$29 K Upgrade or buy a Prius: Upgrade fails @ 400 mile range & Roadster charging @ Super Charger Station

$29 K Upgrade or buy a Prius: Upgrade fails @ 400 mile range & Roadster charging @ Super Charger Station

With all the hype about supercharging stations being installed nation wide for the Model S, there are no plans to include a charging outlet( HP 70A or Nema 14-50A ) for the Tesla Roadster owners at the supercharging stations.
In Texas I understand there will be supercharging stations installed between Austin,Dallas and Houston for the Model S.
I presently will have to rely on the Level 2 or Level 1 stations installed by Blinks,Chargepoint and others, which will make any travel experience unpredictable.

Elon and Tesla should continue to support the Roadster owners who supported Tesla from the beginning.

At the present all the attention is on the Model S.

In the beginnig Tesla installed chargers along the west coast for Roasters with the promise of more to come, that has now taken a back seat to the Model S rollout

The cost to include charging outlets for Roadsters at the supercharging stations nationwide would be a minimal amount to Tesla but a huge statement as to Tesla's intention to support its customer base and the charging needs of all the Tesla owner family members.


bent | September 13, 2013

The PEM presumably just converts battery DC into 3-phase AC for the motor (and back) and so wouldn't be involved in DC-to-DC charging of the battery. The on-board chargers presumably convert grid 1-phase AC into battery DC and so also wouldn't be useful for this.

External DC would need to basically bypass all of this and go straight to the battery, just like on the Model S. This would probably require some changes to the circuitry immediately after the connector car-side to route it to either the on-board AC charger, or else to the battery, depending on what it's being fed. The battery pack may or may not be prepared to receive such DC, likely it would have to piggyback on the existing DC regen delivery from the PEM which would then need some additional circuitry for switching between the two. Then they would need to develop the software for externally controlling the DC charge process to avoid damaging the cells etc.

And even after all of this the Roadster battery may have strict limitations on how much power it can handle and not reach anywhere near the 90/120kW charging of the Model S. Of course even just 20kW would be better than most alternatives so …

Brian H | September 14, 2013

I think the surprise is rollout of HPCs at SC sites.

PatT | September 14, 2013

Yes. The HPCs would deliver 16.8 KW and there would not need to be any changes made to the roadster. 90 minutes of that would get you more than 100 more miles -- closer to 120 if you keep your speed down to 60 MPH.

The question is, "Why hasn't TM installed them at the Supercharger sites?" It would be an insignificant additional cost.

scotty2540 | September 16, 2013

Yes. To Pat and Richard and others.

And I made the point to a news reporter.

Although he used a red car in the photo, not my blue one :-)

Brian H | September 17, 2013

Maybe PhotoAltered the color? :D

richardean412 | September 17, 2013

Elon Musk stated in an article by NBC News Business(see link) that road trip designed to " Debunk Range Anxiety " of Tesla owners.

As a Tesla Roadster owner this road trip will not Debunk Range Anxiety for me or any of the 2150 Tesla Roadster owners, who are not able to charge at the SuperCharger Stations nationwide or world wide.

We all read a similar article back when we were the perspective buyers of the Tesla Roadsters in 2008 - 2012.
How Tesla Motors intended to establish HPC 70 AMP charging ststions accross the nation so we would have the FREEDOM to Travel without concerns of charging our roadsters
Well it happened in California and ended in that area.
Now we are once again excluded from charging our Roadsters at any of the SuperCharger Stations presently being installed WITHOUT a simple HPC 70 AMP connection or any justified reason of WHY NOT from Tesla reps. or what a Tesla Roadster owner may expect in the future to eliminate this charging issue.
As roadster owners, who love their Roadsters and wish to have the same Freedom to travel, we need to reach out on Twitter, Facebook
and even U-Tube and support our rights to travel in our Roadsters, just as the Model S owners, who have the Freedom to Travel without Range Anxiety using the SuperCharger Stations with accomodations made for the Roadster.


richardean412 | September 17, 2013

Go to then Business section and search Tesla for news article on Tesla founder Debunks Range Anxiety.

