In Russia, Tesla Model S Charges You!

Originally posted on CleanTechnica

With more than 2,000 Superchargers all across Europe, the United States, and China, Tesla Motors is making it easier than ever for Model S owners to drive and charge for free. But what if you happen to own a Model S outside of one of Tesla’s officially supported markets? For the handful of Model S owners in Russia, sometimes you’ve got to get creative about charging.

In this particular case, that means hooking a Model S up to the back of a moving truck, which then tows the electric sedan behind it at a fairly slow speed. While the video’s owner speaks only in Russian, the Tesla’s dash is in English, and we can clearly see that the towing is adding a small amount of juice back to the battery. Now you might be asking, how is that going to charge that huge battery of a Model S?

The answer is, of course, regenerative braking. One of the advantages of an electric car is that the motor can be used not just to slow the vehicle down, but also deliver a bit of a trickle charge to the battery as the car comes to a stop. Merely taking your foot off the accelerator is enough to engage the regenerative braking, and if you happen to get a tow (like this guy) then you can actually restore some mileage to your drained Model S. Other plug-in cars, like the 2016 Chevy Volt, also have adjustable levels of regenerative braking, but this is the first time I’ve seen a Model S “recharge” behind a moving vehicle.

Does that make this a good idea? Well, no, not really. In fact, this might be one of those scenarios where Tesla could even void your warranty for improper use of the vehicle. Given the only other option would be to wait for a tow truck though, and Russian roads can be notoriously long and isolated, this might just have been the best solution at the moment. It’s no worse than plugging into a scary-looking telephone pole really, and I’d even put it in the same vein as “pop-starting” a car with a dead battery but a manual transmission.

However, given just how much effort it takes to import a Model S to an internationally-isolated Russia, the owner might want to be a bit more careful in the future in regards to how he recharges his expensive import.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.