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.

Battery breakthrough could bring electric cars to all

A startup called Envia Systems that’s been working on lithium ion battery technology says it’s developed a key breakthrough that could one day lead to an electric car that has a 300-mile range and could cost around $25,000 to $30,000.

The case of the Tesla “brick”

A few early Roadsters that have been left without a charge for an extended period of time, have turned into so-called “bricks.” Here’s what Tesla has to say about it:

Tesla scores electric Mercedes-Benz deal

Tesla (s TSLA) reported fourth quarter and full year earnings on Wednesday and in its shareholder’s letter revealed that it has started a development program with Daimler to build a new electric Mercedes-Benz vehicle with a Tesla powertrain.

Tesla says reservations of Model X have hit $40M worth of cars

Tesla’s flashy unveiling of its Model X electric SUV/minivan last week looks like it’s paid off in reservations. The car company announced on Tuesday that just a day after the launch, Tesla had accumulated reservations for more than $40 million worth of Model X sales.

Why Tesla’s Model X electric SUV is important

Tesla’s unveiling of the Model X, an SUV-minivan electric car, this week signals to the world that the electric car can truly go mainstream despite the current difficulties in the EV market. A minivan — the world’s least cool car — just got hip, green, and sporty.

Tesla Model X launch party photos

Following the sneak preview of Tesla’s third electric car the Model X, an SUV/minivan combo, on Thursday, Tesla threw a party where it officially unveiled the car and invited a thousand or so guests to celebrate the launch. Here’s our pics from the event:

Hands-on video with Tesla’s electric Model X

We took GigaOM TV’s Green Overdrive show down Tesla’s sneak preview of its Model X, electric SUV/minivan launch, and got this first hands-on video with the car and an interview with Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. Check it out:

The first photos of Tesla’s electric SUV the Model X

At a sneak preview in Hawthorne, Calif. on Thursday, electric car maker Tesla unveiled its third car, an all-electric SUV called the Model X, for the first time to the public. And yep, true to speculation it’s got so-called “falcon wing” doors.