Link above expired.

Earl and Nagin ... | September 17, 2013

I don't recall anyone at Tesla ever stating any intention to install charging stations across the US for the Roadster and I've been close to Tesla since the original Santa Monica rollout. Can you site a reference to this stated intention?
The charging stations along highway 101 in CA were put there through a state grant. Tesla was the contractor hired by the state to do the installation. The only public 70 Amp Roadster charger that Tesla installed was the one at the Barstow Station. If I recall correctly its position was beneficial to Tesla personnel in LA to bring Roadsters to Las Vegas events.
I, too, being a Roadster driver, would much prefer that Tesla had put in at least a 14-50 at their Supercharger sites but I don't feel we are entitled to such a thing.

scotty2540 | September 19, 2013

My brother in law, who is rather insightful, pointed out:

DC over AC? I guess Edison finally beat Tesla after all!

We can't let that happen! We need AC HPC's at the charge stations for us Roadsters!!

bobinfla | September 19, 2013

At the risk of being tarred & feathered, One thing I haven't heard mentioned is that Tesla doesn't own these locations, so they don't have carte blanche to do whatever they want. I don't know how the contracts work for a business to give 8 parking spaces for Tesla to put in their SuperChargers, but I'm sure the selling point is the thousands of Model S's out there, and thousands more every month, who will come to charge and be potential customers. That same selling point doesn't exist for the Roadsters, there are not enough of them out there for a business to turn over their parking spot for that use. So part of this may be completely out of Tesla's control.

I hear the tar bubbling, so let me say that I do believe that Tesla needs to live up to it's promises, though I wasn't involved back then so I don't know what was actually promised. HPC at every SuperCharger may not be feasible, but there are other solutions that could work. For the cost of one supercharger station, they could procure and donate several hundred HPCs to those willing to install them along convenient highway locations. The goodwill of each generation of owners is what helps provide for the next generations of owners, because none of us wants to be left behind. Imagine Gen III coming out with new and improved capabilities and all but one station at each SuperCharger got converted to that new standard, leaving a line of 10 Model S's in line for that one antique that they can use. Wouldn't bode well for Gen Iv. So I want to see the Roadster owners taken care of, I just don't think colocation with the Superchargers is as viable or easy as some here think.

richardean412 | September 19, 2013

If one goes to SuperChargers on the Tesla web pg. the info indicates that Tesla is installing the SuperChargers and the Model S charge FREE for the life of ownership if one buys the Model S with the Supercharge pkg. at time of purchase on the 85KWH model or on the 60KWH model the buyer can add the supercharger pkg. at time of purchase for $2000.00 or after purchase for $2500.00.
This allows one to use SuperCharger for free nationwide or in other countries where located.
There are 4 to 10 stalls, some with canopies that are equiped with solar panels and from what I read equiped with the J1772 plug which may be the standard,noy sure since I do not own a Model S.
Check out the Supercharger link on Tesla web site, it will answer all UR questions about supercharging.
Let me also state that Angie Muscat of Tesla Motors Wednesday evening at approx.6PM,Central time called and stated Tesla hears our concerns and that consideration for Roadsters & charging is discussed.
Thanks for UR comments on the subject.

bent | September 20, 2013

bobinfla wrote
"That same selling point doesn't exist for the Roadsters, there are not enough of them out there for a business to turn over their parking spot for that use. So part of this may be completely out of Tesla's control."

It wouldn't be necessary to have reserved spots for Roadsters, in fact it would be overkill to have them. What they could do is put HPCs on one or two of the reserved super charger spots and the Roadsters would charge there. This would occupy a Model S spot for the duration.

scotty2540 | September 30, 2013

Attended 'National Plugin Day' last weekend. Had a good turnout, where we got to show up the leaves, volts, and other inferior vehicles.

Attracted a lot of attention to Tesla.

I also took the opportunity to point out that the wonderful new Waco charging station didn't serve us Roadsters.

Brian H | September 30, 2013

The plural of leaf is leaves. The plural of Leaf is Leafs. Go figure.

richardean412 | October 3, 2013

Hi Scotty2541,
Sounds as though U had a good time at the National Plug-IN day and a productive one.

Its my understanding that the Dallas Business Journal reporter was in attendance and that another article is forthcoming on the subject of Roadsters not being able to charge at the SuperCharger Stations, is that true and did U have an opportunity to visit with him on the subject ?
Also its a shame that individuals commenting on this site cannot keep on the subject matter and have to resort to "spell check "
in order to make a statement.

Scott M | November 28, 2013

I spoke to the SW Regional Sales Manager for Tesla a couple of months ago. He is a really nice guy, and very positive, like most Tesla employees. I told him that I felt they had abandon Roadster owners because we could not participate in supercharging. Roadster owners were the ones who bought the cars when Tesla was on the verge of being another Fisker. We had faith, and took a risk, and our faith has been betrayed. He said there were not enough Roadsters to make it feasible. I said the least they could do is put an HPC at the SC stations. I understand the Super Chargers cost $200,000 each. It would probably cost about $5,000, at most, to put in a HPC. I understand that it is expensive to invest in building the retrofit for Roadsters to supercharge when there are only 2100-2500 of us, but, at least, give us an HPC at the SC stations. After the company has begun to make a profit, and when Roadster owners have started to replace their batteries, it would be nice to have a Supercharger option on the new battery pack, as a tribute to those who supported the company when most people wouldn't.

Brian H | November 28, 2013

And a free tear-down and rebuild of the body and electrical system to install heavy duty wiring.

RonaldA | February 7, 2014

I agree 100% why are roadster owners being ignored? putting one hpc at each super charging station would be minimal expense and show support for those of us that purchased roadsters.


Bgrenell | February 15, 2014

I go to KOA for my 70 amp 220V charging on road trips. Perhaps Tesla could partner with them, and let KOA put one campsite at every supercharger location.....

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Brian H | February 18, 2014

Kuehl is bipolar. Lithium?

scotty2540 | March 27, 2014

Attended another event today. For alternative energy for vehicles.

I got to talk to the local NBC reported about the fact that we 'trail blazers' and being left behind at the super charging stations.

All those bays, and they could have added one little HPC plug for us. Oh well...

I will continue to bring this up. They said there was a 'special' something for Roadster owners, but I haven't heard anything yet.

mcgov51 | April 14, 2014

I am not an owner but just a 110% enthusiast. I may not ever be in a position to buy but that does not keep me from dreaming.

I have read this entire thread and my final thought is . . .
Over there in England where all electric Formula 1 race cars are being developed . . . they charge their race car wirelessly.

Why cant all Tesla cars be charged this way? . . . no physical
$ 1,000 adapter or heavy cables. You position the car over the pad and it charges. The wireless RX that could be built into the car from the factory communicates with the charging facility TX and that should be it? From that handshake between your car' RX and the facility TX the proper max. amount and form of electrical current (AC/DC) is applied, monitored and controlled by the puter ?

mcgov51 | April 14, 2014

At home in your garage you could have a TX wireless pad specifically for your car model only.

grega | April 15, 2014

You'd be trading a $1000 adaptor and heavy cables for a $5000 pad and on car receptor, wouldn't you?

mark.perrin1 | May 17, 2014

I have just put down deposit on one of these. I am based in the UK. Where is the best place to charge the roadster? Its disgusting that Tesla won't allow charging at their stations. Had i realised this i might not have jumped in.

Earl and Nagin ... | May 17, 2014

I've never had problems charging at a Tesla station -- if the station was Roadster compatible. Unfortunately most aren't.
Remember that the Roadster was the first on the market and Tesla chose to move forward with better technology rather than be saddled with supporting the legacy Roadsters. As a Roadster driver, I don't like it but, as a TSLA shareholder, its definitely the right move. They made up for it with us original Roadster owners by giving us directed shares at the TSLA IPO. I realize that you didn't not benefit from this but you do benefit by knowing you have a great car that is very likely to appreciate significantly in value in the future because it was the original.

