Owners of the Tesla Roadster may have heard news of a new replacement battery pack that improves the range and capacity, but only now has the price been revealed.
The upgrade – described as ‘fairly exciting by Tesla CEO Elon Musk – improves energy capacity by 35 per cent and increases the maximum range by 40 per cent, taking the total from 245 miles to 400. That’s more than the Tesla Model S.
There are, however, a few things you should know before you open your wallet/purse. For starters, there’s no mention yet as to whether the official upgrade affects your warranty, nor do we know just how much weight the heavier battery pack adds to the Lotus-based car.
To make matters worse, the upgrade makes the Roadster unable to be charged by Tesla’s supercharger network and you need a hefty deposit of US$5,000 to secure it.
Then there’s the waiting list, because each battery upgrade pack is ‘entirely hand built’ and only two to three will be made a week plus the ‘few days’ for the local service team to remove the old pack and install the new one.
So how much for the upgrade, we hear you ask? US$29,000, or about £19,000 (no official UK price yet, mind you). That’s a lot of dough given you could buy a new car for that, but then again the range increase is substantial and big capacity batteries are expensive.
It may be reassuring to know Tesla expects to make zero profit from the upgrade so it’s purely there for those who really love their all-electric Roadster and want to keep it going while we wait for its replacement in 2017.
On the subject of Tesla, deliveries of the Model X sports utility vehicle are expected to begin on the 29th of September. It will be priced US$5,000 more than the Model S because of the size and added complexity, Musk said. A top-spec Signature model will start at US$132,000 (£86,560).
Musk also mentioned on Twitter the affordable Model 3 will cost from US$35,000, confirming previous rumours, with pre-orders starting from March 2016 after its unveiling in the same month.