By on December 26, 2014

Tesla Roadster in Blue

Still have a Tesla Roadster in your garage? Merry Christmas: You now have a 400-mile range EV, courtesy of CEO Elon Musk.

Jalopnik reports Musk tweeted on Christmas Day about the upgrade that had been promised to the 2,500 or so Roadster owners by the end of 2014. The upgrade is expected to consist of a new battery pack and controller, which would enable one to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco without hitting a charging station at all.

The timeline and cost, if any, for delivery as yet to be announced as of this writing. Model S owners, meanwhile, will be getting theirs over the “long-term,” per a second tweet from Musk.

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50 Comments on “New Tesla Roadster Upgrade Promises 400-Mile Range...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Great, so now you can go 400 miles and carry nothing but a friend or an overnight bag, but not both. Still impractical

  • avatar
    jrmason

    How do they figure mileage range for electrical vehicles? You typically don’t see these numbers posted with spark ignition/compression ignition engines due to the endless factors that contribute to the variances in mileage, so how are they able to confidently post “x” mile range for these?

    • 0 avatar
      ...m...

      …doubtless the published range entails a prescribed testing regime, but regenerative braking is a big difference between electric and IC vehicles which tends to make range more predictable for the former…by not burning up half one’s kinetic energy in friction every time the route varies from presumed testing conditions, real-world range becomes much more consistent…

      …really though, it’s not any different from MPG figures already published for conventional cars: multiply by fuel tank size and you have an official range figure…the main difference is simply that full-battery-charge is the relevant unit of energy for electric vehicles, rather than a readily-replenished gallon of fuel…

      …we might end up seeing published miles per kilowatt-hour or some similar figure if quick-recharge stations ever become ubiquitous, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon…

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “You typically don’t see these numbers posted with spark ignition/compression ignition engines…”

      Well sure you do, in some media outlets, usually just using a simple formula such as EPA hwy mpg multiplied by fuel tank capacity. Of course, it is implied that the reader is smart enough to understand what you describe- conditions will vary, YMMV, don’t actually drive your car until empty, etc.

  • avatar
    theupperonepercent

    Uh Oh… I think I hear Bigtruckseriesreview racing over to Tesla with his iPhone6+ 128 GB lol.

  • avatar

    We’ll see how these work out.

    Cost to replace? Full cost or is Tesla eating some of the price of it?

    Any weight savings while increasing range? Will it even increase range by that much in real world use?

    Is the complete LA-SF trip without stopping to charge at normal highway speeds or at posted highway speeds?

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    You’d think they could have come up with a better design than this piece of crap!

  • avatar
    mor2bz

    “cost, if any”? YGTBFK LMAOROTFF

    Tesla is going to pick up the cost for a new battery pack, controller,
    and now I read the Tesla blog, wheel bearings and lower rolling resistance tires? I don’t think so.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      There is a case where this wound be in Tesla’s interest to give the battery packs away.

      Let’s suppose that they’re testing a new cell and BMS for mass production in the Model S, and eventually the Model 3. They’d want a bunch of beta testers who would use the battery hard, right? If thin was their real motivation for offeritg the upgrade, then offering the battery pack to Tesla Roadster owners for free wouldn’t be out of the question.

      I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do, but getting a bunch of batteries out into the field for real-word testing with a bunch of people who already paid a ton of money to be beta testers has got to be one of their motivations for the project.

      Will they give the upgrade away for free? Probably not. Will they make a profit on the whole endeavor? Probably not, because that’s probably not the point. Where it will fall between those extremes is anyone’s guess.

      I’m not in a Roadster-compatible phase of life, so I’ll just wait patiently and see! And if this brings them closer to that Model 3 based wagon/CUV that I’m coveting, that’s awesome.

