Lighting Up the World With a One-of-a-Kind Tesla
In its stock form, the Tesla Model S is one of the cooler cars you can buy today. It’s fully electric, drives up to 300 miles on a charge, and sprints to 60 mph in a gut-obliterating 2.8 seconds. Its sleek silhouette and avant garde interior are undeniably sexy.
But the suave silence of a battery powered car isn’t the best tool for shaming American corporations whose business practices are allegedly hurting endangered species you care about. That’s why Louie Psihoyos, director of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, needed a special Tesla for his new film.
For Racing Extinction, which premieres on the Discovery Channel Wednesday evening, Psihoyos and his crew rigged up a Model S with an “electo-luminescent” paint job that makes it light up in the dark. An infrared FLIR camera with a filter to spot CO2 emissions pops out of the hood like a machine gun on a James Bond Aston Martin.
The coolest tool in this Tesla’s armory is the 15,000-lumen projector. Sitting on a retractable steel frame that extends out the (no longer there) back window, it throws shade on nefarious players by blasting images of endangered animals onto their buildings.