Tesla Birth Watch 28: Could This Be the End…

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

of the Tesla Birth Birthwatch? Our friends over at Edmunds reveal that Tesla has finally set a new new new launch date for their all-electric Tesla Roadster: March 17. Yes, that could be the fateful day that TTAC terminates this series on the oft-delayed EV to the Stars– if not our coverage of the ongoing technological changes (and resulting performance claims) for the vehicle. But remember: we're obliged to quit carping under this title when one– count it ONE– Roadster enters its owner's climate-controlled garage. It will be a rare beast indeed. "Tesla spokesman Joe Powers said production will ramp up in a 'slow cadence' of about one car per week. 'We'll be getting the processes down and getting a feel for the build of the vehicle,' he said. 'The eventual rate will be 40 cars per week. That is realistic based on what Lotus has committed to. We'll get there eventually. The question is, how soon can we ramp up to full production? I would say we'll get close to full production in late 2008.'" He would say? Sounds to me like another promise destined to remain unfulfilled. Oh, and scribe Anita Lienert needs to peruse TTAC's Best and Brightest comments section. She says "Tesla Motors will not disclose who is supplying the transmissions for the Roadster." Spokesmouth Darryl Siry told TTAC readers the Roadster uses "a single speed xtrac transmission."

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Jan 24, 2008

    I had read somewhere several months back that they couldn't go back to the originally planned 1-speed because they deigned the motor around the proposed 2-speed they couldn't get to work. I guess they solved that problem or went back and redesigned the motor around this new tranny. Who is going to be repairing and servicing these things when the owners start having problems, your local electrician or will it have to be sent back to the factory?

  • Geotpf Geotpf on Jan 24, 2008

    Stein X Leikanger-Telsa's problem, at least so far, hasn't been a lack of buyers. It's been a lack of cars. That's a lot different than GM's. If they get the bugs out, they may very well be successful. There is a market there, and, at least in theory, their business plan seems sound. But if they can't actually deliver any cars, then that's quite a bit different. By any accounts, they are way behind where they should be in terms of delivery dates and the like.

  • Jazbo123 Jazbo123 on Jan 24, 2008

    Maybe a "Tesla Miscarriage Watch"?

  • Starlightmica Starlightmica on Jan 25, 2008

    The interim transmission is rated 0-60 in 5.7 seconds - not shabby but slower than the initially advertised 4.0 seconds. The new transmission is coming - uh, someday. Elon Musk looks to be receiving his Roadster soon. I wonder when Martin Eberhard is going to get his - I recall he was supposed to get P2. Tesla Motors press release from Jan 23: * Tesla Motors has received all regulatory approvals to import the first production Tesla Roadster (“P1”) for sale. This includes all necessary EPA and DOT approvals, including completion of all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS.) * P1 will arrive at Tesla Motors headquarters next week for delivery to customer Elon Musk, Chairman of Tesla Motors. Series production of the Tesla Roadster is scheduled to begin March 17th, 2008. * As communicated previously, early production units will be equipped with an interim transmission that meets durability requirements but limits acceleration to 5.7 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. * Separately, Tesla Motors engineers have designed a permanent solution for mass production that supports the original specification of 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds. * The planned solution has some very positive benefits for our customers. Instead of a complex 2-speed transmission design, Tesla will achieve the original performance goals with a simpler one-speed unit mated to a higher rated Power Electronics Module (PEM.) The existing motor will be modified to have advanced cooling capabilities to handle the additional power. The permanent transmission unit will be engineered to handle the higher torque of the powertrain. * The planned solution reduces program risk, provides better efficiency, lower weight, equal or better range, better thermal performance and quicker quarter mile acceleration due to the elimination of the need to shift gears. * The planned solution incorporates the latest developments of our powertrain team which has been continually improving on Tesla’s core technology. * Early production will proceed at a limited rate and then ramp up to full production when the permanent powertrain solution is production ready later this year. * The upgrade from the interim solution to the higher power, permanent solution will be provided to our customers free of charge when available later this year.