Tesla announces Roadster 3.0 package, predicts 40-50 percent range improvement

Leave it to Tesla to deliver a present one day after Christmas. The company has announced a prototype Roadster 3.0 package for its flagship Model S that improves battery life, aerodynamics and allegedly expands the car’s driving range by up to 50 percent.

The lithium ion battery in Roadster 3.0 delivers 70 kwh, as Tesla engineers have found a cell that is 31 percent more powerful than the original battery. The new battery pack is the same size as the version in the Model S debut in 2008.

On the aerodynamics front, Tesla has managed to decrease the drag coefficient by 15 percent, from 0.36 to 0.31 using a retrofit aero kit. The Roadster 3.0 package also has new tires that feature a 20 percent improvement in rolling resistance. The original Roadster tires had a rolling resistance coefficient of 11.0 kg/ton, whereas the new tires have a crr of roughly 8.9 kg/ton. In a statement, Tesla also announced “improvements in the wheel bearings and residual brake drag.”

The improvements offered through Roadster 3.0 package are expected to increase the Model S range between 40-50 percent and Elon Musk’s company says there is a “set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles.” Tesla plans to demonstrate this in a “non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the early weeks of 2015,” the company announced.

Model S owners interested in upgrades to Roadster 3.0 package will be able to make appointments in the spring, “once the new battery pack finishes safety validation,” Tesla added.

Photo Credit: Tesla Motors

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