tesla roadster in lebanon

Ah, those Jules Verne fanatics, you'll find them everywhere. One Tesla Roadster owner last month set upon his own tribute to the author by starting his attempt to drive around the world in – yes – 80 days. Even better, it's now a race to be the first world round trip driver with a standard EV (that "standard" is important, since the Solar Taxi has already made the trip back in 2007-2008, a journey that took 17 months.

Back in September 2011, Tesla Roadster driver Rafael de Mestre announced his plan to be the first person to do the standard EV circumnavigation with his Model S once it was delivered. Trouble is, in February 2012, two French engineers set off from France in February in a Citroen C-Zero EV (the Mitsubishi i's sister vehicle) with the same goal, naming their journey the Electric Odyssey. That trip was to last a little longer than de Mestre's – eight months – and span about 15,000 miles, in part because the Citroen has a far shorter single-charge range than the Tesla. de Mestre didn't want someone else to steal his thunder, so he headed out in his Roadster in May and is now trying to catch the C-Zero team.

Rafael de Mestre left Barcelona on presumably a full charge on May 11 and started heading west. As of today, his car is on a ship somewhere west of Los Angeles, according to his website, and had put about 3,700 miles on the Roadster. The car is now being shipped to China, where he is to continue his journey for another five weeks or so. Will he make it back to Europe before the Frenchmen? Stay tuned. Bur first, check out an incredibly cinematic teaser video of the race below.