Tesla Birth Watch 14: Spring Forward, Leap Back!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
tesla birth watch 14 spring forward leap back

At Tesla's recent e-town hall meeting, company Chairman Elon Musk said the erstwhile automaker "might" build some Roadsters with a temporary transmission, until such time as they can find one that lasts longer than a week [paraphrasing]. Tesla's new head honcho Ze'ev Drori has just turned that possibility into a certainty– in as much as one can be certain about any promises made by the Silicon Valley start-up. The EV-in-Chief made the new tranny for new announcement on Tesla's eye-searing blog (white on black text is against the Geneva Convention guys). "To help speed delivery of cars, we will begin production in 2008 with an interim transmission design. These transmissions will meet high standards for reliability and durability, but the car will not meet the original performance spec for acceleration, reaching 60 mph in 5.7 seconds instead of the promised 4 seconds. When the final transmission is ready, we will retrofit all cars, at Tesla’s expense, to meet the promised performance specifications." Speaking of promises, Tesla has a new new production date: Spring 2008. That said, "the ramp rate of the production volume will depend on how quickly our suppliers can ramp production of parts and how quickly Lotus can increase the rate of the production line. Because of this dependency we don’t yet know when each car will be built or how many cars will be completed in calendar year 2008." How reassuring is that?

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  • Shaker Shaker on Dec 30, 2007

    I don't think the Tesla (using electric motors) needs/uses the huge torque converter common to Powerglides, whose slippage helps to "temper" the power applied to the tranny's gearset.

  • Lewissalem Lewissalem on Dec 31, 2007

    The Tesla could run on hamster hair and rainbows and George Clooney would buy one. Image is everything.

  • Donal Donal on Dec 31, 2007

    Do all the Tesla higher-ups have names that sound like characters from an Isaac Asimov story?

  • Wiggles Wiggles on Jan 06, 2008

    I've seen full electric drag cars (yes they are out there) always have the same problems. Breaking drivelines and halfshafts. Powerful electric motors (like in Tesla) produce an incredible amount of torque, immediately and violently.