Tesla Kedah drive-5

An update on Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) Tesla Model S 85 programme. The company took one of its two Model S 85s on a road trip up north to Kedah last week – the journey, from its office in Bangi up to Kulim, was made on a single charge, as was the return leg, GreenTech Malaysia CEO Ahmad Hadri Haris told paultan.org.

The journey began just after 5 am on January 13, when the Midnight Silver S 85 (the same car as featured in our review, the other being a Red multi-coat initially previewed last October) departed the Greentech office in Bangi on a full charge, the battery capacity reading 491 km of range.

Travelling on the PLUS (E1), the car ran according to speed limits utilising its traffic-aware cruise control function, which slows and accelerates the car according to traffic conditions.

By 8.30, the car reached Sg Perak R&R, where the battery range capacity indicated 212 km. Just before 11 am, the S 85 arrived at the First Solar factory in Kulim Hi-Tech Park, having travelled a distance of 383 km, with the battery capacity indicating 53 km of range still available.

A quick aside on First Solar, which is an American photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer of rigid thin film solar panels – the company has a manufacturing facility in Kulim Hi-Tech park, employing a workforce of 4,000, all Malaysians.

The Tesla Home Charger was temporarily installed at First Solar to recharge the Model S, the power being derived from solar energy provided by the company, which translated to zero cost, Hadri said. Delivering 32A at 240 volts single-phase, which was able to recharge the car’s battery at a rate of at 41 kWh, the full charge was completed at around 10 pm, with 494 km range available.

On January 14, following demo ride sessions at First Solar, the car made its way to Penang, where it was recharged overnight using a three-pin socket (13A, 240V), giving a 10 kWh charging rate. The next day, the S 85 made its way from Penang to Serdang, Kedah, where Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir launched a 12 kW solar PV system by First Solar at a mosque. He later viewed the S 85 and test drove the car for a while.

The vehicle was then recharged overnight at First Solar, again using the temporarily installed Tesla home charger, to achieve a 497 km range capacity. The journey back to KL on January 16 saw 390 km of travel, and by the time the Tesla rolled back into the GreenTech office, the readout stated an available range of 18 km left, having consumed power from the battery at a 187 Wh/km average.

The drive, Hadri said, covered a total distance of 1,267 km at virtually no cost, the car having being recharged twice via the Tesla home charger with electricity from solar energy, and once with a three-pin socket with grid electricity from TNB. More importantly, it showed the ability of the S 85 to provide tangible long range usability, in the process also putting to rest the range anxiety associated with EVs.

Read our first-drive report on the Tesla Model S 85 for a more complete view of the car.

GALLERY: Tesla Model S 85