Owners of Tesla’s first car, the Roadster, will soon have the opportunity to upgrade their battery packs.
The Tesla Roadster was launched in 2008 and was based on a Lotus Elise chassis. Currently, the Roadster’s battery gives it a range of 245 miles, but Tesla boss Elon Musk claims the new packs will dramatically increase that.
He told Auto Express, “The Roadster had an old generation battery. We’ll upgrade it to a new generation battery pack and it should have a range of about 400 miles, which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop.”
While this is exciting news for Roadster owners, it also gives an interesting insight as to the possible future of the automobile.
Traditionally, Automakers never retrofit a new powertrain to an older car for the sole purpose of improving your experience. When was the last time you received a recall notice for your car offering to nearly double how far you can go on one fill-up?
Because battery-electric vehicles are engineered relatively simple as compared to today’s internal combustion engines, we may see similar upgrades more in the future.
Indeed, in June Nissan announced that they would offer replacement battery packs using the latest technologies for the Leaf – and for just $5,500.
Whereas current gas and diesel powered cars use an engine block with a magnitude of working pieces and a multi-speed transmission, battery-electric cars utilize an electric motor with one working part, a single speed transmission, and the battery pack.
Battery packs are designed to be removable, so as long as the newer, more advanced battery fits the same space and connections, a swap (in theory) would be rather straightforward.
What do you think about Tesla’s planned Roadster upgrade? Does this excite you about future possibilities?