Roadster upgrade will enable non-stop travel from LA to SF -- almost 400 mile range. Details tmrw. Merry Christmas!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 25, 2014
This might improve the resale value of these guys though I don’t think Tesla has any plans to release a new one. As Musk adds, nothing is immediately in the works for the Model S but I’ve heard that a 100+kWh battery is being tested for possible future use with the Model X.
Update: Here’s the post
Battery technology has continued a steady improvement in recent years, as has our experience in optimizing total vehicle efficiency. We have long been excited to apply our learning back to our first vehicle, and are thrilled to do just that with the prototype Roadster 3.0 package. It consists of three main improvement areas.
1. Batteries The original Roadster battery was the very first lithium ion battery put into production in any vehicle. It was state of the art in 2008, but cell technology has improved substantially since then. We have identified a new cell that has 31% more energy than the original Roadster cell. Using this new cell we have created a battery pack that delivers roughly 70kWh in the same package as the original battery.
2. Aerodynamics The original Roadster had a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.36. Using modern computational methods we expect to make a 15% improvement, dropping the total Cd down to 0.31 with a retrofit aero kit.
3. Rolling Resistance The original Roadster tires have a rolling resistance coefficient (Crr) of 11.0 kg/ton. New tires that we will use on the Roadster 3.0 have a Crr of roughly 8.9 kg/ton, about a 20% improvement. We are also making improvements in the wheel bearings and residual brake drag that further reduce overall rolling resistance of the car.
Summary Combining all of these improvements we can achieve a predicted 40-50% improvement on range between the original Roadster and Roadster 3.0. There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles. We will be demonstrating this in the real world during a non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the early weeks of 2015.
We are confident that this will not be the last update the Roadster will receive in the many years to come.
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