HomeGuideDiesel Hack to Transform Tesla Model S Into a 1000-Mile Powerhouse

Diesel Hack to Transform Tesla Model S Into a 1000-Mile Powerhouse

Imagine if you could have the power to go on a road trip on an EV without having to deal with any range anxiety. Charging an electric car can often be a tedious and time-consuming process, especially when compared to the convenience of refueling a gasoline-powered vehicle.

Fast charging stations are not as prevalent as gas pumps, making long road trips a challenge for electric car owners. However, one avid individual named Matt Mikka, renowned for his tech-focused YouTube channel Warped Perception, has taken an unconventional approach to address this issue.

In a move that is bound to raise eyebrows among Tesla enthusiasts, Mikka has ingeniously installed a diesel engine in the trunk of his Model S, creating a unique hybrid solution. This is a perfect answer for all EV lovers who want to own an EV but do not want to face the hassle of stopping for charging every 100-200 miles.

With this homemade modification, he claims that his Tesla can travel over 1,000 miles without the need for a charging pit stop. Let’s delve into his extraordinary expedition that may rattle the expectations of all-electric vehicle enthusiasts out there.

Here’s what we know!

Tesla Model S 1000 Miles

Solution To Range Anxiety

Range anxiety is undoubtedly a significant worry for individuals contemplating the purchase of a new electric vehicle (EV). Addressing this concern, one prominent solution that has gained popularity in a decade and more is the hybrid range extender.

This technology combines the advantages of electric propulsion with the convenience of refueling a conventional fuel tank. However, an intriguing question arises: Can one create their own range extender at home?

While it may be tempting to explore such a DIY approach, it is crucial to note that developing a functional and reliable range extender requires extensive knowledge of automotive engineering, electrical systems, and safety protocols.

Given the complex nature of hybrid technology, it is generally recommended to rely on professional expertise and established manufacturers for range extender solutions.

How far would you go to combat the dreaded range anxiety that often accompanies electric vehicles (EVs)? Well, this YouTuber has taken this question quite literally and pushed it to the extreme getting generous range.

In a bold and maybe slightly outrageous move, he has gone as far as installing a turbo diesel power plant in the trunk of a Tesla Model S P85D. Yes, you read that right.

This adventurous act was undertaken with a single mission in mind: to obliterate any lingering doubts about the range capabilities of an EV. Prepare yourself for a tale that combines innovation, a touch of madness, and a determined quest to crush range anxiety once and for all.

Tesla Model S With 1000+ Miles of Range

Mikka’s journey to building his DIY hybrid version was one fueled by years of dedication, meticulous planning, and unwavering determination. As he revealed to Insider, he spent considerable time conceptualizing and designing the hybrid system, aiming to create something truly unique.

In 2022, he successfully developed an initial proof of concept, which served as the foundation for his ambitious project. Undeterred by challenges, Mikka decided to rebuild the entire system from scratch, striving for perfection.

To achieve his vision, he personally designed all the components and got the Kohler diesel engine.

In the YouTube video showcasing his unconventional creation, Mikka proudly unveiled his innovative project—a homespun hybrid that challenges the expectations of electric car enthusiasts. He boldly placed a diesel engine into the trunk of his beloved Model S, resulting in a unique hybrid vehicle that, according to his claims, boasts an astonishing range of over 1,000 miles without the need for a charging stop.

Aware that his endeavor might be deemed sacrilegious by some, Mikka enthusiastically embraced the challenge, pushing the boundaries of electric vehicle technology and demonstrating his ingenuity.

While the DIY hybrid setup devised by Matt Mikka may initially seem ingenious, further examination reveals significant drawbacks. The resulting noise output, even with a muffler installed, has the potential to grate on even the most resilient eardrums.

Mikka himself acknowledged this issue, describing the constant droning as either something you eventually ignore or find incredibly bothersome. Additionally, the 19-kW diesel engine’s partially external configuration poses challenges in terms of efficient cooling.

As the drive progresses, another issue becomes apparent: cooling. Overheating proves to be a persistent challenge throughout the journey, hindering the performance of the roughly 25 hp (19 kW/25.3 PS) generator in charging the batteries at its full potential.

