Tesla Roadster Battery Upgrade, 330+ Miles Of Range Priced At $29,000

SEP 1 2015 BY JAY COLE 69

Tesla’s long-promised, Roadster 3.0 battery upgrade is now available to order/reserve online!

The upgrade package includes a 70 kWh battery, a 40% capacity improvement over the original pack, which gives the new Roadster about 35% more range.

Tesla Roadster 3.0

Tesla Roadster 3.0

This estimate is a little down from the first announcement of the program, but should still give the Roadster ~330 miles of AER.

Earlier this year, Tesla took the new battery equipped Roadster for a long distance spin and reported 340 miles of range (with more miles still left to spare).

Tesla explains the $29,000 pricing behind the package:

The price of the battery upgrade is $29,000, including all labor and logistics, which is equal to Tesla’s expected cost. It is not our intention to make a profit on the battery pack. The reason the cost per kWh is higher than a Model S battery is due to the almost entirely hand-built, low-volume (only 2 or 3 per week) nature of Roadster battery packs. It also includes additional work to remove, upgrade, and reinstall the power electronics module (PEM.)

Cost to reserve the new battery is set at $5,000, but no installation and timing is still a bit foggy -especially given the slow build out of the packs.

“Place your order today and you’ll be contacted to schedule an installation appointment as inventory becomes available. “

Tesla also notes that the old battery packs will be re-claimed as part of the upgrade, and components in some cases will be re-used in other applications.

“All removed battery modules will be fully recycled or reused if possible, and we will reuse many other components from the old battery. Batteries are currently being upgraded in Fremont, CA and we will need sufficient time when scheduling your service to ship and pre-position the needed parts to your local service center. Depending on local service team workload the upgrade will only take a few days once the parts are in place.”

No word yet on the cost for the companion aero kit and new rolling resistance tires that were announced as part of the Roadster 3.0 program.

Tesla Roadster owners can reserve upgrades here.

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

69 Comments on "Tesla Roadster Battery Upgrade, 330+ Miles Of Range Priced At $29,000"

newest oldest most voted

This is price is incredibly affordable, I mean this is really good news. I believe in a few years, Model S battery will cost only $20,000, in 10 years, it would cost probably $4,000, eventually only $1,000, just like computers!

If you “reason from first principles” then you’ll find that a cost of $430 per kWh is not groundbreaking and likely will remain high due to Amdahl’s law. In the mature auto industry, which sells a 70 million cars a year, raw materials are only 47% of the car’s cost. I expect the same will hold true for batteries.

According to this article, tires, which sell in the hundreds of millions, have a raw material cost of only 50%: http://m.truckinginfo.com/article/179354/the-high-cost-of-tires

The Model S battery already costs roughly $20,000.

Probably 50% of the price is the custom mods, etc needed.
So S pack replacement prices should be around $250/kwhr or less as just a switch out as machine built, not by hand.
And I’d doubt an S will need one for 15 yrs or more.
By then likely under $100/kwhr. JBS, Tesla’s CTO, said $100/kwhr by 2020 and I believe him.

Electrovaya has the answers…germany/canada

I’ve always lusted for a Roadster. I remember guys on the GM-Volt forum with them back in 2010.

Is this retrofitable back to the original gen 1 roadster???

It is specifically for the gen 1 roadster.

That’s cool.
Some may have the old borg warner 2 speed!!


Borg Warner made the one speed gearbox for the production Roadsters, not the failed two speed.

Borg’s gearbox is still available for sale for other cars, including home built EV conversions.


I’m actually surprised they would do this, considering how few Roadsters were actually made, and then knowing only a percentage of those would be interested.

Customer service alone would be sufficient.
It lets all Tesla customers know the best feature of all their vehicles even the old ones is that they get better over time.
Plus it garauntees that cars that are certain to become a classic now the brand is established stay on the road pushing the brand!

or perhaps they just want to stay thank you to those early adopters who had the faith to back them…


Agreed on all points.

