Tesla Roadster 3.0 Range Extending Package To Be Released In August

Last Christmas, Tesla gave Roadster owners an extra gift when CEO Elon Musk announced that an upgraded package will soon be available.

Almost four months went by with no word, until one owner reached out to Musk for more details. Using his standard platform for news updates – Twitter – Musk said recently that the company now expects the Tesla Roadster 3.0 package to be on the market by late summer.

Via Twitter.

Via Twitter.

Built exclusively for the Roadster, Tesla’s all-electric sports car produced between 2008 and 2012, the carmaker estimates that the upgrade will boost the Roadster’s range by as much as 50 percent.

“There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles,” Tesla said.

Elon Musk first announced the Roadster 3.0 upgrade on December 26, 2014, via Twitter.

Elon Musk first announced the Roadster 3.0 upgrade on December 26, 2014, via Twitter.

Even though production on the coupe ended two years ago, Tesla said it wanted Roadster owners to be able to benefit from range improvements the company had developed since then. The new package will include both software and component improvements in three main areas: batteries, aerodynamics and rolling resistance:

Battery: The original Roadster battery was the very first lithium ion battery put into production in any vehicle. It was state of the art in 2008, but cell technology has improved substantially since then. We have identified a new cell that has 31% more energy than the original Roadster cell. Using this new cell we have created a battery pack that delivers roughly 70kWh in the same package as the original battery

Aerodynamics: The original Roadster had a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.36. Using modern computational methods we expect to make a 15% improvement, dropping the total Cd down to 0.31 with a retrofit aero kit.

Rolling Resistance: The original Roadster tires have a rolling resistance coefficient (Crr) of 11.0 kg/ton. New tires that we will use on the Roadster 3.0 have a Crr of roughly 8.9 kg/ton, about a 20% improvement. We are also making improvements in the wheel bearings and residual brake drag that further reduce overall rolling resistance of the car.

Though Roadster owners now have a better idea of when they can pick up the upgraded package, the price is still unspecified. Experts are estimating that after trading in the Roadster’s old 50 kilowatt-hours battery, the 3.0 package will likely cost between $10,000 and $15,000.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Owner: Model S Running Strong After 120K Miles

Even with the new battery, though, it doesn’t appear as though the Roadster will be able to use Tesla’s Superchargers. This network of rapid charging stations is currently only compatible with the Model S.


Photo credit: Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg via Getty Images