Though its been about three years since the last Tesla Roadster was built, the electric automaker has decided that its earliest adopters should benefit from advances in battery technology too. Back in December Elon Musk revealed that the Tesla Roadster 3.0 battery pack upgrade would allow close to 400 miles of driving range per charge, an increase of about 100 miles, and a test trip in February covered 340 miles, with another 20 miles of estimated range left.
Thanks to a Tweet from the Tesla CEO, we now know that the Tesla Roadster v3.0 upgrade will debut sometime in August, along with aerodynamic body enhancements that will drop the drag coefficient from 0.36 to 0.31. The new battery upgrade is expected to put about 70 kWh at drivers disposal, the same battery size as the new base Model S 70D, giving the Roadster more range-per-charge than any other electric car on the market. While the upgrade won’t be free, the ability to get a week’s worth of driving out of every “fill up” should be enticing enough to current Roadster owners, or those looking to pick up a cheaper used Roadster on eBay.
@bonnienorman New Roadster battery should complete safety validation by end of July, so likely available in August
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2015
One issue Musk hasn’t mentioned is the cost of the upgrade, though the recent announcement of the Tesla Energy home battery pack could give us a hint. Analysts place Tesla’s battery pack costs at between $240 and $280 per kWh, which works out to between $17,500 and about $20,000 for a 70 kWh pack.
That’d a hefty price to pay for a new battery on an older vehicle, but trading in the old 50 kWh pack should take a few thousand bucks off of the price. My guess is that Tesla Roadster owners will have to shell out between $10,000 and $15,000 for the upgraded battery pack, after the trade in. We’ll have to wait for an official announcement to see if I’m on the mark, or way off base, but that doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable if you ask me.
After all, when’s the last time a major automaker released a huge upgrade for a product it hasn’t produced in 3+ years?