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Tesla Model 3 drives 606 miles on a single charge in hypermiling record

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Thirty-two hours of low-speed driving

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

It only took 32 hours of continuous driving in sweltering temperatures, but two Colorado residents have set a new “hypermiling” record by driving their Tesla Model 3 606.2 miles (975 km) on a single charge. It beat a previous record of 560 miles from a Tesla Model S P100D, but it fell slightly short of a 670-mile run in a Model S by an Italian team last August.

Hypermiling is a technique used to conserve gas (or in this case, electricity) that involves driving at a low, consistent speed with minimal use of the vehicle’s brakes. Colorado residents Sean Mitchell and Erik Strait set out to achieve a record in their Model 3 last week, aiming to hit 675 miles on a single charge. They fell short of that goal, but they still achieved a record for the Model 3.

Their journey into the record books started out at a Supercharger near Denver International Airport. From there, the pair drove in a 1-mile closed loop at speed of 20 to 30 mph, stopping occasionally to use the bathroom and acquire food from friends using a net they held out the window.

In order to conserve the Model 3’s battery, the pair eschewed the use of air conditioning and tinted the windows to help reduce the interior’s temperature. Mitchell tweeted that at its peak, temps inside the vehicle cabin got up to 108 degrees.

Strait documented the whole trip (streaming live on YouTube at dpo.st/teslarecord), as per the guidance from the Guinness World Records. According to Guinness, a modified electric BMW did hit 1,000 miles on a single charge in October 2017. But the Model 3 is a regular production vehicle for which no hypermiling record has been set. Mitchell said the goal was to raise awareness of electric vehicles and help assuage range anxiety, which is the oft-cited reason consumers give for avoiding EVs.

After achieving the record, though, the pair’s Model 3 was far worse for the wear. Mitchell tweeted that the car had to be towed to a service center after failing to take a charge from a Supercharger. As of this writing, the problem hasn’t been resolved, and Mitchell has promised an update via his live stream.