2013 Tesla Model S P85 D, Photo by: dragtimes.com

The Tesla Model S is the only electric vehicle I would buy with my own money. If I could, I would even stretch for the P85 D package, which produces a claimed 691 hp, is capable of blasting to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and can seat seven without using a hint of fuel. While I would be blasting down 95 at its top speed of 155 mpg, it would hit me – do I have enough range to get back home?

Unfortunately, no.

You see, the Model S has a range of 250 miles and that’s with the P85 D model. The 60 kWh model only has a range of 208 miles. And that’s my major problem with electric vehicles. We become dependent on an electrical cord instead of a fuel pump and I don’t think it’s that good of a trade. Some may say that 208 miles on one tank is more than enough and I’m on the fence with that.

For driving around town, impressing your friends, or the daily commute to work, yeah a range of 200 miles would work. But after paying $75,000 for a car, do you really want to be told that you can’t do it all?


2008 Tesla Roadster, Photo by: motortrend.com

I don’t. And that’s where the 3.0 upgrade for the Tesla Roadster comes in handy.

The original Tesla Roadster was produced from 2008-2012. To put it kindly, the Roadster was a flop. It had the looks of a Lotus Elise, could get to 60 mpg in less than four seconds and didn’t suck down dinosaur bones. It should’ve been the greatest thing under the sun, but it had one major flaw – it couldn’t go 200 miles on one tank.

Like most electric cars, you have to drive in a specific manner to get the vehicle’s full range and even then, there’s a chance that you won’t get to your destination. Not good for a car that cost $109,000. However, it would appear as if Tesla has come out with an upgrade to give the Roadster a range of 400 miles.

According to a recent blog post on the Tesla website, three upgrades helped the Roadster to achieve the 50 percent increase in range:

  • Batteries
  • Aerodynamics
  • Rolling resistance

2011 Tesla Roadster, Photo by: edmunds.com

I won’t get into the nitty gritty details about how Tesla did this, but a quick recap is – they increased the batter output to 70 kWh, reduced the drag coefficient (Cd) to 0.31 and reduced the rolling resistance coefficient (Crr) to 8.9 kg/ton (an improvement of 20 percent).

It’s hard to believe that all of that has increased the range by 50 percent, but Tesla is adamant that this is the case and have set up a demonstration of this by driving the car from San Francisco to Los Angeles nonstop in January.

If the Roadster were able to complete the 400-mile journey without stopping, it would solidify the reality of electric vehicles as alternatives to fuel. Going 400 miles in a gasoline-powered car is difficult, so having an electric car that can do that is impressive.

The bigger question is: if you could have an electric car that could go just as far as your current one without stopping, wouldn’t you buy it?

Sure, you’d have to stop for a longer period of time to recharge, drive in a calm, collected manner and plan out a longer trip better, but it would be worth it. Yes, you’re trading one type of fuel for another, but it might be better for the world and cars as well.

Times are changing and cars are too. If Tesla really can get the Roadster to go 400 miles on one charge, it’ll mark the beginning of the end for gasoline-powered cars as other automakers scramble to catch up. If Tesla completes the nonstop journey, I may switch forces to the good side and become a pro-electric automotive enthusiast.


2011 Tesla Roadster Sport, Photo by: greencarreports.com