I think they would get incredibly bad press if they didn’t. From day one they promised to support the Roadster in the future. If they didn’t, how secure would you feel about Tesla supporting older cars if they didn’t support their pilot production car that changed the industry? I would imagine that pretty much all current Roadster owners will jump at the upgrade, I know several Roadster owners who have been waiting patiently for word on the upgrade ever since Musk announced it.

David Murray said:

“I’m actually surprised they would do this, considering how few Roadsters were actually made, and then knowing only a percentage of those would be interested.”

It’s an investment in Tesla’s reputation for customer service, which — if my understanding is correct — is miles better than any other auto maker’s. But it helps when you deal directly with customers, instead of having dealerships as a middleman; dealerships which unfortunately have a lot of motives for ripping off the customer.

Tesla has Roadsters with batteries still under warranty and they’ve not been able to do replacements recently.

The PR angle is good, but this enables Tesla to abandon legacy cells.

Any word on the addition of Supercharging? That would definitely make it worth it.

Not heard. 🙁

But it would make a lot of sense, since the pack is so huge, and Roaster Folk were the ones that first helped make all the great things at Tesla Motors possible. They have a lot of respect in the EV Community. Leaving them locked out of SC Access could be viewed as nearly criminal.

Slower DC Charging for such a big pack, would be unpleasant. Same problem for the upcoming GM Bolt. Seems like the $ 30K upgrade should cover the conversion and any compatibility issues with a new 70 kWh pack and the SuperCharger Network.

can we buy the pack for the gen 1 roadster?

By itself? Absolutely not. I have a friend that bought a Roadster that had the battery pack stolen. Telsa won’t sell a battery pack without a trade-in.

Supercharging is not offered for the Roadster, per extensive discussions on the topic at the TMC fan site.


The article says that the costs include removing, upgrading and replacing the PEM – that could mean that it may be supercharger enabled.

I would be shocked if 3.0 is not SC compatible. A pack that large and no SC access?!?

I believe this was asked at the announcement, and it was stated that due to pack cooling and power electronics reasons, supercharging cannot be done on a Roadster.

No SC news.

The Roadster already has 19+ kW AC charging capability. (including Tesla’s HPWC, High Power Wall Charger)

For the 70 kWh pack, this means 3.5-4 hours for s full charge, an extra hour for the increased capacity (~20 kWh) over what it took previously.

A good comparison is a 24 kWh BEV with 6.6 kW AC charging capability … takes a similar 3.5-4 hours. (eg: Focus EV, LEAF, Soul EV, etc)

Super Charging would have been amazing. So with a 400 mile pack you could just drive 300-400 miles and stay at a Tesla equipped Hotel and charge free over night with a HP High Power and still do long trips.
Not as slick or safe as a Tesla S but very impressive. Maybe a few will show in city driving they can go 500+ miles.

No that is not right. 16.8 kw on a good day is the maximum a Roadster can charge.

In the first place, how are you going to hook up a model S supercharger cord onto the roadster’s TSL-01 connector?

It is slated to be changed out in the future, but for a much different reason.

The Roadster will not be able to supercharge but can already charge at 80 amps from a Model S HPWC with an adaptor.

Limitation is 70 amps.

manitou202 said:

“Any word on the addition of Supercharging? That would definitely make it worth it.”

I’m pretty sure that Tesla has made it clear that the Roadster won’t be able to use Superchargers, even with the upgrade. I’m not sure what the issues are, but the Model S (and obviously the X) were designed to be charged rapidly; the Roadster was not.

My guess is that there are both hardware and software issues which prevent Supecharger compatibility. Even if the Roadster’s power electronics can handle Supercharger current, the Roadster’s onboard computer isn’t designed to interact with Superchargers.

(psssst.. hat tip)

So $29,000/70KWH = $414/KWH. At the pack level. Not bad.

Hand built, not mass produced… So if there was an economy of scale here, it could have been significantly cheaper.

Well, yeah, but they take your old pack. Then again, all the work done is included in the price. Hard to call.

Less the core cost, ie recoverable cells and power electronics.

It’s in pack recovery, where distributed grid might find the economies to take off. Soon, there will be GWh of storage coming out of cars, every year.

