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For the second year in a row, while competing against alternative-fuel cars and hybrids, an all-electric Tesla Roadster has won the Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally.
Former F1 driver Erik Comas was chosen by Tesla to compete in the 800-km (497-mile) rally against more than 100 competitors. It ended Sunday, and included sprints on the Monaco F1 track. “Thanks to the incredible efficiency of the Roadster, we were able to drive for more than 450 km on Saturday. There is nothing on the road like it,” said Comas. “Next year I will enter five Roadsters owned by my company, Green Car Challenge, into this amazing event.”
According to Myra J. Pasek, Tesla’s director of communications for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, the Palo Alto company’s innovative electric vehicle won out over a variety of technologies. “The Tesla Roadster was competing in efficiency and regularity against other EV’s,” Pasek said, mentioning the Venturi Volage, as well as “full and mild hybrids, bioethanol, CNG’s … ”
The rally’s course followed some of the route used by the historic Monte Carlo Rally, and challenged cars to climb to an elevation of 1230 meters (4035 feet) as they passed over the Col du Corobin. Tesla reports its Roadster was the only electric vehicle that could fully endure the challenging course.
This long-range race win comes as Tesla is suing the BBC after its Top Gear program allegedly faked a video of the Roadster running out of power while competing against a Lotus in 2008. Tesla has also recently said cumulative owner miles of around 1,500 Roadsters have topped the 10 million mark. Tesla said the $109,000-128,500 all electric sports car has an EU-certified range of 212 miles (340km) on a single charge.
A complete list of the contenders can be downloaded at the Monte Carlo Rally’s Web site.
With all the introductions of next-generation electric cars at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, it’s safe to say that they’re becoming the vehicles of the future. Whether or not electric cars and/or hybrids will fully replace what we’ve known to love over the last decades, we won’t know for a while, but it’s nice to see that many sanctioning bodies of motorsports are already accepting electric cars and hybrids.
Tesla, known for their high-end stylish electric car, recently took their roadster race cars out to the 2010 Race of Champions to show off what modified electric cars can do. This particular race cars can hit 62 mph in under 4 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph.
Driven by Formula 1 world champions Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost, the Tesla Roadster race cars made quite the noise (despite being so quiet themselves) out at ROC. It’s simply fascinating to see how these vehicles will pave the way for the future with performance and zero emissions bundled into one nifty package.