A YouTuber put a gas generator in his Tesla to avoid plugging in on an 1,800-mile road trip

YouTuber Matt Mikka and his "Cordless" Tesla Model S.
YouTuber Matt Mikka and his "Cordless" Tesla Model S.Warped Perception
  • A YouTuber wanted to take long road trips in his Tesla without having to stop and plug in.

  • Matt Mikka, the man behind the channel Warped Perception, built a Model S powered by a gasoline generator.

  • He was able to travel 1,800 miles without stopping at a charger, but the trip wasn't hassle-free.

This story was originally published in October 2022. 

One of the biggest reasons more people don't own electric cars is the charging. They're afraid of running out of juice and are concerned about the lack of charging locations in the US as compared to gas stations.

One YouTuber came up with an unconventional antidote to range anxiety in the form of an experimental Tesla Model S that's powered by a gasoline generator. His mission: Take a 1,800-mile road trip around the Midwest without stopping to plug in.

"I really like my Tesla, but what I don't like is stopping to charge, especially on a road trip. I don't even like stopping to fill up my gas-powered car and that's way faster than charging," Matt Mikka, who runs the YouTube channel Warped Perception, said in a video published earlier in October.

Matt Mikka's "Cordless Tesla."
Matt Mikka's "Cordless Tesla."Warped Perception

Rated by the Environmental Protection Agency to travel up to 405 miles on a single charge, a new Model S is one of the longest-range electric cars you can buy. But that's not enough for Mikka.

He told Insider he'd been planning the project for five years and spent over a year and a half designing the system detailed in the video. It charges the Tesla not only when parked but also while the car is moving, he said in the video.

He calls it the "Cordless Tesla."

Teslas are among the easiest electric vehicles to live with because the company operates an extensive network of fast-charging stations exclusively for its owners. Availability of other charging stations is improving, thanks in part to a recent boost from the Biden administration.

In the end, Mikka said he was able to finish the journey without plugging into a charging station and called it a success. (He did have to stop for gas.)

But the trip was far from hassle-free.

Since the car consumed more energy than the generator could produce while driving, Mikka had to stop for 5-6 hours per day while the Tesla sat and charged. At hotels, he left the noisy generator running overnight in the parking lot so he could have a nearly full battery by morning. During one highway stint, he was pulled over for driving too slowly as he tried to keep energy consumption down.

The modifications eliminated the environmental and cost-saving benefits of owning an electric car. Fuel economy during the trip ranged from 14 mpg at 80 mph to 24 mpg at 50 mph.

"This was a cool build but to me it was basically useless. It just didn't have enough energy," Mikka said in the video. "My goal is to drive at road-trip speeds for as long as I want until I get tired, not until the car needs to be charged."

He told Insider he's working on a new generator-powered Tesla that improves upon the original design.

"I believe with version 2 I will be approaching the perfect car overall and definitely the ultimate road trip car," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider