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.
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.
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- Cprescott Look for this to be called a human right and for Washington to make it their business to run these places and charge you based upon your income.
- Renewingmind The idea of a silent smell free world of vehicles sounds wonderful from a quality of life standpoint. Start with diesel trucks. Especially big ones. They are the worst offenders for fumes and noise.
- DenverMike Pininfarina I know it's not related to this, I just like saying it.
- Matt Posky I don't understand the appeal of fake meat and this seems to operate under a similar premise: You don't want the V8 because someone says it's bad for you. But you can have something designed to mimic the experience because that's what your body actually wants. The styling is cool I guess. But I don't understand why EVs don't just lean into what they are. Companies can make them produce any wooshing or humming noises they want. Buiding an entire system to help you pretend it still has a combustion engine seems a little lame.
- DenverMike I'm sure it would have a volume control. It's nice to sneak into my neighborhood at 2am quietly. Or creep out, 4am. I don't get much sleep OK, but I always keep my V8 exhaust stock, as much as I love the sound of others loud. My stereo would make it pointless anyway.