Tesla Roadster 3.0: Prototype Goes On 340 Mile Trip, Still Has Miles To Spare

FEB 14 2015 BY JAY COLE 54

Tesla's Roadster 3.0 Makes 340 Mile Trip With Some Miles To Spare

Tesla’s Roadster 3.0 Makes 340 Mile Trip With Some Miles To Spare

In late December, Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered on an old promise to current Roadster owners to upgrade their cars by announcing some enhancements in 2015.

Enter the Roadster 3.0 upgrade – a new 70 kWh battery, a new aero kit, and better rolling resistance tires.ย  Full details on the Roadster 3.0 package can be found here.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's December Projection Tweet Confirmed

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s December Projection Tweet Confirmed

Today, Tesla has put out the first update on how the Roadster 3.0 prototype package has done on its first real-world, long distance trip between San Joseย and Los Angeles.

The company reports that the 340 mile journey was completed in non-stop fashion, without any issues (other than perhaps some numb buttocks, and sore backs) and with some miles left in “the tank” to spare.

“For our first test outing, we evaluated the prototype package on a historic route down the I-5 from our first Tesla store in San Jose to the Santa Monica Pier (via the Tesla Store on the 3rd Street Promenade), a distance of approximately 340 miles.

The trip was smooth, with no disruptions. On the highway, we set cruise control to stay right around the speed limit. We turned on the heater for a 40-minute stretch going over the Grapevine. And less than six hours from leaving San Jose, we pulled into the Santa Monica Pier, with 20 miles remaining in the battery pack.”

This test validatesย Tesla’s range claims of an improvement of up to a 40-50% over the existing 244 mile EPA rating of today’s Roadster, and that there is indeed “…a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles

“The drive is a positive step in the evolution of the Roadster. Next up, we’ll apply our learning from the trip to further development work on the vehicle.”

Hat tip to Jan!

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

54 Comments on "Tesla Roadster 3.0: Prototype Goes On 340 Mile Trip, Still Has Miles To Spare"

newest oldest most voted

“in “the tank” needs to be replaced with “in the pack” STOP USING OLD CAR TERMS WITH EVs!!!

Because the term was used in quotes, it appears the author of the article was merely being metaphorical with their writing.

I have nothing against creative descriptions…

Brian is right. That is totally un-creative methaphore.

It’s not an issue of right or wrong. You just agree with Brian. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hey guys why don’t you just chill out and “let off some steam”

Brian, out of an article this interesting, that is what you take out of it? I use accelerator instead of gas pedal now, but it isn’t like I am going to correct someone for saying something about the gas pedal on an electric car. Same with the “in the tank” quip, especially since the actual quote was “in the battery pack”. Lighten up!

This makes me wonder what we might see in the way of upgrades for older Volts in a couple years. It doesn’t look like they would need a new pack, but if you could swap out a 35 mile EPA AER pack and install a 50 mile pack, then sell the old pack to someone else… I think used 2011-2015 Volts are going to be some of the best bargains going!

And Leafs would benefit from this as well, get an old 2011 Leaf for next to nothing, drop a new pack in with 100-120 miles of AER… That would be a sweet upgrade!

Indeed. Does Brian get livid when someone says they “type” on a computer keyboard, or “tune in” to a satellite radio or cable TV show? Does he object when someone says they watch or listen to a “tape,” when it’s a digital recording?

Brian and Jouni should look up the meaning of “etymological fallacy”, and then thank InsideEVs for another interesting and informative article.

Maybe he just had a hard day. I still call the variable resistance device (or whatever it is) a ‘gas pedal’, and I still put the beer in the “ICE BOX” even though none have existed in my life time, and I’ve never even actually seen a block of Ice.

But the original term was so easy to say and so descriptive, I see no problem in continuing its usage.

The terminology lingers on in the refrigeration industry: People ask the TONAGE of this or that house’s air conditioning.

After all, where else can you get 288,000 British Thermal Units of cooling from a mere 2000 pounds of a 32 degree fahrenheit Block?

