Tesla Owners Summit World’s Highest Plateau, A First For Electric Cars



Teslas On Tibetan Plateau

Teslas On Tibetan Plateau

Yesterday, via Facebook and Twitter, Tesla Motors posted that Tesla owners achieved a record for electric vehicles. That record was reaching the top of the the Tibetan Plateau, the world’s highest plateau at 14,764 feet up. The feat was achieved by several Teslas and was made possible largely due to the growing Supercharger infrastructure in the area.

Via Tesla:

“Tesla owners break EV record by reaching the Tibetan Plateau, world’s highest plateau at ~4,500 m altitude.”

Tesla added:

“Rising temperatures put millions at risk as this climate change hotspot (world’s 3rd-largest store of ice) is melting.”

Tesla shared these stunning images from the plateau:

Teslas On Tibetan Plateau

Teslas On Tibetan Plateau

Teslas On Tibetan Plateau

Teslas On Tibetan Plateau

Teslas On Tibetan Plateau

Teslas On Tibetan Plateau

Categories: Tesla


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24 Comments on "Tesla Owners Summit World’s Highest Plateau, A First For Electric Cars"

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Wow. Some of those pictures are stunning.

That is all.

I wounder would a EV not have trouble if it drove to 15,000 or 20,000 feet due to it’s engine not needing oxygen?

I know helicopters and cars with gas engines can’t run that good due to them not getting enough oxygen.

We’ll, you may ask that question to the EV which had been left on the Moon! 😉

I think helicopter engines do fine at altitude because of the ability of the engines to vary the fuel/air mix as they change altitudes. But I think they struggle due to the thin air providing less lift.

Scratch that. I was wrong. It seems that the engines are a bigger limitation than the rotors.

In general, helicopters are not designed to fly much higher than 12,000 feet anyway due to the lack of a pressurized cabin. They can go higher with bottled oxygen.



In the movie “Everest” (2015), they showed a helicopter struggling to carry just one passenger in a mountain rescue from Mt. Everest, because the altitude was too high for the engine to get enough oxygen. The same problem that gasmobiles have at very high altitude.

Of course that was a movie, but I presume that bit was true.

And Mars…..

Yeah, a lot of EV naysayers questioned how fast Li-ion batteries would die in frozen climates at Earth, but the Li-ion battery of Opportunity rover had been designed to last at least 3 months to up to two years and it have been on Mars for…12 years now! Not bad for this technology which was in its infancy when it had been launched in 2003. One more thing that naysayers will have to swallow!

Now let’s see somebody take an EV over this pass:

South America: Chivay-Arequipa / Peru 4,910 m / 16,110 ft

The road from Chivay to Arequipa is the highest paved road in the world yet doesn’t have name!

What’s the point? It’s not like altitude affects electrons like it does ICE. There is no challenge for EVs here.

I would guess the point is to show exactly that advantage.

This should be easy for a Tesla.
Did a mile high MT Wilson climb in the i3 from 430Ft elevation to 5680ft.

72.5% charge at the base of the summit.
30.0% at the top
42.5% total charge to make it to the top.

Leaving the LA Zoo charge station (with less than 100% charge) up to the 5680FT summit and back was 57 miles of mostly high speed mountainous driving.

4.9 mi/kWh overall trip efficiency over the 57 mile round trip. An incredible 163 MPGe !!

Given my experience, driving more mild/normal, a 10,000 FT summit would have been no problem in my car. I had less than 18kWh usable battery during this trip. 14700ft in a Tesla should be child’s play.

Curious what their MPGe or mi/kWh was round trip?

A Tesla P100D could climb more than 12000 m in altitude with a single charge (provided the road is steep enough)…

I am surprised that rich people able to buy Teslas have the time to travel the world. How do they get away from work?

It’s exactly rich people who have the time, because they inherited or built enough wealth to not worry about a day to day job.

For what we can see in the plates, all owners were Chinese, so my question would be more about how they get there as Tesla supercharger network had not yet came to Tibet, how are the other options of (slower) charging infrastructure along the roads they travelled to arrived there.

Big deal. My Camry could also do it easily – just like it did Mt Evans in Colorado without any trouble.

Prove it!


It’s the highest paved road in N.A. at 14k feet.
Ergo, they would not build a road for vehicles if it could not be driven on.

Back in the days of carburetors, it was normal for automobiles to have to have the air intake adjusted for higher altitude, before they could “summit” a road such as the one you speak.

Perhaps with electronic fuel injection, such special adjustments are no longer needed?

Sure, EVs have no problems with altitude. Anyone with half brain would have known that advantage.

But the drivers are more likely to have issue as the air gets thinner.

Now, we need a pressurized Tesla Cabins for those publicity stunts and make them an option for $50K grant. Those rich Chinese Tesla owners will be gladly paying for it.

“The feat was achieved by several Teslas and was made possible largely due to the growing Supercharger infrastructure in the area.” What Supercharger infrastructure? There isn’t a single one in the whole of Tibet (1200 miles wide, BTW)! The nearest one is at Ya’an, Sichuan, about 150 miles east of the Tibet/Sichuan border.

But… Wow! – China’s Supercharger numbers are growing quickly. Last time I looked at Supercharge.info there were only a dozen or so… there must be well over 40 by now… (but still none, or even close, to Tibet!).