A German stockbroker's love for his electric car has earned him distinction as one of the highest mileage Tesla owners in Europe.
Hansjorg von Gemmingen drives his electric blue car almost every day and can't imagine going back to a gas-powered vehicle any time soon.
The massive number of miles accumulated by von Gemmingen defies the common perception that electric vehicles aren't reliable, and can only be used close to their home charging station.
"As soon as I started driving my Tesla Roadster, the petrol in my blood turned electric," von Gemmingen said. "When I was driving a conventional car, I did not look for outlets, so I didn't understand how easy it would be to charge an EV. But now I see outlets everywhere, and I don't have problems charging at home or on the road."
Von Gemmingen discovered Tesla in 2008 when the Silicon Valley startup was featured in a German business magazine. He took a test drive during the 2009 Geneva Motor Show and in October 2009 became one of the first people in Germany to purchase a Roadster.
Teslas consume no gasoline whatsoever and therefore never require detours to the gas station - a major convenience when temperatures drop. Owners simply plug it into conventional outlets in their homes (or barns), and every morning the car is fully charged.
"Before I got my Roadster, I was concerned about charging," von Gemmingen wrote on the Tesla blog. "But there are 1 billion conventional outlets in Europe – and the Roadster charges from conventional outlets! So now, wherever I drive, I see outlets – at hotels, parking lots, restaurants, rest stops, even at barns and farm houses in the countryside."
The popularity of the Roadster and other electric cars, like the Nissan LEAF, is sparking the construction of a whole new fleet of public charging stations in America, including the many free public charging stations businesses are adding to attract customers and conscious commuters.