1,000,000,000 miles is 1,609,344,000 kilometres. It's also over 4,000 trips to the moon or a 2000-year-long road trip — and when you travel those kilometres in a Tesla electric car, it's the equivalent of 570,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 10 years of petrol, and $225 million in fuel saved.
More impressively, those billion miles were just traveled by Tesla's Model S all-electric sedan. Not the Roadster which was launched in 2008 (and discontinued in 2012), but only the 2012-onwards Model S. The entire Tesla Model S fleet is comprised of only around 75,000 cars — more are being produced every day, of course, and more are being sold in Australia — which makes the figure even more impressive. I'm sure there are some really high-mileage outliers, like this 220,000km-plus example, but on average a Tesla Model S has travelled 13,000km in its life-span.
It has taken Tesla a couple of months shy of two years to deliver 75,000 Model S sedans, and for those cars to travel 1,000,000,000 miles. I'm sure the next 75,000 cars and billion miles will come along much faster, as the company ramps up production at its Californian factory and continues to work on its enormous battery plant in the Nevada desert. By all accounts, it has been a pretty good two years for Tesla, and two good years to be interested in electric cars.
I've seen some great Tesla culture in Australia. Number plates like "NO OIL" and "AMPED" are a great laugh when you see them, and I'm sure we'll see even smarter ones as the Model S becomes more common, and when the Model X is launched later this year and reaches our shores in 2016. I was recently in a Model S for the week, testing out and comparing various charging methods, and I parked in the street only to have another Tesla owner walk up, ask about the car, and offer his own house's charging station for free if I needed a top up. I drove past other Tesla owners who I exchanged thumbs-ups with. The Model S is still new in Australia, but here's hoping the community stays just as friendly as it is right now.
A billion miles seems like a lot, but it's nothing compared to the distance covered by petrol- and diesel-powered cars. Those technologies have had more than a century to get around the world, though, and electrified transport is still in its infancy. Let's see how the next billion miles goes. Here's a video, shot by Tesla Motors Australia on the Grean Ocean Road down in Victoria, to celebrate the occasion. [Tesla Motors]