Original Tesla Roadster’s Design And Engineering Is Now ‘Fully Open Source’: Musk

The first-generation Tesla Roadster put the American EV maker on the map as an innovative, forward-thinking company. 

When it debuted in 2006 and deliveries started two years later, the original Roadster was an expensive but compelling proposition in a world where battery-powered cars were seen as rolling experiments.

As a first-generation product, though, it was never meant to be manufactured in huge numbers. In fact, fewer than 2,500 were ever made, making it the rarest Tesla sold in the world. But Elon Musk’s latest move started another virtual fire and got peoples’ hopes up, thinking they could build a brand-new first-gen Roadster with a set of wrenches and some elbow grease.

 

Using his preferred communication method, the company’s outspoken CEO posted a short message on X, saying that “All design & engineering of the original Tesla Roadster is now fully open source. Whatever we have, you now have.”

And it might be true, with the Austin-based manufacturer posting a few new so-called Disclosed Research and Development Documents on the Service webpage for the original open-top EV. The problem is, you’d be hard-pressed to find CAD drawings of interior trim pieces, for example, which would allow anyone to 3D print a knob or an instrument binnacle.

Instead, the newly published documents include schematics for the battery monitoring board, vehicle display system, and HVAC controller, as well as an ISO image for the diagnostic software used by Tesla to find issues with the car.

These come on top of the service manual, parts manual, electrical circuits tracker, and connector explainer, which were already available online. 

So what could a Roadster owner do with this new information?

Well, it makes it a bit easier for someone with the right skills to repair three of the EV’s circuit boards (battery monitoring, display, and HVAC controller), but that’s about it. Tesla itself has a pretty self-explanatory disclaimer regarding these newly published resources:

The information provided here is being provided as a courtesy to Roadster enthusiasts and was created during the design phase of the Roadster for research and development. It isn’t manufacturer reference or repair and maintenance material, and may not accurately reflect the actual production models or parts sold. If you use this information, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you follow all laws and safety protocols as we don’t provide any warranties on any work done by non-Tesla personnel whether or not you use the information provided here. You also understand that if you make or design parts or create new repairs or procedures based on this information, we won’t be responsible for them and they won’t be genuine Tesla parts or accessories or Tesla-approved procedures.

But what do you think about this? Let us know in the comments below.