Lithium-ion battery technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the past few years – and Tesla just packed the state of the art into a Roadster update package that gives the electric vehicle a range of 400 miles and a more aerodynamic profile. The Tesla Roadster is no longer in production, but that doesn’t mean that Tesla has forgotten about its original vehicle, which can now travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco on a single charge.

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The Roadster was originally released in 2008, and since then Tesla has focused most of its attention on the Model S, the upcoming Model X and the Model 3. Tesla is now releasing a new Roadster 3.0 package for the original two-seater that applies what Tesla has learned from the Model S. Tesla says there are three main improvements with the new package.

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The first is an updated battery. Battery cell technology has improved substantially since the Roadster first went into production in 2008. Tesla says that the automaker has identified a new cell that has 31% more energy than the original Roadster cell. Using this new cell Tesla has created a battery pack that delivers roughly 70kWh in the same package as the original battery.

Second, Tesla has created a new aero kit to improve the Roadster’s aerodynamics. The original Roadster had a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.36, but using modern computational methods, Tesla expects to make a 15% reduction in drag, dropping the total Cd down to 0.31. Lastly the 3.0 package adds new tires that have a lower rolling resistance.

All of the improvements will increase the Roadster’s driving range by up to 50 percent. Unfortunately Tesla says that there will not be any updates to the Model S battery pack in the near term.

+ Tesla Motors

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