Tesla Birth Watch 11: Tesla Needs Trannies
AutoblogGreen reports that Tesla Motors held an open town hall meeting yesterday; "open" in the sense that only customers who've plunked down a hefty deposit for the thrice delayed lithium ion-powered Roadster were invited to attend, and "meeting" as in a conference call. Semantics aside, Tesla's top brass assembled the faithful to make a momentous announcement: Roadster Number One is in production! And who gets this historic vehicle? Tesla Chairman Elon Musk! It seems that Tesla still can't source a suitably robust transmission for their vaporwaricle, and nobody else was willing to take delivery of a Roadster with a tranny that's doomed to failure after "a few thousand miles." Actually, I lie. Tesla says it "might" give some customers their very own electric-powered tranny time bombs, and swap 'em over later. (Did Tesla talk to their insurance broker about this idea?) According to unofficial meeting secretary Tony Belding, "Production will be very slow until the transmission problems are fully resolved, which means full-rate production will probably begin about summer, probably late summer. There are some uncertainties about the schedule, and they are trying not to over-promise until they have it figured out better." That would make a change. Oh, and you remember everyone giving me grief about giving Tesla grief about their unverified range claims, after they released an unverified range claim of 245 miles? Well, it seems there was a software glitch. "Latest testing now puts the range in the 220-230 mile region," AutoblogGreen credulously reports, still without verification.