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Qantas Boeing 737 takes on Tesla electric car

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 4, 2016

A Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-XZI and a Tesla Model S electric car at Avalon Airport. (Qantas)
Qantas 737 VH-XZI takes on a Tesla Model S electric car at Avalon. (Qantas)

Could an electric car outrace an aircraft?

That was what Qantas and Tesla sought to find out as the Flying Kangaroo pitted one of its Boeing 737-800s, VH-XZI, against the electric car maker’s Model S P90D electric car at Avalon Airport over the weekend.

The event marked the start of a partnership between the two companies, with benefits including a Qantas club membership for those purchasing a Tesla Model S vehicle. The airline is also installing charging points at its airport valet facilities in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

“We’re huge admirers of the way Tesla has transformed the electric car sector as a premium brand and we look forward to sharing our understanding and advance the work we started in 2012 on biofuels as an alternative to jet fuel,” Qantas head of environment and fuel Alan Milne said in a statemnt.

“What better way to celebrate working together than having a unique race – car versus plane.”


And the winner? The result of the race can be seen in the following Qantas video:

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Comments (8)

  • Greg


    If they were both running on batteries, that would be something to see

  • Taurean Lea


    I think they should do that performance at Brisbane’s Ekka, don’t you think?!!!

  • Berry


    What a wonderful car.
    Can’t wait until the model 3 is available.

  • QANTAS Frequent Flyer since Nov 1994 ( #0653765 )
    TESLA Model S P90D owner since Nov 2015
    Extraordinarily happy with both companies and pleased with this new connection.
    I’m a private pilot so I appreciate that QANTAS runs a brilliant aviation company in what is a risky business. The consequences of failure are high …. yet you keep on doing it and doing it well. That’s an unusual combination of stamina and courage.
    Elon Musk shows great courage too in all his enterprises including Space X and TESLA. Courage is one of the common characteristics here. In there too is hope, hope for a better and sustainable future thanks to technology, not a worse one. My thanks to you both. JR

  • Les From sydney


    At the end of the day it was a bit of boy fun and thats super cool!!!! We all love our planes and fast cars. Good work to all involved. This will be an internet smash hit for all us geeks.
    I love clever work…!!!

  • Adrian P


    So when will QANTAS be investing in electric trucks for servicing their aircraft?

    Aurigny have been for decades.

  • Shane


    Where is Clarkson? This is the thing Top Gear did so well!

  • GAGA


    I Can’t tell from the video but I’d be curious to know whether they do a short field take off technique in the 737 – brakes jammed on with throttles set at max until engines hit full power. Jet engines take quite a few seconds to spool up to full power whereas electric motors are pretty much instant.

    Mildly interesting video but I fail to see Qantas doing any innovation. Providing chargers for electric cars in 2016 is not innovative. Lots of businesses already provide free chargers for electric cars. My local Westfield shopping centre has had free chargers for years.

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