Taken at face value, the Tesla Roadster 340-mile trip from San Jose to Santa Monica in California is a significant milestone. The direct drive in under 6 hours all without refueling will leave most EV owners’ mouths agape. There was even 40 minutes with the heater turned on and that huge climb (and subsequent decent) out of the Grapevine.

As we announced in December, the Roadster 3.0 upgrade will feature enhancements in battery cell technology, aerodynamics, and rolling resistance. These modifications should boost the Roadster’s range by 40 to 50%.

But I think this is bigger. This shows what the technologies Tesla has developed mean for the next generation of EVs. It means the Model X, even with its higher profile and expanded room, will be able to still handily be able to make it between Superchargers in the winter. Even more importantly, it shows that Tesla can make a BMW 3-series sized car go 200 miles with a lot less battery that previously expected.

If the new pack in the Roadster has 70kWh and goes 400 miles, doing a little math and guesswork, you only need about 45kWh to get a slightly bigger car to go 200 miles. (Assuming the car lies between the 35kWh and the 60kWh for the Model S with 200 mile range).

And that’s assuming technology stands still between now and then.

Tesla’s Blog entry on the Trip here and pasted below: expand full story