Every person sets some goals for themselves. The goals may be related to their professional or private lives. On their way to reach their goal, they keep track of their progress using checkpoints or milestones they achieved in the process. A sportsperson dreams of playing for his country and they keep crossing the checkpoints as they progress up the pyramid of the sport; district team, state team, and finally the national team. For an entrepreneur, it may be the revenue or number of customers and the checkpoints being every thousand or ten thousand such customers they reach. However, milestones are restricted to the performance they may be purely satisfaction related. One such Tesla Model S owner set out with a goal to achieve 1-million km. The owner, Hansjörg Gemmingen from Germany, is behind these crazy numbers.
Tesla Model S Guinness Record Holder Hits 1.2 Million Km Milestone
Why are these numbers crazy?
Drivers reaching a million kilometers isn’t an extraordinary achievement in normal circumstances. In Hansjörg Gemmingen’s case though the numbers are outrageous. Let me explain. An ordinary internal combustion vehicle has an engine that almost certainly delivers a million kilometers. The fuel required for an IC vehicle as we know is readily available in the remotest part of town. There are garages at almost every corner of a city. The reliability of a combustion vehicle is always increasing since the first-ever car was made which we all know was considerably long time ago. Now, imagine these numbers in an electric vehicle.
Fuel stations are replaced by charging stations. The engine is replaced by batteries. The transmission is replaced by motors. The longer a person wishes to drive, the time required for charging increases. Firstly, the charging network is hardly developed when compared to the gas stations. Next, we have to consider the time difference between charging of a battery pack of X kWh capacity and time taken to fill gas in a tank, for simplicity consider having a tank range equivalent to that of the X kWh capacity. Now arises the question of the powerhouse of the car. An engine requires maintenance no doubt but when you consider battery packs they naturally degrade and need replacement. When you look at all these factors, the numbers put up by Hansjörg Gemmingen are crazy.
How did it start?
Every Story has a beginning and so did Hansjörg Gemmingen Guinness record story. One would expect the story to start from the day he bought his Tesla Model S but it doesn’t. It starts when Tesla launched its Tesla Roadster. Hansjörg Gemmingen bought his first Tesla car, the Roadster, and racked up an almost insane 600,000 km on it. This might have ignited the idea of reaching the golden million kilometers mark. However, Tesla was just starting and the performance of their initial cars wasn’t even close to what the future Tesla cars would perform.
A testament to positive strides Tesla has taken over the years. In 2013, the entire buzz was around the new Tesla Model S. Like the 20,000+ people, Hansjörg Gemmingen bought his Tesla Model S P85. After racking up 600,000kms in his Roadster the plan was sure to reach the million km mark in his Model S and so he did. Re-iterating my point, in 2013 the charging station networks weren’t as developed as it is today. The parts were a bit more expensive than they are today but this did not stop Hansjörg. In November of last year, Hansjörg reached the Promised Land, when he hit the million-mark on his trip counter. He was “charged” up and shared his joy via Twitter.
— Hansjörg von Gemmingen – Hornberg (@gem8mingen) November 28, 2019
Of course, he had his fair share of mechanical and electrical issues. Throughout 1 million km he had 2 battery packs and 3 drive unit replacements. The good news is that the most recent battery pack is going on almost half a million kilometers (310,000 miles) with very little battery degradation. Tesla also finally figure out the problem that would cause issues to the drive unit in early Model S vehicles and now, Gemmingen’s latest drive unit had over 680,000 km on it in then.
How it’s going?
It was always going to be interesting to see how much Hansjörg Gemmingen would be able to push his Model S. On the 14th of October, he gave his Twitter followers an update. He was on the brink of hitting the 1.2 million mark. He tweeted, “Thank you, tomorrow I will have 1.200.000 km” and guess who congratulated Hansjörg on his achievement; none other than Elon Musk.
— Hansjörg von Gemmingen – Hornberg (@gem8mingen) October 14, 2020
Hansjörg stayed true to his promise and hit the 1.2 million mark today. He took to Twitter to announce this milestone and met with congratulatory messages from all around the world.
— Hansjörg von Gemmingen – Hornberg (@gem8mingen) October 15, 2020
It’s just another feather in his hat. I don’t think Hansjörg will stop here and we look forward to many such checkpoints being crossed.
Apart from the milestones, technically speaking this story throws light on how Tesla’s reliability has increased over the years. With the new million-mile battery being announced on battery day, the signs look positive.