With notable exceptions like die-hard enthusiasts who can’t go without the rumble of internal combustion, quite a lot of folks would love to embrace the benefits of EVs, be they inherent (e.g. lower running costs) or added as adoption incentives (e.g. free parking). However, electric cars are not for everybody, especially due to the limitations of the current battery and charging technology (think: having to plan your trip with charging points and times in mind). But what if you had some sort of onboard generator to charge the battery as you drive? Well, we have an endless number of hybrid vehicles for that, but none of them come in Tesla flavor. However, an YouTube-famous builder claims he has created a “cordless Tesla” and covered some 1,800 miles in the range-extended Model S without ever touching the car’s factory charging port, relying solely on gasoline all the way.
Some of you might already be familiar to YouTuber Warped Perception’s work, be it thanks to shenanigans like his see-through Mk IV Supra intercooler or more complex endeavors such as the jet engines he added to his Tesla Model S P85D (the video for the latter was released last December).
Well, a few hours ago, the vlogger uploaded a clip titled Cordless Tesla (I Drove 1800 miles without charging). For the record, some people might think of wireless charging for Tesla vehicles (available via the aftermarket for the moment) when coming across that, but this is not the case here.
In the video, he shows his Model S P85D with a small gasoline engine occupying the trunk, explaining that the hardware is used to replenish the battery. And the man goes on to show us the said 1,800-mile road trip that starts (and ends) in Chicago, IL, the city where he is based.
Is Warped Percention’s Cordless Tesla (essentially a series hybrid) real, though?
Of course, there are a lot of questions here. And we’re not talking about the efficiency-related ones, as these are answered in the final part of the clip (you’ll also find some screenshots in the gallery).
Instead, the most interesting part of this adventure would involve seeing how the man convinced the notoriously “hermetical” Tesla to accept this form of charging, be it stationary or on the move. Then there’s the fact that, despite the gas engine being there, we don’t get to see the the generator part, or at least not fully.
As you can imagine, more than one person raised these questions in the comments section of the vid. And Warped Perception replied that this is a system entirely built by him, which took a year to complete and that the adventure shown in this clip is a mere test—he would apparently release more details in future clips.
“I built the system from the ground up, I didn’t share any of those details in the video on purpose. Once I get to maybe episode 4 I may release some details. Let me tell you it was not easy, it took me almost a year to get it to work properly,” the builder replied to a comment—you’ll find a his answer to a different comment in the gallery, via a screenshot.
It doesn’t seem real to us
For one, in the final part of the clip, the man admits that this 13.4 hp, four-stroke, single-cylinder air-cooled gas engine is too small for the job. However, given the missing explanations and the fact that the footage of his trip was obviously edited and in a way we’re not aware of, it doesn’t seem like Warped Perception actually built a series hybrid out of his Tesla Model S, at least not based on what we can see in this video.
Don’t get us wrong: we’re looking forward to meeting version two of the build, which he mentions in the said replies, as future videos could make things clearer.
If we’re wrong and the project is indeed real, then this Tesla, which the man says will get a meatier engine, would get closer to the configuration of the Fisker Karma, which would be ironical given how the sheer differences between EV and the plug-in series hybrid were the base for Tesla losing the lawsuit it had filed against Fisker, with the former being ordered to pay the latter over $1,1M in attorney fees back in 2008.
Meanwhile, though, this clip at least provides an interesting social experiment. The footage allows us to see how people, from random folks to gas station attendants and even police officers, react to Warped Perception driving around in a Tesla that has a fuel cell in its frunk and a sometimes-fire-spitting gas engine in its trunk.