I’ve started to do a better job calling it an accelerator instead of gas pedal, but I still slip on occasion.

Lensman, Miguelito, those are all really good points. Sometimes we get wrapped around the axle about the little stuff when we should be laughing it off, not ranting about it.
I think some of the electric car backers are bit too purist in their outlook.

Indeed. Let’s think about the casual reader who comes here to learn about EVs. Is that kind of intolerance attractive to anybody? Let’s make sure our enthusiasm does not devolve into a cult.

Who you calling a cultist, Dan? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I resemble that remark!

Now if I could just get the half hour a day I have spent on electric car websites over the past 8 years back…

That’s the main I would do to a older leaf or Mitsubishi i-miev if I can get one really cheap and a battery pack for under $5000.

The Roadster upgrades changes the EV car over to something like a computer in that with computers you can add a new motherboard or more ram or a larger hard drive to make the computer much better then it was before.

If Nissan would commit publicly to upgrading to higher energy density in batteries to be available for upgrading older vehicles and drop the 80 mile battery completely consumer confidence would go through the roof.

Dr. Miguelito Loveless

As soon as people stop “dialing” numbers, watching “films”, and talking about Taylor Swift’s latest “album”

When has “album” referred to “legs”???


Best line of the week.

Dr. Loveless, Taylor Swift’s “1989” is an album, i.e. a collection of songs. You may choose to listen to it on a CD or on a digital music player, I would assume it wasn’t released as an LP.

The other outdated term is Miles it needs to be replaced with Kilometres. Some people and countries are slow to catch up with the rest of the world.

I like my miles I’m not going to let anyone take my miles away from me.

This is gold.

Also temp should be in Celsius. Ocean railroader should realize all railroads around the planet are also metric. Check http://www.metric.org

Here in Canada, we did the transition in the ’70s.
Celcius is easy : 0ยฐ = freezing water, 100ยฐ is boiling water.
BTW -40ยฐ is the same for F and C

Grams, liters and meters are also related through the weigth of a cubic 0.1 meter x 0.1 meter x 0.1 meter water mass: 1 liter. All multiples of 10.
No more unrelated pounds, gallons, feet, yards and miles…

The only domain where the english system lasts is in the construction sector, because of existing buildings and also maybe because our southern influent neighbor (USA) persist in using it.

The metric system is indeed more logical.

Lustuccc, I have only been out in -40 weather for more than a minute or two the one time, and I managed to frostbite my eye shut in around 30 minutes even though I had a face mask on. Man, that was cold! No wind chill, it was a regular 41 below.
Oh, did it smart when I was thawing out.
Ok, back to talking cars…

As regards ‘outdated’, ill reluctantly agree. As an American, we use a minority of metric units (electrical terms: volts, amps, watts, used to be cycles per second but now its the German Hertz, and conductance we used to call mhos (inverse of ohms), but now that I believe its Siemens – So why don’t we call AC volts Westinghouses…They changed it because they didn’t want to offend gay electrical engineers). What perturbs me is when the same document mixes units: Metric and English measurements where they have not been traditionally mixed. The thing I like about the English system is that the units were descriptive. I have a ‘feel’ for 14.7 pounds/per square inch, since I can both visualize a pound, and also a square inch, but 101 kilopascals I have no feel for, and I’m not taking anything away from BLASE but I have no intrinsic feel for what he represents. As regards the outdated part, that describes me as opposed my father. He was so dead set against english measurement that he ordered a metric speedometer for the last car he owned, where as I say I find english measurements very workable since they tend to be much… Read more »

We have a “feel” only because we learned it this way. It’s exactly the same for another system. We can adapt, it’s evolution.

I find no objectivity whatsoever in your comment.

That’s ok because you didn’t understand a thing I said.

A nice general rule of thumb is to take Celsius, multiply by 2, and add 30 to get to F.

Or to go from F to C, subtract 30 and then divide by 2.

So 80F is approx 25C, 20C is approx 70F.