If a pack can no longer sustain ~380V, there’s no reason what’s left can’t be converted to 240v, for years more. No?

While not a direct comparison, at $414/kWh it would peg a 24 kWh LEAF pack at ~$9,900.

Since the Roadster pack upgrade is custom hand assembled upgrade, costs need to be taken with some context vs. a production LEAF (~60,000+ built/year).

Its NOT pack level.

It include labour, shopping, trade-in.

Depending on said trade in batter pack could cost more or less then that figure!

I’m wondering if Tesla will collect up any used Roadsters, and start offering Roadster 3.0’s with the new batteries already installed for sale on their CPO website. Complete with new extended warranty like the Model S CPO’s.

That would be sweet. I did notice that about a year ago, they stopped posting anymore Roadsters on their previously owned website. They used to have maybe half a dozen at any given time posted, then nothing for months since then. Maybe they’ve been collecting them up in some corner of their factory?

Sounds possible, but I would think it would be difficult to recover the costs of all the upgrades to sell old vehicles as ‘new’ 3.0s?

Then again, this is more about creating a reputation and making a statement. The profit part of it, is the lower priority, at least, right now.

Technically, Tesla can say they’ll have three different models of vehicles on the road by the last quarter of this year. And they can also boast of the new range for the Roadster, over most FCEVs. And their commitment to upgrade even their oldest vehicles to the latest battery technology.

Not a bad PR Effort.

The upgraded roadster will be the new EV range champ. And it will beat the Hyundai Tucson fuel cell vehicle (265 EPA rated miles) as well as the Toyota Mirai (312 EPA rated miles).

Well, yeah, and to think it only cost $108k initially, plus another $29k for the new battery, still seats two instead of 4 or 5, and Tesla hasn’t said anything at all about adding SC capability to it. I’ve also had a Roadster owner on MNL state (in effect) that anyone who wants to take a long trip in one is a masochist, given its ride quality. Great for throwing around for an hour, but you can feel every pebble on the road. That’s a question of opinion, as some people have been willing to take trips in them.

Everyone who isn’t a roadster owner complains about the Roadster’s ride quality.

I had a later 2.5 model (stripped – no options), and one of the things I like was the relative quietness compared to the earlier models, and also the comfort once you were in the car.

Young people (at least the fit ones) have no problem getting in and out of it. I’m not young nor especially fit, but I do do considerable bike riding, which is a prerequisite for an older person to attempt to get out of a Roadster. But long trips for hours on end are absolutely no trouble, as long as you don’t have prostate trouble.

The standard leather seats are VERY comfortable, and people who own both an S and a Roadster tell me by far the roadster is the more fun to drive.

THose are the parts of the car I really miss, as well as being to drive long distances without worrying about the battery. But it was a fun-filled 4 years, for the most part, when the car was working.

I have taken my Roadster on several 500 mile road trips and for me it is the most comfortable car I have owned and the one I would prefer to drive. Yes it is not the easiest to get in and out of but for me it is comfortable when inside and a real joy to drive. And that 300 mile pack would make a huge difference on those 500 mile trips. Just wish it did not cost so much.

I guess there is demand for it, but $30k is not any bargain. Especially, since it does not offer Supercharger access.

Pretty sure someone that owns a 2 seat sportscar with low roofline, minimal interior space and literally no trunk has a second car to take long trips in…

330 miles on a charge? That’s literally unlimited

Whoever bought a used Roadster recently just got really lucky…..lol

One advantage to long suffering roadster owners is that now, Tesla is doing those early adopters a good turn, even if they never upgrade the value of their vehicles has now increased, since it could be upgraded by a new owner.

+1, and ‘early adopter’ is an epic understatement, as in those times now mostly forgotten, Tesla as a brand was under-appreciated, at best. I would imagine they took their lumps for their very expensive purchase, what family and friends likely described as an obscure toy from a hopeless start-up.

Yea, early adopter is a very big understatement for the leap that original Roadster buyers took in dropping 100K on a car that the haters were calling vaporware, from a company that haters said would go bankrupt before they even sold a single car.

