YouTuber Says He Built Hybrid Tesla With Over 1,000 Miles of Range

  • A YouTuber says he created a Tesla hybrid that has more than 1,000 miles of range. 
  • Matt Mikka runs the YouTube channel Warped Perception. 
  • He attached a diesel engine to his Model S sedan for a recent video.

Charging an electric car can be a pain. Pit stops take a lot longer than pumping gas. And fast charging stations aren’t as common as gas pumps. 

Tired of stopping to fill up his Tesla on road trips, Matt Mikka, who runs the engineering-focused YouTube channel Warped Perception, came up with a bizarre solution that’s sure to rattle Tesla’s biggest fans. He plopped a diesel engine into his Model S’s trunk, creating a homespun hybrid that he claims can travel north of 1,000 miles without stopping to charge. 

“I’m taking on a challenge that many electric car enthusiasts may consider sacrilegious,” Mikka said in the video debuting his creation. 

A regular Model S sedan is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency to drive 405 miles on a full charge. But at highway speeds, that estimate goes way down. 

“The idea behind this modification is simple,” Mikka said in the video. “I want to create a Tesla that doesn’t rely on charging stations and can travel long distances without stopping — farther than any other electric car on the road.”

YouTuber Warped Perception's hybrid Tesla.

YouTuber Warped Perception’s hybrid Tesla.

Warped Perception

Mikka spent years conceptualizing, planning, and designing the hybrid system, he previously told Insider. He created an initial proof of concept in 2022, then rebuilt the system from the ground up and took the car on a nearly 2,700-mile road trip for his most recent video. 

For version two, Mikka designed and manufactured all components except for the engine itself, he told Insider in an email.

“I feel I may have become obsessed but I had to make it work and there was absolutely nothing on the market that would work for my application,” he said. 

YouTuber Warped Perception's hybrid Tesla with a badge reading CORDLESS.

YouTuber Warped Perception’s hybrid Tesla.

Warped Perception

The journey wasn’t all smooth-sailing due to overheating problems, but the car basically did what it was designed to do, Mikka said. The diesel engine recharged the Tesla’s battery while it was driving or parked, eliminating the need for conventional charging stops. 

At one point, when the system was working at its best, the Tesla was consuming 51 watt-hours of battery power to travel one mile, giving it a theoretical range of more than 1,600 miles, Mikka said in the video.

All told, the Tesla hybrid got around 35 miles to the gallon, according to Mikka’s calculations. 

The diesel engine in the trunk of Matt Mikka's Tesla Model S while he worked on it.

Mikka told Insider he spent years conceptualizing the design.

Warped Perception

Mikka thinks he’s created “pretty close” to the perfect car, aside from some small details and the frustratingly loud engine, he told Insider. 

“With that constant droning in the background the entire time, you either forget about it or want to open the door on the freeway and jump out… But it got me to where I needed to go,” he told Insider. 

Mikka said he is already almost done with version three, which he plans to take on another road trip. 

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