Tesla Roadster owners got a nice present last Christmas – a package of range-enhancing improvements dubbed Roadster 3.0. A new battery cell, enhanced aerodynamics and improved wheels and tires combine to increase the Roadster’s range by an estimated 40-50 percent.
This week, a Tesla team set out in a prototype vehicle to test the Roadster 3.0 upgrade with a non-stop drive from San Jose to Los Angeles on a single charge.
The lucky drivers selected a route down I-5 from the first Tesla store in San Jose to the Santa Monica Pier, a distance of about 340 miles.
The team reports: “The trip was smooth, with no disruptions. On the highway, we set cruise control to stay right around the speed limit. We turned on the heater for a 40-minute stretch going over the Grapevine. And less than six hours from leaving San Jose, we pulled into the Santa Monica Pier, with 20 miles remaining in the battery pack.”
Tesla will apply some lessons learned from the trip to further development work. There’s still no word on when the upgrade package will be available, or how much it will cost.