few hours this morning to “relax” before heading off to meet up with the Roadster at Kulgera, which is around 300km from Alice Springs – if you’re following at home, our intention is to cross the SA/NT border and end up somewhere around Marla, which is 450-odd kilometres away. To take a better look, keep an eye on our tracker, remember the Roadster is Agile-Spot-1!

Right now though, it’s breakfast time for those of us not on the road yet, so I’ll head off and do that, and hopefully round up some more results from the other cars.

Stay tuned – today is going to be very exciting (even if it’s very slow…)!

Jessica Citizen

record-simon
Simon Hackett, as he sets off to break the world distance record for a production electric vehicle