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Tesla announces range-extending Roadster 3.0 package

Improving on the original: When it arrived in 2012 Tesla’s Roadster could travel 394km on a single charge now the new Roadster 3.0 package upgrades the battery and improves aerodynamics to extend its range further.

The Roadster 3.0 package will extend the range of Tesla’s first car by 50 per cent

Tesla logo30 Dec 2014

TESLA has announced it will offer an upgrade pack for its Roadster that will extend the electric vehicle’s range by up to 50 per cent.

Called the Roadster 3.0 package the retrofitted kit consists of a next-generation 70kWh lithium ion battery with 31 per cent more energy than the one it replaces, while remaining the same size.

There’s also an aerodynamics kit which hasn’t been unveiled but, according to the EV maker, lowers the car’s original drag coefficient from 0.36 to 0.31.

Completing the pack are new tyres which drop the rolling resistance coefficient from 11.0kg/ton to 8.9kg/ton, as well as improvements to the wheel bearings and residual brake drag, aiding the decrease in resistance.

Tesla said the combined effect of the upgrades is an extension in range with more than 640km possible on a single charge with the correct speed and driving conditions. When it went on sale in the United States in 2008 the original Roadster was limited to 394km.

Still in its prototype phase the Roadster 3.0 package will be demonstrated with a non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in early 2015.

Tesla told GoAuto that “availability and pricing are pending”.

The Roadster is Tesla’s original car and its Australian debut in 2011 won it the title of the first factory EV to go on sale here. With an entry level price tag of $222,995 driveaway and limited to 2500 units worldwide production of the Roadster ceased in 2012.

This year has seen the Californian car-maker return to Australia with renewed vigour, launching its long-awaited Model S premium four-door sedan and announcing an ambitious plan to create a charging network which will connect Brisbane and Melbourne by 2016.

The arrival of the Model S also saw Tesla open a service centre and retail outlet in the Sydney suburb of St Leonards, with another store opening in Melbourne’s Chadstone shopping centre last week.

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