Written by Tim Hull

Electric Tesla RoadsterA German stockbroker drove his Tesla Roadster more than 40,000 miles (65,000 kilometers) in one year, and never wanted for charging stations, which he found “at homes, hotels, parking structures and even barns and farm houses” throughout the country, the Silicon Valley electric-car maker says.

Hansjorg von Gemmingen, of Freiburg, has been harder on his Roadster than most of the approximately 1,300 owners of the emissions-free sports car, born in 2008. But he has had no trouble finding infrastructure to support his habit—an issue that has long fueled skepticism about the EV industry in America—as the Roadster charges from conventional outlets.

“Before I got my Roadster, I was concerned about charging,” Gemmingen wrote on Tesla’s blog site last week. (http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/one-year-one-roadster-40000-miles) “But there are 1 billion conventional outlets in Europe – and the Roadster charges from conventional outlets! So now, wherever I drive, I see outlets – at hotels, parking lots, restaurants, rest stops, even at barns and farm houses in the countryside.”

Gemmingen’s story is of interest to U.S. drivers because he drives more like an American than a European. He drives everyday: he commutes to work; he runs errands; he takes trips on the weekends.

“I don’t baby my cars,” he wrote. “I drive cars until they literally fall apart. Since getting the car in October 2009, I have already put 40,000 miles (65,000 kms) on my Electric Blue Roadster!”

He goes on:

“After so much ‘quality time’ behind the wheel, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by several things. Most people know about the Roadster’s legendary performance – that’s always fun. But the Roadster is also convenient – especially for those of us who live in places with four seasons. I always had to pre-heat my combustion cars; there is nothing more inefficient than starting a cold motor or driving a cold car at maximum speed. But with the Roadster, I plug the car into my home’s outlet – and the Roadster is ready to roll every morning, no matter how cold it is outside. I could zip immediately onto the autobahn and drive 125 miles per hour (200 kph) without worrying about losing efficiency due to a cold engine.” Tesla estimates that the world’s 1,300 Roadsters have been driven more than 11 million kilometers since 2008.