Is it too little too late for a Roadster with an extended range?
It was way back in December of 2014 when we first heard about the Roadster 3.0 battery upgrade from Tesla. After a year and a half the upgrade is finally here, and it extends the range of the automaker’s first car all the way to 340 miles. But all that extra juice comes at a price: $29,000. In a press release Tesla said the cost is equal to what the automaker expects to spend on the actual upgrade. The high price is due to a few factors. The first of which is the Roadster’s unique battery pack.
Unlike the Model S or Model X the Roadster was never mass produced; a little less than 2,500 roadsters were sold worldwide. This fix entails replacing the battery, meaning that Tesla will need to do this update by hand rather than over the air. The automaker says only two to three new battery packs are made per week. All that drives up the cost and the wait time. A $5,000 deposit is required and after that who knows how long you’ll need to wait before Tesla asks you to fork over the other $24,000 you owe to upgrade your Roadster. The good news is that once the parts have been shipped to your local service center the actual work should take only a few days. While this upgrade seems to be too little too late it should be greeted warmly by Roadster diehards.
It significantly ups the range of the Roadster’s battery, which previously maxed out at 245 miles. Tesla even claims that it was able to drive a Roadster with the new battery from Los Angeles to San Francisco on a single charge. That’s basically impossible unless the A/C was off and traffic was nonexistent. We feel awful for the poor grunt Elon Musk sent on that mission. In reality this upgrade will be most useful for those who like to drive their Roadster hard. No one is going on a road trip in this car but all this extra juice means more time to fly down winding roads and less range anxiety for Sunday drivers.