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G. David Felt
Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer
www.CheersandGears.com

 

Tesla Roadster 3.0 and 400 mile range reality?

 

Tesla gave a late Xmas present to electric advocates on December 26th 2014. Roadster 3.0 was posted covering the following top 3 topics: 1. Batteries, 2. Aerodynamics and 3. Rolling Resistance.

 

Tesla talks about the how their battery from 2008 was revolutionary in the auto industry and while it was good then and up till now for their current S sedan, lithium ion battery advances have pushed them to get 31% more energy from the same size battery pack. This new cell now gives approximately 70k Wh in the original battery package.

Tesla then moves on to talk about their drag coefficient of .36 on current Roadster and how with a new Retrofit aero kit they can drop it to .31 a 15% improvement.

 

The final bit of technology info is how Tesla talks about rolling resistance on the current Roadster which has a 11.0 kg/ton. An upgrade will give a 20% improvement by allowing the Roadster 3.0 to have a Crr of approximately 8.9 kg/ton. With this improvement come additional improvements for residual brake drag and wheel bearing to reduce drag.

This last part is particularly noticeable as anyone who has driven a Chevy Suburban and then gotten into a Cadillac Escalade ESV will notice how much better the Cadillac glides showing that the quality of Bearings, brakes, seals, etc. all can help to reduce drag.

 

Tesla's summary of these improvements is that Roadster 3.0 can achieve an estimates 40-50% improvement on Range over the original Roadster. Tesla goes on to say that they expect to prove this in the early weeks of 2015 with a drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles that is to be non-stop.

 

Tesla finishes up by stating that they will open up for appointments to be made starting Spring of 2015 for existing Roadsters to be upgraded with these 3 major focus points once the battery pack finishes safety validation. They go on to say this will not be the last of the upgrades for existing and new Roadster owners.

 

As of this writing there were 45 comments posted. As expected they are all positive, and yet many also are giving suggestions for powertrain upgrades for performance rather than battery life, reduced weight for better handling or a combination of them. Seems many want their cake and eat it too.

 

This brings up an interesting question, if Tesla is getting ready to release a battery pack that can go 400 miles on a charge, what will Volt 2.0 be for GM or Toyota have for the Prius family of autos?

 

Could we see a change over from gas to electric faster than people have expected?

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Volt will get a 12% bump in range and stronger regenerative braking... that's about it on the electric side of things.  Most of the improvements they can make at this point will be on the regenerator. 

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Volt will get a 12% bump in range and stronger regenerative braking... that's about it on the electric side of things.  Most of the improvements they can make at this point will be on the regenerator. 

That is what I do not get, with all the advancements in battery technology, you would think they would want to step up to trump Tesla as well as get this powertrain into a AWD CUV or at least a FWD CUV.

 

I could see the VOLT having a 120-160 mile range battery pack come in the following format's

 

4 door sedan

5 door hatchback

4 door CUV with lift gate style

4 door CUV with Tilt glass and mini stage coach doors

 

Powertrains being FWD or AWD with choice of gas, Diesel or CNG generator.

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Because this is a Volt refresh (though I'm sure GM will call it all new) rather than an all new car.

 

The innovative thing about the Volt is under the hood, not the battery pack. 

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Isn't .36 cd pretty crappy for 2015? Trans Am was at .29 in 1982.

IMO, this again points to the 95th percentile of automotive design progress that we are in.

Yes I would agree that for Tesla Roadster, the original .36 was pretty crappy. So be interesting to see what the new roadster looks like. Course that Trans Am was also fully enclosed compared to the open air Roadster from Tesla which is what this .36 is for. So I guess a .31 for the new Roadster 3.0 removable roof version is pretty good then.

Because this is a Volt refresh (though I'm sure GM will call it all new) rather than an all new car.

 

The innovative thing about the Volt is under the hood, not the battery pack. 

I agree that under the hood is important but then GM needs to be setting the standards rather than just following or doing mid level. I would think using the existing battery design and updating the cell design to maximize the Lithium battery packs for range would be a huge win for them in the eyes of the public.

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GM is putting a lot of money into battery research... it's just not ready yet for 2016..... 

 

Keep in mind that neither is Tesla's.... Elon has a habit of making promises for release dates and then they get pushed back by a year or 3.  Until the first 3.0 battery back is installed in a paying customer's car and proven the claims true, Tesla has not actually delivered on its promise.

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Solid Point made Drew, Elon does have a habit of slipping dates.

 

Hopefully GM will do a mid year refresh of battery pack when they do have newer better batteries ready that push the length of driving.

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Isn't .36 cd pretty crappy for 2015? Trans Am was at .29 in 1982.

IMO, this again points to the 95th percentile of automotive design progress that we are in.

Yes I would agree that for Tesla Roadster, the original .36 was pretty crappy. So be interesting to see what the new roadster looks like. Course that Trans Am was also fully enclosed compared to the open air Roadster from Tesla which is what this .36 is for. So I guess a .31 for the new Roadster 3.0 removable roof version is pretty good then.

Most of the pics I see on Google show a lid/roof panel, assumedly the released number is with that in place. Guess the 'formal' rear glass is killing the flow, tho the windshield looks rather upright, also. Just surprised to hear it's where it is.

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Isn't .36 cd pretty crappy for 2015? Trans Am was at .29 in 1982.

IMO, this again points to the 95th percentile of automotive design progress that we are in.

Yes I would agree that for Tesla Roadster, the original .36 was pretty crappy. So be interesting to see what the new roadster looks like. Course that Trans Am was also fully enclosed compared to the open air Roadster from Tesla which is what this .36 is for. So I guess a .31 for the new Roadster 3.0 removable roof version is pretty good then.

Most of the pics I see on Google show a lid/roof panel, assumedly the released number is with that in place. Guess the 'formal' rear glass is killing the flow, tho the windshield looks rather upright, also. Just surprised to hear it's where it is.

 

Makes one wonder if that upright windshield will change with the retro kits for the Roadster 1.0 and 2.0 versions when they release the upgrade kits and start producing 3.0 version cars.

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Isn't .36 cd pretty crappy for 2015? Trans Am was at .29 in 1982.

IMO, this again points to the 95th percentile of automotive design progress that we are in.

Yes I would agree that for Tesla Roadster, the original .36 was pretty crappy. So be interesting to see what the new roadster looks like. Course that Trans Am was also fully enclosed compared to the open air Roadster from Tesla which is what this .36 is for. So I guess a .31 for the new Roadster 3.0 removable roof version is pretty good then.

Most of the pics I see on Google show a lid/roof panel, assumedly the released number is with that in place. Guess the 'formal' rear glass is killing the flow, tho the windshield looks rather upright, also. Just surprised to hear it's where it is.

 

Makes one wonder if that upright windshield will change with the retro kits for the Roadster 1.0 and 2.0 versions when they release the upgrade kits and start producing 3.0 version cars.

 

 

Windshield angles are one of the few things you really can't change on a car as a factory thing.  Most likely, they're changing the front and rear clip in some fashion.

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