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The improvement of Roadster 3.0 package for Tesla Model S

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The Roadster 3.0 package applies what they’ve learned in Model S to Roadster. No new Model S battery pack or major range upgrade is expected in the near term.

The battery technology has continued a steady improvement in recent years, as has their experience in optimizing total vehicle efficiency through Model S development. They have long been excited to apply their learning back to their first vehicle, and are thrilled to do just that with the prototype Roadster 3.0 package. It consists of three main improvement areas.

Tesla Model S

The Roadster 3.0 package applies what they’ve learned in Model S to Roadster. No new Model S battery pack or major range upgrade is expected in the near term.

1. Batteries

The original Roadster battery was the very first lithium ion battery put into production in any vehicle. It was state of the art in 2008, but cell technology has improved substantially since then. They have identified a new cell that has 31% more energy than the original Roadster cell. Using this new cell they have created a battery pack that delivers roughly 70kWh in the same package as the original battery.

2. Aerodynamics

The original Roadster had a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.36. Using modern computational methods we expect to make a 15% improvement, dropping the total Cd down to 0.31 with a retrofit aero kit.

3. Rolling Resistance

The original Roadster tires have a rolling resistance coefficient (Crr) of 11.0 kg/ton. New tires that we will use on the Roadster 3.0 have a Crr of roughly 8.9 kg/ton, about a 20% improvement. They are also making improvements in the wheel bearings and residual brake drag that further reduce overall rolling resistance of the car.

Summary

Combining all of these improvements they can achieve a predicted 40-50% improvement on range between the original Roadster and Roadster 3.0. There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where they can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles. They will be demonstrating this in the real world during a non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the early weeks of 2015.

Appointments for upgrading Roadsters will be taken this spring once the new battery pack finishes safety validation. They are confident that this will not be the last update the Roadster will receive in the many years to come.

Source: Tesla Blog

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