The continuous overheating of the diesel engine restricts its ability to efficiently support the charging process, diminishing the overall effectiveness of the hybrid setup. The limited space available for cooling compromises the motor’s ability to generate power as optimally as desired.

These factors highlight the trade-offs and challenges inherent in such DIY projects, reminding us that while creativity and innovation are commendable, practical considerations must also be carefully evaluated.

2700 Miles Road trip

Mikka’s commitment to his craft became evident as he embarked on a nearly 2,700-mile road trip, documenting his journey in his most recent video. Mikka took the road trip traveling through Detroit, Cleveland, New York City, Manhattan, Massachusetts, and back.

Reflecting on his intense dedication, he confessed that his passion may have reached the point of obsession. However, he believed it was necessary to make his creation a reality, especially since no existing market options could fulfill his specific requirements.

After eight months of hard work and meticulous attention to detail, Mikka’s revamped setup was finally complete and ready for a real-world test. Embarking on a remarkable 2,700-mile road trip, Mikka demonstrated the capabilities of his creation.

What made his achievement even more impressive was the fact that he personally designed and manufactured all the components for the generator, except for the diesel engine.

Drawing from his previous experience, Mikka’s new hybrid system performed flawlessly, aligning with his expectations. Utilizing a Tesla Model S with a peak energy consumption of 52 Wh per mile, the addition of the diesel range extender theoretically offered a range exceeding 1,600 miles. Yes, theoretically but still cool right?

Throughout the extensive road trip, Mikka utilized 77 gallons of diesel fuel, resulting in an approximate efficiency of 35 mpg.

DIY Tesla Model S Total Distance

Considering the vehicle’s astounding 700 horsepower and performance sedan status, the outcome remains undeniably impressive, showcasing Mikka’s ingenuity and determination in achieving exceptional results.

What To Expect In The Future?

Based on the remarkable DIY hybrid creation by Mikka and the passion he displayed in pushing the boundaries of electric vehicle technology, it is clear that the future holds exciting possibilities.

If Mikka can do something at the DIY level himself, imagine what can be done if more intelligent minds work in a similar direction. If Elon Musk is taking some notice, there could be incredible tech innovations along the way for Tesla soon.

Mikka’s project showcases the potential for innovative individuals to challenge the status quo and explore new avenues in sustainable transportation. As electric vehicles continue to evolve and range anxiety concerns are addressed, we will likely witness further advancements in hybrid technology.

Professional manufacturers and engineers will likely continue to refine and optimize range extender systems, providing consumers with more options and peace of mind. The DIY approach, while commendable, should be approached with caution due to the complex nature of automotive engineering and safety considerations.

Nonetheless, Mikka’s project serves as an inspiring example of individual creativity and determination, foreshadowing a future where customized and efficient hybrid solutions may become more accessible to electric vehicle enthusiasts.


Model S owner Mikka said in his video that he was looking for a solution to make EV ownership more reliable. The recent DIY modification allows him to take on longer road trips without having to take numerous stops for charging the battery pack. Even in an unfortunate situation where one is left out of charge, one can simply go to a gas station and get diesel for the rest of their journey, thanks to the hybrid engine.

Range anxiety remains a significant apprehension for prospective electric vehicle (EV) buyers. Hybrid range extenders have gained popularity as a means to alleviate this concern by providing the advantages of EV propulsion alongside the convenience of refueling.

However, the question arises as to whether one can create a DIY version. While the concept may seem appealing, a key drawback becomes apparent upon closer inspection. Despite the sleek appearance, the partially external setup presents a notable issue: the diesel engine’s noise level.

Even with a muffler in place, the engine produces a considerable amount of noise. This factor can be problematic, particularly for those seeking the quiet luxury often associated with EVs.

The juxtaposition of adding an engine to the back of the car may clash with the very reason individuals are drawn to EVs in the first place. Would you like to play with your Tesla to get a massive range? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Purnima Rathi
Purnima Rathi
Purnima has a strong love for EVs. Whether it's classic cars or modern performance vehicles, she likes to write about anything with four wheels, especially if there's a cool story behind it.


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