Here in the US, October is a time for leaf peeping and tailgate parties. Across the pond, a group of Tesla enthusiasts in the UK see October as the time for the Three Peaks Zero challenge. Each year between June and October, people try to climb the three highest peaks in Scotland, England, and Wales in 24 hours or less.
The three peaks are Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon. Located in the Scottish highlands, Ben Nevis is the highest point in all the British Isles at 4,409 feet. Scafeell Pike is the highest peak in England at 3,209 feet and Snowdon is the highest point in Wales at 3.560 feet. All in all, climbing three mountains in a 24 hour period is far from a walk in the park on a summer’s day.
In addition to how long it takes to do the actual climbing, time has to be budgeted for driving between each mountain and refueling. Meals and and a decent sleep are luxuries the teams must do with out and they get what they can during the drives between the mountains. Often, their efforts go hand in hand with raising money for charities. The Three Peaks Zero challenge is the first attempt to do the same thing but without the carbon emissions associated with fossil fueled cars.
This year on October 15 and 16, five teams driving Tesla Model S sedans will compete in the Three Peaks Zero challenge. Alex Furness-Smith, one of the organizers, says, “Our primary objective with doing the event really is about highlighting that an electric vehicle can take on a challenge that involves long distances within a restricted time scale.” The route between the three peaks will allow stops at several Tesla Superchargers along the way. Alex thinks it can be done, but traffic and weather often play havoc with the best laid plans.
According to the group’s website, “Many people think having to recharge an electric car is inconvenient compared to refueling a conventional car with an internal combustion engine. To test the theory that electric vehicles really are a viable alternative, UK Tesla owners and their teams are taking on the Three Peaks Challenge. This will push their vehicles and the current charging network to their limits and give the concept of range anxiety a reality check in the process.”
Alex Furness-Smith expands on that point. “Range anxiety is one of the biggest factors preventing many people from adopting electric cars. The argument goes that they can’t afford to indulge in a car for commuting and one for longer trips. The point is an electric car can do both. Accomplishing the Three Peaks Zero will prove it. This extreme test should quell the fears of those who think they can’t take the car on a road trip without massive inconvenience.”
There’s another import aspect to the Three Peaks Zero challenge and that is to raise money for two worthy charities — Save The Children, who are running a critical campaign to help children affected by the crisis in Syria, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. If you would like to make a donation to support th.e Three Peaks Zero challenge, please visit their website. All contributions will be greatly appreciated.