      P.S. One thing that’s extra interesting about this is that, if you’ve ever seen a Tesla Roadster up close, you’d observe that the battery compartment is behind the seats and isn’t very big. Being able to fit 400 miles of electric range for any vehicle into roughly the volume of a 2 liter ICE engine (not counting the electric motor + controller + gearbox, or the gas tank) is pretty impressive, and it is almost twice as good as what they were doing before. The engineering implications of this announcement may be more important than has been discussed so far.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The Tesla Roadsters are mainly used as toys they are not practical daily drivers like the Model S. So no you will not find very many people who will use them “hard” to test them. The people I know with a Roadster use it as their 3rd car. Their Leaf and RAV-4 EV are their daily drivers. The people I know with Model S use it as their daily driver. My neighbor who has one has a Leaf which he may have finally gotten rid of since he had not interest in driving it anymore. The other person who I know with one has one it as his only vehicle and uses it as the main family car.

  • avatar

    Wow this is so cool. You mean to say that with is roadster I am now only fifty miles short of my nearest WORKING EV station

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Your nearest working EV station is in your house. Assuming you have modern conveniences like electricity and running water at your house.

      EVs start every day with a full charge, and it takes about 15 seconds to plug it in when you get home.

      The EV charging stations are only for road trips. EVs are pretty good for cheap commuting, but not so good for road trips – though a 400 mile battery starts to change the picture. I’m likely to buy a family-friendly EV as soon as I can afford one, but keep my old Sienna for road trips.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “Your nearest working EV station is in your house. Assuming you have modern conveniences like electricity and running water at your house.”

        I’m still confused about needing the running water to charge your Tesla, but then I might find the answer shocking

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          The water’s for washing stuff in the garment bag.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            The running water is for cooling the condenser on an ethanol still. You then use the ethanol to run a generator to charge the Tesla. Don’t you guys know anything about living off of the grid?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Don’t you guys know anything about living off of the grid?”

            Nope, not a damn thing. I like my “grid” and I’m sticking with it. It makes everything around me work nice and easy

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            @mcs

            That’s in keeping with the other work-arounds mentioned here. It’s like reading about the preparation and special contraptions necessary for road-tripping in an open touring car 100 years ago.

            Except goggles *always* look cool whereas a garment bag on your roof is a little o_O

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> I am now only fifty miles short of my nearest WORKING EV station

      Then do what I did – install a 60 amp level 2 charger at home. It’s also portable, so I can put it into the car along with a collection of adapters for different types of power outlets. One common 240 volt source in the US are campgrounds with recreation vehicle NEMA 14-50 outlets. So, you’re not dependent on EV power stations if you have the right equipment.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        My friend with a Leaf did this, mounted the charging station on a board and built a bunch of adapters to plug it in to various 240 outlets and he has used the camp ground charging option on a road trip though now there are enough public fast chargers so he doesn’t need to do the campground option any more.

        My friend with the Roadster has used the campground option to take if from Seattle to San Fransisco and back.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        In other words you can swipe electricity anywhere you go if no one’s lookin’

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          No one said anything about swiping electricity. When the people I know who used camp grounds to charge the paid the owner of the camp ground. My friend that has his charging station mobile does plug it in at his parent’s and friend’s houses but only after asking permission. Granted he isn’t paying but he isn’t swiping it either.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            Swiper no swiping!

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Aggh! +1 jillion!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Granted he isn’t paying but he isn’t swiping it either”

            He’s freeloading. When you visit friends and relatives do you ask for gas money?

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            >> He’s freeloading. When you visit friends and relatives do you ask for gas money?

            I’m a good host and will offer any visitor in an EV a charge. In the past I’ve given guests gasoline when they were low and didn’t realize almost every gas station within 15 miles of my house closed at midnight.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Where do you live?… in case I’m in the neighborhood and suffer a range anxiety attack and need a little zap to calm my nerves

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            I would gladly pay you Tuesday for some current flow today.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      Why all the hate? When I remodelled my house a few years ago, I added a 220 outlet to the garage since it was practically free to do so since they had the wall opened up by the panel anyways. Now, if they can get one of Telsa’s down into this hillbilly’s price range, I’ll be set, not like I’m out on the big road all that much anyway, and 400 miles is a long way in these hills.


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