It’s not the precise equation to do the exact conversion, but it’s easy to calculate “on the fly”

Yup. I still can’t believe that Nissan didn’t make the original Leaf a “Miata.” It could have gone 120 miles on the Leaf pack.

Always best to start from the ground up with production EV platforms. It’s well known Elon regrets basing the roadster on a Lotus chassis. http://teslaeverything.com/elon-musks-greatest-regret-tesla/

It wasn’t necessarily the wrong decision for a startup auto maker, with no experience in designing and building their own car body. But note that company founder Martin Eberhard said he would have settled for, for example, a fiberglass body to get the car into production sooner. Certainly using an existing glider (car body) was a poor fit to Musk’s obsessive perfectionism, because after he seized control of Tesla, he repeatedly sent the car back to the drawing board when it could have already been in production… and then had to sink his entire personal fortune into Tesla to keep it from going under, due to the repeated delays and huge cost overruns he himself created.

I didn’t mean literally a Miata, hence the quotes, but a two seat sports car of moderate price and performance in the Miata class.

I’m very happy they didn’t do some stupid thing like that. Leaf was supposed to be a family car – not someone’s 5th sports car that sells dozens per month.

I was thinking as an only car for two aging boomers, who unfortunately are still waiting for an affordable, real 100 mile range EV. ๐Ÿ™

Ah C’mon that’s revisionism: Musk wouldn’t have stolen the company if he didn’t think Elise conversions weren’t viable. And its nice to ‘regret’ decisions you had no part of at the time, but he lets that little tidbit fall on the floor and hopes no one will pick up on it. One decision of his I DO regret is that he didn’t convert to J1772 when the standard first was formulated at 30 amps. He didn’t at the time since he said he wanted 70. I would spend much less time unfreezing my TSL-01 connector if he had instead gone with a standard part. But, no connectors are standard, even between cars. What is unspecified in this article is are ‘3.0’ conversions also going to mandate a switch to the Model S car connector? I personally wouldn’t want this, since I would want a j1772, and not deal with any more converter devices. But my biggest preference would be to not purchase anything unnecessary at this point, or at least to have it be my decision. That’s the thing several auto manufacturers don’t seem to realize: I’m not not allowed to have any choice in the matter: I’m just the… Read more »

Not bad. 370 miles or rather 600 km is my sweet spot for ICE obsolescence.

It will most likely be Tesla who presents the first mass produced vehicle with that spec. Hopefully that will even come with the next major upgrade of the Model S.

Then we will only have to wait for it to trickle down to less expensive models.

And with the 200 mile EV’s coming we will be more than halfway there. The future is bright ๐Ÿ™‚

Bright, as long as we can keep others from falling for the Pro-Hydrogen Propoganda from folks like The American Petroleum Institute (and other oily heads of the Hydra). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nice metaphor, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I give it 5 smiling hydra heads
๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

I would not want those tires on a sports car i want more grip. Sacrificing range is not a big deal on a 2 seat sports car.

“we set cruise control to stay right around the speed limit”

so 340 miles in under 6 hrs is ~59mph. They might be able to get more miles, but not on that freeway. I’d venture that most would want to drive down the I-5 at about 75mph, and thus need to stop at 1 supercharger. Speaking of which, no word yet on whether it’ll have supercharger access? Makes sense to add it, no?

I do not know the locations, but I assume there was quite a bit of city milage included in that average, which means they were traveling a good deal faster than 59 mph on the freeway. 340 miles is certainly a lot further than I would want to drive without at least a small break.

My understanding is that the new Roadster will not have supercharger access.

The figures in the article confirm for me that the EPA range would be around 350 miles. It would be nice to start using that to be consistent with other car specifications.


Nice to see a new milestone, but the real news breaks when these upgraded battery packs ship to customers and we find out the price.

So, $130000+ for this? Not really an everyman car.

Personally I think this car’s battery pack upgrade shows what is possible in the future vs me being able to afford it My hope would be that Nissan or Mitsubishi offers something like this.