Brian H | May 17, 2014

What Roadsters can't do is use DC charging. They can handle up to about 70A AC power. Far in excess of non-Tesla models.

Dr. Bob Reinke | May 26, 2014

We gave ours to the grandkids because much of our travels exceed 300 mi, and Supercharging is necessary. Charging at campgrounds is a bit of a hassel. They drive the roadster to school and charge at home, so it works perfectly for them.

frankviaje | May 27, 2014

I hope Elon is able to do something for the Roadster owners. But this really sounds like whining. Has Tesla failed to live up to its bargain with Roadster owners? Let's fast forward four years and imagine Tesla has invented some great new charging solution for GENIII. Should I be begging Tesla to implement that solution for my MS? No. My MS will have most of the funtionality it had when I happily purchased it, and Tesla will only owe me that functionality.

frankviaje | May 27, 2014

I hope Elon is able to do something for the Roadster owners. But this really sounds like whining. Has Tesla failed to live up to its bargain with Roadster owners? Let's fast forward four years and imagine Tesla has invented some great new charging solution for GENIII. Should I be begging Tesla to implement that solution for my MS? No. My MS will have most of the functionality it had when I happily purchased it, and Tesla will only owe me that functionality.

bent | May 28, 2014

It's not that they don't provide supercharging for Roadsters; this would clearly require a lot of R&D, and physical refits on the vehicles. Not likely to happen anytime soon.

The problem is they don't even provide regular charging for Roadsters. If there had been a high amp power socket or preferably an HPC in conjunction with each super charger then that would basically have covered it.

Gilles Concordel | May 29, 2014

Hey, for those of you folks that live in Europe, let me run an idea by you. Folks from the US, sorry...

To charge my Roadster, I have a type-2 cable that allows me to charge in EVSE's that have a type 2 socket. However I cannot use stations that have a cable permanently attached to them because... well because one cannot attach a type-2 cable to another type-2 cable...

One idea I would like to offer to the European Roadster owner community is the following:

Given that Europe has adopted type-2 as a standard, could we collectively lobby Tesla Europe and push them to develop a modification to our cars that would turn this awkward/heavy/expensive connector/socket that's on the side of the car into a type-2 inlet-socket just like what they did on the Model S? I suspect most of us would consider paying even 2000 dollars to have our cars modified if it's done by Tesla. And this mod shouldn't need electronics since there already is a Roadster-type-2 cable...

The benefits would be the following:

- Ability to use whatever type-2 cable instead of depending on an expensive type-2-to-Roadster cable that can be stolen or damaged anytime

- Possibility to charge at stations that have a cable attached. I see that in particular stations that can offer 63A/43kW typically have the cable attached. Indeed, wouldn't you like to charge twice as fast at one of these? We saw a couple in Bordeaux last weekend and these got us drooling... Mind you, we wouldn't get the whole 43 kW because we would only use one phase, but heck, 14 kW ain't too shoddy, is it? We are talking about north of 70 km of autonomy gained per hour of charge...

Given that there are over 1000 Roadsters in Europe, Tesla should be able to recoop their investment in no time. Indeed, I am sure many of us would go for this in a minute...

What do you think? Is this something we could push? Would you support this? How should we go about making this happen? I know precious little about these forums and how to use them but some of you might...

I venture that, given that Type-2 has become the European standard, Tesla wouldn't have too hard a time in getting this mod approved by the European homologation body...



TeoTeslaFan | June 3, 2014

Today Elon Musk said there is going to be a fairly exciting upgrade before the end of this year. I think it might be supercharger capability.

Brian H | June 8, 2014

Long denied. Requires rewiring the whole car and battery.

DonS | June 30, 2014

It would not require a huge redesign to incorporate a DC bypass and communication protocol between the car and a Supercharger. Brian's comment of "rewiring the whole car and battery" likely pertains to the existing 17kW of the AC charging. I cannot see the Roadster ever charging at 90kW, but 20kW might be possible and that is way better than the typical 6kW J1772 charger.

