Tesla Birth Watch 44: Tesla Talks Transmission Troubles to TTAC

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

In a comment on Tesla Birth Watch 43, Tesla flackmeister Daryl Siry addressed some of the questions about Tesla's tranny problems. "The Xtrac transmission never had reliability issues. It has proven rock solid over the years and for that reason we are using an Xtrac box for our interim transmission. The reason we moved away from that design was that we had originally tried to design the gearbox to have clutchless shifting and to accomplish the shifts entirely through motor control but this proved difficult on our end due in part to the time it takes to spin down a heavy rotor that is rotating very quickly." Gotcha. So what precipitated the Magna lawsuit? "We’ve established the fact that the units delivered were not working well so that led to a disagreement between the parties as to what was owed on the contract. These types of disagreements sometimes end up in court." Siry also mentioned that he'll be in Monaco next week, showing production car number four before it's shipped to the states and placed in the loving arms of its more-than-patient owner. This led us to wonder: if car number four will be ready to show off next week, what happened to Tesla Roadsters two and three? Have they been delivered yet? If not, where are they in the pipeline? And how long before they'll be on the streets? Over to you, Daryl…

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  • BuckD BuckD on Apr 17, 2008

    Tesla demonstrates why folks don't go out and start mass production car companies based on exotic and unproven technologies every day. Because it's effing hard to do. I'll give them props--they managed to crank out four cars and it looks like more will trickle out, which is pretty impressive given the company's well-documented troubles.

  • Rtz Rtz on Apr 17, 2008

    I can't wait to see some performance numbers on the direct drive with the bigger motor and inverter. Any specs on either? Voltage or amps?

  • Mittelhauser Mittelhauser on Apr 18, 2008

    So I am just curious what you cynics will consider success? It is now mid-april. If in 6 months, there are 50 cars in customer hands do you conceed that you might have been wrong? Tesla was specific that they were starting the production line at 1 car per week. It started on 3/17 (a month ago) and they have cranked out 4+ cars. Gee, that sounds a lot like what they said they were going to do. Of course they don't ship them over instantly. They calculate some logical number for a batch size and then throw them on a boat for 6 weeks. Then they need to do the PEM install and final testing before handing them to a customer. IT's why it's called a PIPELINE. It takes a while to get going and then stuff starts coming out of the other end at a steady rate... -Jon -Jon

  • Shaker Shaker on Apr 18, 2008

    Did Tesla consider using motor braking to match the rotor speed to the tranny for shifting? You could push the juice into the battery, using some advanced control logic.