• Oct 29th 2007 at 5:48PM
  • 9
The New York Times article we linked to this morning about Project Better Place reported that the delay in bringing the Tesla Roadster to market was due to a problem with the batteries. Providing excellent damage control, Tesla's VP of Sales, Marketing & Service, Darryl Siry, emailed AutoblogGreen to let us know that the Times article was wrong, and has been corrected. Siry wrote about this on the Tesla Motors blog, and says that, "The primary cause of our delay has been and continues to be issues with durability and reliability of the transmission, as we have reported before." Rumors that Tesla is looking for entirely new battery technology are also "completely untrue," Siry writes.
Glad it's not only AutoblogGreen that makes mistakes, from time to time.

[Source: Darryl Siry, Tesla Motors]


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  • 9 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      This makes sense. They are dealing with a lot of torque. The white zombie had problems with it and went to a direct drive. They also have had problems with the axel. http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/reviews.php
      • 7 Years Ago
      The problem is that Tesla has no experience with transmissions, and it isn't exactly Lotus's strong point either (I say this as an Esprit owner). I think the transmission is the only major mechanical -- not electrical -- component that wasn't borrowed from an existing gas-powered vehicle.

      The problem was compounded because Tesla were slow to face facts that the original transmission, from the original supplier, just wasn't going to do the job. Martin Eberhard recently allowed that they should have made the decision to switch about three months earlier in the program, then they probably wouldn't have been in this situation now.

      Hindsight is 20/20.
      • 7 Years Ago
      8. OhmExcited
      Well said, there are many auto suppliers that could have helped. I get the sense Tesla feels existing suppliers have nothing to offer them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They should have contracted with a company well-experienced in stress, fatigue, fracture mechanics, ASME code, etc. Dot-com ego and sharp Stanford students are no substitute for real world experience.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In hub motors would solve this and other issues too...
      • 7 Years Ago
      In hub motors would add to unsprung weight, with the expected deleterious affects on ride and handling.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The reason it's a problem is that the first transmission vendor could meet expectations, so they had to switch to a different one. That meant basically starting over with the whole cycle of testing (breaking) fixing, retesting, etc. If the first one had worked, then the car would probably already be shipping to happy customers by now.

      Nothing new here, established car companies have huge resources to put on issues like this, and they still end up being late fairly often. And when they aren't late, they often have recalls. I'd prefer they get it right before delivery, not after.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just have to comment that there is no reason for this to be a problem. MANY people have made transmissions and it is a well known how to improve reliability in this area. This gearbox only has 2 gears and reverse whats up with this being a problem? End rant...
      • 7 Years Ago
      This isn't exactly a conventional transmission. There's no clutch, and the motor it's attached to goes up to 13,000 RPM.

      It's a new challenge for transmission designers, and it's obviously not as easy as anyone thought.
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