Tesla Roadster Survey Examines Long-Term Wear and Tear
The Tesla Roadster may no longer be in production but the high performance EV still has plenty of juice left in it – or at least, that’s what an ongoing owner survey is trying to determine. Electric advocacy group, Plug In America, is turning its attention to Tesla Roadster owners and asking whether or not this cutting-edge sports car’s battery pack and charge rates are performing as expected. The study is part of a larger look into the long-term performance of electric vehicles and any factors that might contribute to a loss of charge or overall capacity. A similar survey was conducted by Plug In America when Nissan LEAF owners living in hot climates reported greater than expected battery drains and loss of charge capacity.
Fine-tuned for Tesla
Tom Saxton, who is leading the Tesla survey, is himself a Roadster owner and counts two other EVs in his entirely electric garage. The point of the study is not simply to boost EV awareness, says Saxton, or weigh the pros and cons of electric vehicle ownership. “I think just like gas car owners, EV owners are very interested in what maintenance costs might be. I’m trying to see what’s happening out there…not dig up dirt,” Saxton explained. “The primary goal of this survey is to serve the [Tesla] Roadster community.” While parallels will not necessarily be drawn to every EV currently on the market, Saxton does thinks the Roadster study would “prove very interesting” to people considering, say, a Tesla Model S sedan.
Part of the study’s key focal points relate to how battery pack degradation compares to Tesla’s original estimates, which projected that the Roadster’s battery pack would maintain 70 to 80-percent of its original capacity after 7 years or 100,000 miles. “What we’re experiencing fits that model,” said Saxton. Discovering any differences in powertrain performance between various generations of Tesla Roadster (versions 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5) is another key aspect of the survey. And as Saxton pointed out in his overall summary, the information learned can then help Roadster owners determine what future maintenance costs might be – especially as factory warranties begin to expire.
At the time of our interview, Saxton said approximately 30 Roadster owners had taken the survey and given their feedback. Ideally, he’d like the number of participants to be closer to 100. “That would be about 2-percent of the Roadster community, which would be great.”
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