Automobiles

Tesla Roadster getting upgrade to 400-mile range

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announces the Roadster will be eligible for an upgrade that will allow for "nonstop travel from LA to SF."

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Updated 1PM EST 12/26 Tesla has announced its new Roadster 3.0 prototype which will improve the car in three ways: improved battery life; a new aerodynamic kit; and a wheel upgrade.

Tesla says its improvements will increase range by a predicted 40-50 per cent between the original Roadster and the Roadster 3.0 specification.

Firstly, Tesla says it has improved the efficiency of its original lithium ion battery by 31 per cent with a new output of 70kWh. Additionally a new retrofit aero kit will reduce drag by 15 per per cent while a set of new tires and upgraded wheel bearings will result in a further 20 per cent rolling resistance improvement.

The company says it will demonstrate the improvements with a non-stop test drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the early weeks of 2015.

Elon Musk took to Twitter on Christmas Day to announce the company's first car will be soon be able to almost double its original 245 miles per charge.

At its new 400-mile range, the Roadster now has the most longevity of any electric vehicle on the market, including Telsa's other vehicles.

Musk has confirmed that the upgrade is only for the Roadster and not the newer Model S, which currently has a range of 265 miles. Musk did add that the Model S would get an upgrade in the long term.

Last week Tesla detailed a beta battery swap program that would run between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but only for its Model S cars.

A representative for Tesla told CNET that "availability and pricing are pending as this retrofit package is currently in its prototype phase".

Via The Verge