Tesla Roadster battery upgrade costs $29,000
The new battery will increase range by 35 percent, however there is a slight weight penalty.
Tesla Roadster owners will soon get a chance to drive a bit further on a single charge, but the upgrade comes at a price.
The company has confirmed that its 'Roadster 3.0' battery package will fetch $29,000, providing 40 percent more energy storage capacity and a range increase of over 35 percent. The existing battery provides 245 miles of range, so the new pack should be good for at least 330 EPA-estimated miles. Initial announcements pointed to a potential range of approximately 400 miles, presumably in ideal conditions.
It is unclear if the modified cars will maintain the same performance figures, as the retrofit brings a "slight increase in battery weight." The Roadster is already 700 pounds heavier than a Lotus Elise, though the Sport edition can reach 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds.
"It is not our intention to make a profit on the battery pack," Tesla said in a statement. "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."
Notably, the comments suggest Tesla's cost for the replacement pack, even at low production volumes, equates to approximately $370 per kWh. Most EV makers do not disclose battery prices, but the figures appear to corroborate studies suggesting lithium-ion costs have fallen dramatically from well over $1,000 per kWh to less than $300 per kWh in less than a decade. Tesla plans to further reduce costs via its $5 billion Gigafactory battery plant, scheduled to begin production ahead of the mass-market Model 3's arrival.
In the meantime, Roadster owners can place a $5,000 deposit for the 3.0 retrofit. The swaps are expected to begin this month.