Tesla Roadster Survey Examines Long-Term Wear and Tear

By · January 22, 2013

Tesla Roadster

A new survey conducted by Plug in America is looking at any long-term issues which might affect the range and performance of the sporty Tesla Roadster.

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.”


· · 3 years ago

Well I don't have 3 EV's like Tom Saxton, but I do have 2. My 2011 Roadster 2.5 has 20,000 miles on it and the battery seems to be holding up. The resale value is down to half what I've paid for it, so I'm going to keep it until 3 yrs at least when the warranty runs out. Send me the Survey Tom and I'll fill it out.

· · 3 years ago

Roadster owners are invited to add their experience to the survey here: http://www.pluginamerica.org/surveys/batteries/tesla-roadster/survey.php

· · 3 years ago

I am new to this discussion. As of yesterday I now own a 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport. I My vehicle has 15,500 miles but I bought it from the dealership and it comes with the standard 37 month/37,000 miles. I am a bit bothered by resale value falling by half in 2 years (is that really right?) but I wanted to make a statement and go electric. I don't plan to drive long distance (I have other cars) so range is not an issue. I live in Orange Count, CA so LA and back might be the furthest and that's 100 or so miles, shouldn't be an issue. I am curious to how everyone feels about their car.

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