In just 3 years, Tesla's Model S has been driven 1bn miles

Tesla Model S drivers have driven their cars a billion all-electric miles, with the milestone coming just three years after the sedan was launched. The news was shared today, with Tesla comparing the cumulative distance traveled with 4,186 trips to the moon, or a continuous road trip lasting a ridiculous 2,000 years. Of course, the bigger impact that Elon Musk's plucky automotive startup would like to draw attention to is the gas and carbon dioxide saved.

A billion miles of electric driving is roughly equivalent to ten years of gas-powered driving, Tesla argues, and has saved 570,000 tonnes tons of carbon dioxide from being released.

That's not bad for what's undoubtedly a premium car targeting a relatively niche audience. Although used prices are starting to come down, buying a new Tesla is no small matter, even with the several thousand dollars knocked off the sticker price courtesy of state and federal incentives.

In fact, the so-called "mass market" Tesla won't be available until the Model III launches, with the smaller car tipped to carry a roughly $30-35k price tag and be unveiled early next year.

That's not to say the transportation conundrum has been entirely solved. As Tesla critics are fond of pointing out, all that electricity has to come from somewhere, and if that's not from environmentally-friendly sources such as solar, hydroelectric, or wind, then it usually means fossil fuels.

In short, the naysayers argue, you're simply moving the pollution around rather than fully addressing the problem.

Arguments around the relative efficiency of where coal and gas is turned into electricity aside, there's no denying that EV drive is catching on. Several other manufacturers have all-electric or hybrid cars available, though progress hasn't been fast enough for Musk.

Twelve months ago, the outspoken CEO pledged free licensing of Tesla electric patents to car industry counterparts, in the name of boosting development and adoption of green powertrains.

Publicly, we're yet to see much in the way of news from that announcement, though negotiations behind-the-scenes are undoubtedly going on. In the meantime, Tesla drivers have a little extra to boast about as they sail past gas stations in search of the nearest Supercharger.