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Tesla Model X Crosses the Sahara Desert to Set a First for Electric Cars

You mean to tell us there are countries in Central and Eastern Europe who don't have Superchargers, but Tesla decided to install them in the Sahara desert? We were under the impression Musk is a much savvier businessman than that.
Tesla Model X in the desert 8 photos
"Team Tesla Powered by RWE" in the Budapest-Bamako Rally"Team Tesla Powered by RWE" in the Budapest-Bamako Rally"Team Tesla Powered by RWE" in the Budapest-Bamako Rally"Team Tesla Powered by RWE" in the Budapest-Bamako Rally"Team Tesla Powered by RWE" in the Budapest-Bamako Rally"Team Tesla Powered by RWE" in the Budapest-Bamako Rally"Team Tesla Powered by RWE" in the Budapest-Bamako Rally
If only it were that simple, a lot more people would probably do it, except the Model X had to rely on the sketchy power grid available in the area - when available - and a mobile generator whenever there was nothing other than the orange sand and the blue sky in sight.

The two Croatians who (willingly, we should add) performed what we can only imagine was often a grueling journey are called Saša Cvetojevi and Oleg Maštruko. They had help from Tomas Kovicka from the Czech Republic who was driving the support vehicle (a Dacia Dokker) where they had the generator and, we assume, a very large fuel tank.

The team was taking part in the Budapest-Bamako Rally, an amateur competition that sees participants go from the Hungarian Capital city to its Mali counterpart. It stretches over 8,600 km (5,340 miles) which the "Team Tesla Powered by RWE" took 16 days to cover.

We're not entirely sure what they set out to demonstrate, but we do know they made one thing perfectly clear: there are still certain tasks that electric vehicles can't perform. Not without the help of fossil fuel, at least.

It does, however, put the Model X drivetrain into a favorable light, something it kind of needed after Bjørn Nyland's stunts in the snow from one month ago. On the other hand, the front-wheel-drive Dacia Dokker was able to follow them just as well - and only got stuck once - so perhaps we're not talking about conditions as challenging as we might imagine.

With the battery technology advancing relatively quickly, feats such as this one will stop making the news in the coming years. We're seeing more and more EV-only motorsport competitions (the new Formula E car is a good example, as is the Tesla Model S used in the Electric GT Series), as well as electric vehicles signing up alongside conventionally-powered ones whenever possible (Pikes Peak, for example).

If the second-gen Roadster's 620 miles range proves to be real, that powertrain could complete this rally in far less time. Especially if Musk has something to do with it and installs some solar-powered Superchargers along the way.

 
 
 
 
 

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