“we set cruise control to stay right around the speed limit”

So, what is that speed? why don’t Tesla just come out and say it? Stop playing the word game.

1. <6 hrs to drive 340 miles in mostly hwy mile isn't all that fast in terms of average speed. That is less than 56mph average.

2. I-5 speed limit is 70mph for most of the stretch. People would fly pass you even if you drive 80mph in few stretches…

3. On Grapevine, if you can't drive 65mph, you will be in the truck lanes.

4. So, heat is ONLY used for 40 minutes out of the 6 hour stretch…

5. SJ to Santa Monica is mostly hwy. Speed limit can vary from 55mph to 70mph.

6. 340 miles with 20 miles left (assuming accurate) is only 360 miles. It is still NOT 400 miles in "real world condition" considering that heat is only used BRIEFLY in the 6 hours period.

7. The test is just conducted recently which is one of the warmest and driest January in recent California history…

Yeah, they are seriously playing with the weather.. The thing I don’t really understand, is why are they playing with it near me? I don’t think there is anything strategic near me so I don’t understand why my area isn’t left alone. As hot as it is in California, (it was 89 degrees in San Onofre a few days ago), it has NEVER been this cold in buffalo for as long as it has. And it is snowing at unbelievably cold temps when before it would never snow in such cold around here. Friday I was driving west bound north of the city around 5:15 in the afternoon, and I looked up and saw what I thought was a strange sun… it was super bright, but only a sliver of if was orange,the right 85% was a bright white. Then I looked to my left and saw the REAL sun. So the mix of stuff they were spraying to make that artificial “cloud” or whatever it was was so reflective it reflected back down to my eyes just before Dusk. You would think people would complain about it, but the only place I’ve seen anyone complain about these modifications has… Read more »


I think they should have gone for four hundred the first time out..

.. the heater use and twenty miles left thing is confusing many commenters, it reads 340 and that’s not as impressive as what’s possible here.

Yeah, to me, depending on what price is set or what else you HAVE to purchase besides the batteries, is a bit of a yawn..

The batteries in the Tesla first appeared, what, in 2005? I would have thought they, while trying to keep the thing to just under 1000 lbs as the original, would shoot for 90 kwh or something like that.

It seems a shame those guys couldn’t come up with something double the capacity in ten years.

You’re suggesting that a small two-seater sports car, the Roadster, should have carried even more kWh of batteries than the Model S, which is a large luxury sedan?

Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, WHY???

How much would that have added to the Roadster’s cost? How much would the additional weight have affected the handling… and would they have needed to beef up the suspension with several hundred more pounds of batteries?

Most of all: Where in heaven’s name do you think they would have put them? The Roadster’s battery pack was already about 10 cubic feet, and the trunk was literally only big enough for a bag of golf clubs. Even at that, as I recall, they had to extend the Elise’s wheelbase by two inches.

Thank goodness Tesla didn’t do what you suggest with the Roadster. If they had, Tesla wouldn’t be in business today.

You’re not paying attention to what I said. They can’t make a 970 pound battery that is 90 kwh ten years hence? Its what the old one weighs.

And yes, I don’t care what big luxury sedans have.. Porsche’s have to have an effective 15 miles of ev range since their gov’ts mandate a 30 km minimum under easy testing. Do I care if people buy a 15 mile range phev Porsche for $200,000? I do not. It was up to them and its their money. I didn’t care about the 275 horsepower especially, the VW I mention in the next paragraph only had 40. But I use it sometimes sparingly, mostly to demonstrate it. I’m the type of driver that when the battery gets low it limits you to 33% horsepower (i.e. under 100 hp), and I really never notice since I never need more than that. Since Teslas tend to have problems with their undersized gearboxes, its probably a good thing for me not to tax the mechanicals that often, for longevity’s sake. I bought the roadster since it was a small sports car rather like the karman = ghia I liked as a kid, and you could go somewhere in it, namely 244 miles. I’m hoping for a game changer battery advance before the car, and I get too old, so around 90-100 kwh and… Read more »