The Tesla Roadster seemed like such a valiant effort to many electric car enthusiasts just a few years ago, but even Elon Musk recently admitted the design was flawed in so many ways. Rather than just let the mistakes of the past go, Tesla Motors is actually looking to rework the Roadster and show that the car can be a relevant contender in the marketplace.
The automaker is looking to swap the old battery for a new one, boosting the Roadster’s performance. The information was first supplied by Elon Musk during an interview with Auto Express, which is a British automotive magazine. Musk stated that the new battery would allow Roadster drivers to drive further between charges. Considering that Top Gear had plenty of fun at Tesla’s expense when it came to the laughably limited range of the Roadster, such a move just might redeem the sports car.
According to the U.S. EPA, the Roadster originally had a range rated at 245 miles. With the new battery, that should change to about 400 miles, according to Musk. Of course, how hard you drive the car as well as some other practices and environmental factors will affect that range.
Right now, the plan consists of a few simple sentences. Tesla Motors has not confirmed that the replacement batteries are being readied, and Musk said nothing about a timetable or pricing.
This isn’t the first time a car company has offered to upgrade an electric model. Nissan just launched a program to update the older batteries in Leaf models with newer tech, which costs $5,500. With electric cars catching on more, such retrofitting could become a normal practice in the automotive industry, helping owners breathe new life into their older vehicles.
About 2,500 Tesla Roadsters were sold, which shouldn’t put too much strain on Tesla to manufacture replacement batteries for a portion of them, once the famous Gigafactory is up and running.