In August 2014, Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked about "a fairly exciting upgrade" (i.e., an improved battery pack) to the company's first car, the Lotus-based Roadster. Today, we can finally put a price tag on what it'll cost you to give your aging all-electric sports car around 35-percent more energy capacity and around 40-percent more range. In short, getting the new, roughly 70-kWh pack will set you back $29,000. Be warned: The new pack is heavier than the older one.

In April, Musk said that the new Roadster battery would likely be available by August. Well, that didn't happen, but you can at least now reserve your new pack for $5,000. Tesla says the cost is so high (higher per kWh than the Model S pack) because it has to build these by hand and then just two or three a week. Add in the time and cost to replace the pack and the power electronics, and you can see why this upgrade costs a bit more than a purchase from the App Store. Tesla says it does not expect to make money at this price point and it not talking about any warranty for the new battery.

It may still be worth it, to the right Roadster drivers. The Roadster originally came with a 245-mile range, and the idea of now driving for 400 miles will certainly appeal to some. There are posts on the Tesla Motors Club forum from people who say they're already dropped their $5,000, even though this upgrade will not make the Roadster compatible with Tesla's Supercharger network. There's also no option to order a lighter pack with less energy capacity. All we've got is what Tesla says about the battery in the announcement below.
Show full PR text
Upgrade your Roadster to a battery that stores roughly 40% more energy than the original battery. There is a slight increase in the battery weight but the total range increases over 35% from the original Roadster.

The price of the battery upgrade is $29,000, including all labor and logistics, which is equal to Tesla's expected cost. It is not our intention to make a profit on the battery pack. The reason the cost per kWh is higher than a Model S battery is due to the almost entirely hand-built, low-volume (only 2 or 3 per week) nature of Roadster battery packs. It also includes additional work to remove, upgrade, and reinstall the power electronics module (PEM.)


All removed battery modules will be fully recycled or reused if possible, and we will reuse many other components from the old battery. Batteries are currently being upgraded in Fremont, CA and we will need sufficient time when scheduling your service to ship and pre-position the needed parts to your local service center. Depending on local service team workload the upgrade will only take a few days once the parts are in place.

Deposit & timing
A $5,000 deposit is required to reserve your upgrade with the balance due upon installation. Place your order today and you'll be contacted to schedule an installation appointment as inventory becomes available.


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