Brian H | July 1, 2014

The Roadster has no DC wiring, except from the internal AC charger to the battery. Complete rewiring.

americazsads | July 7, 2014

As Brian H said, Elon did promise a nice surprise for Roadster owners in 2014 when he was at the Teslive conference put on by the Tesla Motors Club.

bent | July 7, 2014

I think we're all going to get a complimentary Model X for use on the longer trips.

Brian H | July 10, 2014

A Roadster driver would get lost inside a Model X.

mark77a | July 11, 2014

In the UK there IS an easy solution to charge roadsters at 60Amps at most motorway service stations using the ecotricity rapid chargers.

It just involves the correct adapters, and it costs about £500 here is a thread that explains: | July 16, 2014

"but Tesla boss Elon Musk is planning an upgrade for owners that will see that range increase to about 400 miles.

“The Roadster had an old generation battery,” he told us. “We’ll upgrade it to a new generation battery pack and it should have a range of about 400 miles, which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop.”

That sounds pretty cool.

cochise | July 18, 2014

Will the new generation battery pack on the roadster be able to use the supercharger? Would be nice.

Brian H | July 19, 2014

Wiring able to handle 100kW DC is a separate issue. I suspect not.

HowardR | July 28, 2014

I would be happier with less range (keep it at the present 240miles in range mode) but put in a new piece of electronics to bypass the PEM to supercharge... that would have greater utility. By replacing the cells but keepingthe range the same as now there might be extra space in the battery compartment to put this extra piece of electronics.

william.capps | February 6, 2015

Wow to think I was thinking about buying a Tesla SD85 as long as I could a Roadster. Might have to rethink this being I could not take the roadster for a long distance trip.

cswolfe | August 2, 2015

With all due respect, having just bought a used roadster with 10800 miles that's a unchargeable paperweight due to first owner having kept it before selling to exotic car dealership and Tesla having NO roadster chargers for sale with NO ETA, I hear you, but for me? I couldn't even drive my Tesla -to- a incompatible SC station.

But of course, if you want $6,000 roadster accessories? SURE, Tesla STOCKS those, and doesn't run out. I was thinking today of ordering a $6K adjustable suspension so I could entertain myself bouncing my undriveable paperweight in my driveway. No wait, I cannot do that, because I'd need a tow to the service station for the adjustable suspension install.

I feel SO stupid right now that I simply believed Tesla and Musk claims over, and over, and over about supporting Tesla buyers, INCLUDING roadster owners.

Obviously, just a stunt, as it's WAY more important for Elon to get publicity for "3.0 upgrades to show how much Tesla cares" than to stock the most BASIC things to make their used cars DRIVEABLE if missing, stolen, or otherwise in need of replacement.

I'd be really grateful for the 3.0 upgrade, pending details, but having just bought a "new to me" Tesla that's UNdriveable due to lack of support, and having had any question I sent Tesla previously simply -ignored- with e-mail, this has sucked the life out of my new Tesla experience.

So I understand the problems with supercharging as to roadsters, and I'm not dismissing them, but man, at least you guys get to drive your cars before the year 2016 or 2017 because it was TOO MUCH TO ASK that Tesla put an ETA on ALL Tesla roadster chargers.

OBVIOUSLY, I wrote Tesla for an ETA as to the chargers, but after having a 100% being ignored rate on all previous simple questions I've e-mailed in the past? I think it would be silly to hold my breath waiting for a response.

Sorry I'm cranky, but I thought purchasing a used Tesla might be fun, and thus far, it's been anything but. I'd shift gears and go hunt parts for my 1969 Toyota, but I don't need to, because ANY part, no matter how obscure, I need to find for that vehicle discontinued 33 YEARS ago? I mean, ANY part? I can find, but it's going to take WAY more hunting/waiting to make my 2010 Tesla with 10,800 miles -driveable-. That's, in a word, pathetic.

Right now, I feel like some complete sucker who bought a used 2010 Ferrari, only to discover that you couldn't fuel it, because the gas filler had WELL known problems, but Ferrari couldn't be bothered to stock the part, because they were too busy doing press releases for how there was going to be a "special upgrade" for that model.

