von Gemmingen with his Model S.— All images by dpa
STUTTGART: A German aristocrat with a passion for electric cars has clocked up 1 million kilometres on his 2013 Tesla Model S - to prove a point about the prowess of electric vehicles.
Hansjoerg Freiherr von Gemmingen-Hornberg, a farmer by trade who now lives from his assets and enjoys driving as a hobby, passed the 1 million mark on Thursday here, where he completed the final kilometres under the watch of an expert.
The reason he's spent the past few years drumming up as much mileage as possible? To prove a point.
"There's so much bashing going on," he said here. "I want to counter it."
In fact, the 56-year-old has barely had time for anything else. He has been travelling an average of 600km a day, albeit in a leisurely fashion - often on the Autobahn, but seldom at more than 120kph.
"I don't do that much else," von Gemmingen said.
The Tesla's path to 1 million kilometres was not without obstacles. It's already on its second battery and its fourth motor, and a new set of tyres had to be fitted every 50,000km.
Von Gemmingen says he has no idea how much the venture has cost him. "I've never calculated it accurately."
As an early Tesla adopter, he can still charge the car for free at the carmaker's so-called superchargers. Many repairs have also been covered by the warranty.
Tesla itself has had nothing to do with his project and he has not benefited from any support from the company, he says.