Tesla Birth Watch 11: Tesla Needs Trannies

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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.

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  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Dec 14, 2007

    re: software As we say, it's rather more difficult to do Ctl-Alt-Del on I-75 in rush hour traffic flow.

  • Lewissalem Lewissalem on Dec 14, 2007

    You guys called it. Early.

  • The Comedian The Comedian on Dec 14, 2007

    Why not just throw a slush-box in it? That's what other makers seem to do when they don't want to field a sure to fail manual.

  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Dec 14, 2007

    I asked the chief engineer behind the Lexus 400h why they were using planetary gears for Toyota's hybrids. He answered that the huge torque of the electric engines made that the best solution, he also enjoyed the fact that you'd get stepless acceleration from zilch to maximum speed- don't think Toyota has a patent on planetary gears, though.