Coming in 2015: A better Tesla Roadster

Tesla’s first electric car, the Roadster, might have been a pioneer back when it was launched in 2008, but it was also a flawed beast and was produced in limited numbers (about 2,500) for a reason. The car was built on a Lotus body and used a third party powertrain from AC Propulsion, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that in hindsight the company should have just built an original car from the ground up, like they did with its second car, the Model S.

But now Tesla is rewarding its early Roadster customers (who were pretty patient with Tesla waiting through many delays) with some of what it’s learned while making the Model S. The day after Christmas, Tesla announced via a blog post that it will be upgrading the Roadsters out there with new batteries that have 30 percent more energy than the older Roadster batteries, new software upgrades to lower the car’s drag coefficient and more efficient tires.

Here Comes the Fluff: Tesla's Roadster 2.5!

Altogether the upgrades will be able to deliver the “Roadster 3.0” a 40 to 50 percent boost to its range over the original Roadster, which was around 200 miles. Tesla said under some very specific driving conditions it can push Roadster 3.0 up to a 400 mile range. Tesla said it will be taking appointments to do the upgrade in the Spring of 2015.

This isn’t the first time that Tesla has upgraded the Roadster. The company launched the Roadster 2.5 in 2010 (two years after the first version of the Roadster), which had some nicer features like a new front fascia, more comfortable seats, a touchscreen navigation system and better air conditioning. Checkout my test drive of the Roadster 2.5 back then.

We’re wondering if Tesla still plans to launch a totally new Roadster design, using a newly designed body, like the company has been reportedly planning to do. Obviously that’s not coming in 2014, like previous reports suggested. Tesla has a lot on its plate getting the delayed Model X out there door, and working hard designing the Model 3, its lower cost, third car.

Tough six months ahead for Tesla

Electric car maker Tesla Motors faces one of the toughest times in its history in the fourth quarter of this year. The company’s got to ramp up production of its Model S to be able to deliver thousands of the cars, and make no mistakes.

Tesla needs to gear up to meet Model S shipment goal

Tesla Motors needs to make a profit and is counting on the Model S to get it there. The electric car company began shipping the sedan last month, and it has collected about Model S 12,200 reservations now, compared with roughly 11,500 by the end of June.

Fisker won’t ramp up production of Karma until Q2 2012

Electric vehicle startup Fisker Automotive has dramatically scaled back production plans of its first car, the Karma, in the fourth quarter of 2011, and it won’t ramp up to full production until the second quarter of 2012.

Tesla’s Roadster to return in 2014

Electric car maker Tesla will soon stop manufacturing its inaugural car the Roadster. But now, according to reports, Tesla plans to bring back the Roadster in 2014 based on a new platform — likely a tweaked version of the Model S.

Tesla to build 100 more Roadsters to meet demand

By now, you’ve probably heard that Tesla is ending its run with its inaugural car the Roadster. But Tesla has also quietly entered into a deal to buy another 100 gliders from Lotus to produce the Roadster.

PHOTOS: New Pics of Tesla’s Model S

While we brought you photos of Tesla’s Model S alpha cars from its head quarters in March, Tesla just put up some new photos of what looks like a more production-ready version of the Model S. What do you think?

Don’t Forget: Tesla Is Moving Into A Difficult Financial Period

While it’s good news for Tesla that it will have $234 million to develop its third electric car the Model X, the funding underscores how Tesla will be transitioning into a period where the company will be generating a lot less revenue for several months.