Automotive

Tesla promises 400 mile range with Roadster 3.0

Tesla promises 400 mile range ...
More efficient wheel bearings and reduced brake drag are the final piece in Tesla's 3.0 upgrades
More efficient wheel bearings and reduced brake drag are the final piece in Tesla's 3.0 upgrades
View 3 Images
The Tesla Roadster's battery has been upgraded to a 70 kw/h unit
1/3
The Tesla Roadster's battery has been upgraded to a 70 kw/h unit
A range of aerodynamic upgrades help add to the Roadster's range
2/3
A range of aerodynamic upgrades help add to the Roadster's range
More efficient wheel bearings and reduced brake drag are the final piece in Tesla's 3.0 upgrades
3/3
More efficient wheel bearings and reduced brake drag are the final piece in Tesla's 3.0 upgrades

Tesla is promising impressive gains in range with a new upgrade package for its all-electric Roadster. Thanks to the advances made in battery technology since 2008, and some lessons learned when developing the Model S, the American brand says the Roadster 3.0 upgrade will deliver a range of 400 miles (644 km) on a single charge.

The main area of improvement will be in the car's battery pack. Whereas the original battery pack produced around 53 kWh, the new unit manages to squeeze 70 kWh out of the same size package. Telsa says this is because "cell technology has improved significantly" since the launch of Roadster in 2008, when it was the world's first car to be fitted with a lithium-ion battery pack.

The upgrade will also include a retrofitable aerodynamic body kit, which bring the Roadster's drag coefficient down from 0.36 Cd to 0.31 – a 15 percent improvement.

Rounding out the package are a set of tires that have about 20 percent less rolling-resistance than those on the original. More efficient wheel bearings and a reduction in residual brake drag also help to improve range.

To demonstrate the reworked Roadster's range, Tesla is planning on driving one non-stop from San Fransisco to Los Angeles in early 2015. Owners keen to get their hands on the upgrade, however, will have to wait for the battery to pass safety certification tests. Tesla expects to begin taking appointments around Q2 but has not yet announced pricing.

Source: Tesla Motors

8 comments
enntense
I wonder how $1.50 a gallon fuel prices are going to affect electric/hybrid cars?
William Volk
Most locals buying Tesla S's are not buying them to save on gas. Mainly performance.
Jeff Goldstein
The 3.0 will be an even better extra car for the ultra rich. Too bad the rest of us will be helping pay for it through tax credits and subsidies.
JDS
Surely Mr. Musk can design a better looking roadster than that! It looks like a cheesy old f'glass body on an old VW frame. The other Tesla's are gorgeous. This one doesn't give me a single desire to even see it.
Facts much
Original roadster used over-production from Panasonic's cylindrical laptop battery plant. i.e. 1980's technology, purchased below-cost due to Panasonic's MASSIVE investment mistake. Panasonic's inventory was depleted a while back and forced Tesla subsidized by the roadster with Model S sales. All that's new here is that they're using late 1990's battery manufacturing technology like the rest of their line-up. Energy density for the individual cells remains the same. "Cell technology" hasn't changed. Each cell has simply been packaged and protected as a battery pack instead of a battery pack made of consumer packaged/protected cells. The only recent cell technologies have unpractical downsides like massive ESR, high self discharge, very poor cold weather performance, low cycle life etc. There's nothing on the horizon that makes me optimistic these luxury electric cars will get cheaper. Lovely luxury cars. Would love to be able to afford one. Plenty of hype and misinformation surrounds them unfortunately.
Norm Rhett
Driving an EV is what sells it. You must experience the "EV grin" to understand.
Stephen N Russell
make range 800 miles then Im in, awesome.
Bob
Maybe a little motorcycle trailer sized generator unit for cross country trips and a little more luggage space. The rest of the time it can just be plugged in for close to home trips.