Tesla is out with its 3.0 upgrade for the Roadster, and by combining improved aerodynamics, reduced rolling resistance, and new batteries, Tesla claims its achieved a 40-50 percent improvement on range. And it's going to test that with a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
According to a brief blog post, the Roadster is getting three upgrades to achieve that range boost.
First, it's updating the old lithium-ion battery back that – while state-of-the-art in 2008 – pales in comparison to what Tesla offers today. New cells claim to have 31 percent more energy density than the original pack, which puts it at a pretty astonishing 70 kWh, or just 15 kWh shy of the top-spec Model S 85.
Secondly, Tesla developed an aerodynamic retrofit kit takes the Roadsters coefficient of drag from 0.36 down to 0.31 Cd – but still higher than the Model S' 0.24. And finally, a new set of tires reduces rolling resistance from 11.0 to 8.9 kg/ton.
Add that all up and that's where Tesla gets its 40-50 percent figure, and it's not done yet. Tesla says that this won't be the last update to the Roadster, which will continue to be iterated "in the many years to come."
However, Tesla has yet to disclose how many of the 2,500 Roadsters will be eligible for the upgrade, how much it will cost, or when it will be available.