Supercharger? I'll worry about that, personally, some day when I'm capable of driving my car to a station, which simply isn't the case now.

Best wishes, kids. Drive safely.

Carparticus | August 3, 2015

@cswolfe .. (I'm assuming you're not a troll slagging off EM .. so here goes)

I've been driving a Roadster all over the UK for 4 yrs and have never had a problem doing rapid charging. Only Model S's can handle the 130kw superchargers whereas the Roadster was designed years before SCs were even a twinkle in Elons eye. However, there are rapid chargers compatible with the Roadster all over the UK, but you sound like you're not looked !

The car is good for 200+ miles a day, so its unlikely you'll be needing mid-journey top ups on a daily basis but if you do there are literally thousands of locations to choose from.

For a start, most long journeys involve motorways or prime A roads. You can charge at ALL motorway service points using a T2 cable and adapter (the Ecotricity network). They can provide about 14kw, or about 60-70miles of charge per hour. You can do the same ALL Ikea's stores as well. Its free to use. (These locations usually have 3 phase 43kw support for Renault Zoe's and the Roadster can plug into these with the right adapter for one-phase AC.)

Heres a 1,000+ locations that you could use with T2 socket chargers :-

Then theres the ZCW / ZeroCarbonWorld network of 1,000+ hotels and restaurants all over the UK that have 7kw charge posts. They are FREE as well, but designed for you to top up whilst eating, or overnight if staying somewhere. I've not had a problem just calling in to grab 1hrs worth. But that happens about twice a year.

Then there is the Tesla HPC Roadster specific 70a / 15kw chargers dotted around the motorway network that have been there for over 5 yrs. They all work fine and I have regularly used them.

Statistically, about 99% of my charging is done at home on a domestic 13amp socket or 7kw / 32amp socket I put in my garage (£50 in parts). And for the 1% of the time I actually need to charge away from home, there are thousands of options.

Finally, once a month I do a 340 mile round trip in one day (Northants to Exeter and back), and the office I go to is on an industrial estate that’s riddled with 32amp blue-commando sockets, as found at almost every similar location all over the UK. I top up whilst in the meeting which normally goes on for 3 or 4 hrs. Alternatively there are HPCs on the M5 at Taunton

NVGuy | August 3, 2015


That's pretty sucky all around. I'm assuming that you've talked with the exotic car dealership and they can't help you out with any kind of charger, and they can't/won't put you in touch with whoever owned the Roadster previously (or the previous owner can't won't provide you with a charger).

There are occasionally chargers available on these fora. Here amongst the Tesla Roadster topics I see a "HPC FOR SALE" thread that might be current.

It so happens that I have 2 chargers for my Roadster—a medium-power one that plugs into a NEMA 14-50 outlet (does around 20 miles of range per hour) and one of the small portable ones that plugs into a 120V outlet (does around 5 miles of range per hour). Since I got my Model S, I don't use my Roadster much. I'd be willing to sell you my medium-power charger if you want it. If you can get a charger from elsewhere, I'd rather hold onto my charger, but if you don't have any other way out of your current annoying situation, then I'm game to help you out.

If you want to take me up on this (or want to learn more about the charger), give me contact info.

In case it matters, I and my Roadster and my charger are all US-based. The charger should work in any NEMA 14-50 outlet, though.

AEdennis | August 5, 2015


Go to

There is an adapter made called the CAN-JR and CAN-SR. The CAN-JR connects J1772 to Roadster AND the CAN-SR connects Model S to Roadster.

With the CAN-JR you can purchase a J1772 EVSE from many sources and use that to charge your Roadster with that, or with the CAN-SR you can purchase either Model S charger (either the UMC or the HPWC) and charge the Roadster with that.

However, if you go with the HPWC (or any charger >70A) you will need to make sure that Tesla updates the firmware on the Roadster.

Good luck. A used Roadster is like many other used cars in one respect... Caveat Emptor.