Improved batteries and Aerodynamics give Tesla Roadster 3.0 400 mile range

The Roadster 3.0 package applies what Tesla has learned in Model S to Roadster. No new Model S battery pack or major range upgrade is expected in the near term.

Battery technology has continued a steady improvement in recent years, as has Tesla experience in optimizing total vehicle efficiency through Model S development. Tesla has long been excited to apply their learning back to their first vehicle, and are thrilled to do just that with the prototype Roadster 3.0 package. It consists of three main improvement areas.

The original 2008 Roadster had a 230 mile range but the upgraded version will have about 400 mile range

1. Batteries – 31% better than 7 years ago
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. Tesla has identified a new cell that has 31% more energy than the original Roadster cell. Using this new cell they have created a battery pack that delivers roughly 70kWh in the same package as the original battery.

2. Aerodynamics – 15% better than 7 years ago

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.

3. Rolling Resistance – 20% better than 7 years ago

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

Summary
Combining all of these improvements we can achieve a predicted 40-50% improvement on range between the original Roadster and Roadster 3.0. There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles. We will be demonstrating this in the real world during a non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the early weeks of 2015.

Appointments for upgrading Roadsters will be taken this spring once the new battery pack finishes safety validation. We are confident that this will not be the last update the Roadster will receive in the many years to come.

SOURCES- Telsa Motors

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