Wow, this really makes the $5500 cost for a 24kwh leaf battery seem downright cheap! Even if you factor in the $500 installation charged, compared to the Roadster’s 70kwh pack, its still $11,000 cheaper.

My best friend used to work for them before the roadster was even for sale. We used to drive around in it with wires hanging out of the dashboard plugged into a laptop sitting on the floor beneath my feet. Those were the days.

7 roadsters for sale on cars.com and ebaymotors, with prices between 55k to 100K.

I remember 6 months before the Model S came out seeing Roadsters on ebay and cars.com with prices in the 40-50K range, and thinking that in another year I would buy one in the 30-40K range with depreciation continuing at the same rate making one “affordable-ish”.

That didn’t work out too well.

It worked out about the same way as I thought I’d wait until Defender 90’s were about 5 years old, I’d pick one up for half the MSRP. 20 years later and I’m still waiting for US Spec Defender 90’s that are 1/2 of new MSRP (and aren’t basket cases).

Now with this battery upgrade, it is looking like the Roadster will be then next Defender 90, with prices staying sky-high for another decade or more.

Wish I would have bought one certain blue on black roadster that was offered for 45K that was an exact match for what I wanted, but I thought the price was still too high for my budget….

I don’t see that the price is going to be pushed up much. It’s not like it’s a cheap battery, just a better one.

Damn thats amazing

would love to have the roadster

When ever they want to get serious about extending the distance of EV then they need this idea especially with all the new batteries and charging system coming out. NEVER HAVE TO STOP TO CHARGE. airinductionchargingandstoragesystem with 2 battery system go coast to coast without stopping.

If only the Roadster was included in the cost of the upgrade. Just dreaming.

What happened to the 400 miles that Tesla proclaimed 9 months ago?

Yeah, MMF, and the thing that gets me is the number of people who have never owned a Roadster freely disseminate inaccurate information about it. They can’t even get the basic specs of the car correct.

I guess 340 miles ’rounded’ is 400. How un-GM like where they undereestimated the performance of the new Volt, and now, the new BOlt. So many said both a 50mile PHEV and a 200 Mile BEV was impossible. So now we have a 53 mile PHEV and a 203 mile BEV. And no appologies from those who were so sadly mistaken. Now, the charge current of the PEM on the roadster has NEVER changed, even between transformerless and tranformered models (I can see people going ‘ HUH?? whats he talking about, hehe). But the experts still can’t get it right.

“So many said both a 50mile PHEV and a 200 Mile BEV was impossible. So now we have a 53 mile PHEV and a 203 mile BEV.”

The “53 mile PHEV” presumably refers to the gen-2 Volt’s EPA AER.
What does the “203 mile BEV” refer to? If to the Bolt, where did you see this? I’ve yet to see any specific number for a range estimate, so it’s definitely interesting.

Wavelet If memory serves the 50 odd Bolts that are being test-driven; I think we’ve been told that “EPA TESTING” yields roughtly 203 miles. I have no idea regarding charge rate, other than I’d expect the BOlt to have a ccs outlet at least as an option the same way the Spark EV does.

I clearly remembers those people who were bashing me about my questioning of the so called 400 miles upgrade option and claims that Tesla must be right…

I explained about the efficiency required and how it is NOT likely.

Where are those people now?

Tesla won’t get my money to upgrade #105 on this program. 330 miles EPA would improve my current range by 100 miles. I can count on one hand how often I would use mile #230-330 in a given year, especially without supercharging. I would have much preferred a new 245 mile range, lighter pack at a lower cost. For what it’s worth, including the credit they give for your existing pack, it only costs about $5000 to replace your Roadster battery with an equivalent refurbished pack.

You have a roadster that charges faster than 70 amps? Any screen shot to prove it?

where can you get a refurbished pack for $5000?

Tesla has confirmed that this upgrade is only available to Roadster 2.0 and higher. The first ~500 Roadsters are not eligible for the upgrade. Deposits were taken, but will now be refunded to those owners. A note has also now been added to the Tesla Motors online shop indicating “Available for Roadster 2.0 and higher only.”