Norwegian Tesla fanatic Bjorn Nyland just set a new distance record for driving his Tesla 452 miles across Scandinavia. Its a feat that is being lauded in EV circles and especially in Tesla ones, but it significantly damages the image of EVs in the marketplace by sending out very negative messages.
First of all the range. 452 miles? That's a journey that no conventionally fueled vehicle owner would even think twice about. Seriously, if you had to get into your car and drive from London to Liverpool and back again the range of your car wouldn't even cross your mind. Maybe if you have something sporty you may have to consider a fuel stop on the way, but otherwise it wouldn't even warrant a mention in your social circles, never mind the wider internet.
By making a big noise and drawing attention to the fact that a Tesla had achieved this otherwise unremarkable thing, Nyland brings attention to the limitations that its motive force brought to the journey. To whit, a journey time of 18 hours at an average speed of just 25mph. And of course the implication that this sort of journey is beyond a normally driven Tesla, never mind a regular EV. That sort of message isn't going to advance the electric vehicle cause one bit.
The truth is that a journey of 452 miles in an EV needs to be seen as unremarkable, part of the normal service. And assuming access to sufficient chargers along the way its a journey that a Nissan Leaf could make as easily as a Tesla, or any petrol or diesel powered car.
Driven at normal speeds the Tesla could have achieved that journey in less than half the time it did when hypermiling, with a couple of topping off stops on the way. The Leaf would have required five half hour topping up stops, but would still have made the journey in five hours less than the hypermiled Tesla.
The biggest downside is that this sort of story drags the conversation back to the use of EVs for long-distance journeys, which hardly anyone undertakes anyway. Instead of focusing it on the regular day to day commuting that EVs eat up and in doing so make such a good case for themselves.