Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Roadster Update A ‘Catalyst’ For Stock: Analyst

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Tesla Motors’ Roadster’s 400-mile range will be a catalyst for the stock, according to Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry. Last week the EV manufacturer made an announcement that it added some new features to the Roadster model to increase its range. The research analyst maintains his Overweight rating on the stock with a price target of $385 per share.

“Phenomenal” updates to Roadster

According to the car company, three things will be added to the Roadster to enhance the driving capability of the car to 400 miles on a single battery charge. The three additions are an improved lithium-ion battery inside the current battery package with enhanced fuel-cell technology, a new “aero kit” that reduces drag in the car, and a new kind of tires.

“There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles,” the company said in its announcement.

Chowdhry said there were only 2,400 Roadsters sold from 2008 to 2012. At present, the Roadster can go 244 miles per charge, and Tesla’s planned 400-mile range is a 63% hike in the coming six years after its launch. This would be “phenomenal,” according to Chowdhry.

Will Tesla update the Model S?

Even though Tesla Motors has said that as of now, there is no upgrade planned for the Model S, Chowdhry expects the Model S to have a 500-mile range probably by 2017-2018, and present models would get the new battery packs when available. Chowdhry said Tesla Motors is the only company that replaces parts in older generations with the latest technology.

Last week in a blog post, Tesla Motors said it has plans to enhance the rolling resistance coefficient on the Roadster. The current Roadster tires have rolling resistance of 11kg/ton, and the company is planning to use new tires on the Roadster 3.0 that will have a rolling resistance of around 8.9kg/ton, an increase of approximately 20%.

Apart from upgrading the Roadster, Tesla Motors has also taken its plans forward for swapping battery packs. In a recent blog post, the company informed drivers that now it would take around three minutes to change the battery from the earlier-committed 90 seconds due to the addition of titanium and aluminum “shields” under the Model S sedans. However, the automaker also said it will make continued efforts to lower the installation time to less than minute.

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