UPDATE: Tesla Roadster Upgrade Announced
Later today, Tesla Motors will officially announce details for the Tesla Roadster upgrade. Prior to the official announcement, Elon Musk tweeted confirmation of almost 400-mile range for the Roadster.
Los Angeles to San Francisco is approximately 382 miles, which is darn close to the magical 400-mile range we’ve long been dreaming for in an electric car.
Will Model S owners get access to the same upgrade as the Roadster? Yes, says Musk, but not anytime soon:
Look for us to present more details on the Tesla Roadster upgrade when the official announcement is made later today.
UPDATE: Official Tesla Motors announcement posted below. Improvements in 3 keys areas for Roadster upgrade, which is being called Roadster 3.0. 400-mile range achievable.
By The Tesla Motors Team
Battery technology has continued a steady improvement in recent years, as has our experience in optimizing total vehicle efficiency. We have long been excited to apply our learning back to our 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 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.
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
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.
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.
We are confident that this will not be the last update the Roadster will receive in the many years to come.