Breaking: Tesla Announces Roadster Battery Upgrade Program Details

On a busy day at Tesla Motors, the details of the Roadster 3.0 upgrade have been dispatched to owners.

Tesla announced plans to offer an increased range solution for Roadster owners back in December 2014. The package of updates would include a larger capacity battery along with aero enhancements and tweaks to the running gear such as low-rolling resistance tires and brakes.

Today, part of that materialized – the ‘Roadster 3.0 Battery Upgrade‘. The pack upgrade is priced at $29,000 including all labor involved with the replacement.

That seems like a lot of money though Tesla Motors explains that “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.

The result should see “a battery that stores roughly 40% more energy than the original battery. There is a slight increase in the battery weight but the total range increases over 35% from the original Roadster.” Based on experience, that would equate to a range of about 327miles on a full charge. Impressive range but, what about that extra weight? How does that impact performance?

Demonstrating the workings of a Tesla Roadster Photo:Sam Mason

Demonstrating the workings of a Tesla Roadster Photo:Sam Mason

As a Roadster owner, this writer still has questions though; where are the Aero and running gear enhancements? Is there any offer of Supercharger compatibility? And, the big one; why would we choose to extend the range of a car that already goes further than my bottom is OK with, instead of giving me the same range, supercharger access and ‘Ludicrous’ acceleration from a lighter battery?

The batteries recovered from current cars will be recycled says Tesla with some parts being reused. This is heartening news as it supports the message of recycle-reuse that all electric car owners support.

Tesla is taking $5,000 deposits today with the promise of contact once inventory arrives.

Would you choose an upgrade that might cost more than a new Nissan Leaf, put the price towards a Model S or get in line?


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