For a cool $29,000, Tesla Roadster owners (there are about 2,000 of them out there) can pay to have their hand-built battery packs retrofitted. There's a "few months wait" because Tesla can only retrofit a few battery packs a week, Electrek says, citing comments made by Tesla technology chief JB Straubel.
Tesla, which is taking $5,000 deposits on the packs, says it doesn't make any money on the retrofit. The company adds that the new battery will result in a "slight increase" in weight, and that the old battery modules will be reused or recycled if possible. Take a look at how Tesla is pitching the upgrade here or below.
The good news is that the upgrade increases the Roadster's single-charge range to 340 miles from 245 miles. Of course, those steeped in California geography will point out that the LA to SF trip is a bit longer than that, but Tesla has said it was able to stretch the car's range to make the trip without recharging. We're guessing that Roadster wasn't running the A/C going up the Grapevine or breaking any land speed records.
Tesla first announced the Roadster upgrade around Christmastime 2014 and said at the time that the combination of the upgraded batteries and low-rolling-resistance tires would give the convertible a single-charge range of about 400 miles. Tesla didn't say how much the retrofit would cost at the time.
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.