The Tesla Motors Roadster was first released way back in 2008. The vehicle, which was loosely based on the Lotus Elise, is what put Tesla on the map, so to speak, with regards to electric vehicles. Over the course of its four-year production run, Tesla produced 2,600 examples of the Roadster.
But just because the Roadster went out of production over two year ago doesn’t mean that the vehicle can’t receive meaningful updates from the factory. Even though Tesla has plenty on its plate right now including production of the Model S sedan, ramping up for production of the Model X crossover, and constructing its massive Gigafactory battery complex, CEO Elon Musk has a big treat in store for Roadster owners.
Musk revealed last week in a tweet:
@tweethilli Roadster update details coming next week. Several crisis issues w higher priority pushed this out longer than expected.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 19, 2014
Now if any of you that have been closely following developments at Tesla, you know exactly what Musk is talking about. In an October interview with Auto Express in which Musk talked about the upcoming Model 3 “mainstream” EV, he dropped a bombshell regarding a battery upgrade for the Roadster.
“The Roadster had an old generation battery,” said Musk. “We’ll upgrade it to a new generation battery pack and it should have a range of about 400 miles, which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop.”
If you recall, the Roadster has an EPA-rated driving range of 245 miles — and it achieves that figure using outdated battery chemistry (at least compared to the batteries that Tesla uses on the Model S P85D). The 4,800-lb Model S P85D has an EPA rated driving range of 275 miles, so it should come as no surprise that a 2,700-lb Roadster with current generation lithium-ion batteries should easily reach 400 miles.
We’ll have to wait until later this week for the official announcement and see how much Tesla plans to charge for this Roadster battery upgrade.