American electric car company Tesla has announced major details for the 3.0 update for its Roadster, a model that went out of production at the beginning of 2012.
As expected, a major component of the update is a new battery pack, which can now store 31 per cent more energy. The new cells fit into the same space as the car’s original pack, but instead of delivering 53kWh, the new design delivers around 70kWh.
In addition, Tesla has used the latest computation techniques to devise a new aero kit for the Roadster. The new retrofit package is said to reduce the car’s coefficient of drag (Cd) from 0.36 to 0.31.
The last major piece of the 3.0 update puzzle is new tyres that are said to reduce rolling resistance by around 20 per cent. Other changes include new wheel bearings and reduced residual brake drag.
Perhaps most critically, combined, the revisions are said to yield a much improved driving range. Whereas the previous package had an official range of 393 kilometres, the company says “there is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles [643km]”.
Under normal driving conditions Tesla expects a range improvement of between 40 to 50 per cent, which would equate to an official range of between 550 and 590km on a full charge.
Tesla has yet to reveal how much the 3.0 update will cost to fit to existing Roadsters nor do we know when the package will be made available to owners.
In the early weeks of 2015, the company will demonstrate the update during a non-stop drive between San Francisco and Los Angeles — a trip of about 610km when using Interstate 5.