Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk tweeted earlier this week about plans to upgrade the battery pack in the Roadster, promising more information on it today. The official announcement has arrived in the form of a post on Tesla’s Roadster blog.
Tesla to improve the Roadster’s battery
In the blog post, Tesla highlighted the three main areas it is improving in the Roadster. The automaker noted that the battery in the Roadster was the first lithium ion battery ever produced into a vehicle. In 2008, the battery was state of the art, according to the post. Of course the technology used in batteries for electric cars has significantly improved since then.
Tesla said it has developed a new cell that offers 31% energy over what the original Roadster cell offers. With the new cell, the automaker said it has created a battery pack that offers about 70 kWh in the same package the original battery was in.
Roadster aerodynamics, resistance improved
The automaker also said today that the drag coefficient on the original Roadster was .36, but they expect to be able to improve the drag coefficient by 15%, which would bring it down to .31 using a “retrofit aero kit,” Tesla said.
The post also states that they have plans to improve the rolling resistance coefficient. The rolling resistance on the tires on the original Roadster is 11 kg/ton. The new tires Tesla plans to use for the Roadster 3.0 has a rolling resistance of about 8.9 kg/ton. That’s an improvement of approximately 20%.
Tesla also said they’re improving the wheel bearings and residual brake drag, thus further reducing overall rolling resistance.
Improving the range of the Tesla Roadster
According to the post, Tesla expects to improve the range on the original Roadster by 40% to 50%.
“There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles,” the post reads.
The automaker intends to demonstrate this “in the real world during a non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the early weeks of 2015.” Tesla also said it intends to improve the Roadster even more in the years to come.