• Jan 24, 2008


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Earlier today we reported that Tesla Motors appears to have discovered a solution for the transmission troubles that have delayed production of the Roadster so far. The California-based all-electric automaker has now confirmed to Inside Line that it will begin production of its first batch of roadsters on March 17, though they'll be fitted with temporary two-speed single-speed transmissions and retrofitted later with what the company calls DriveTrain 1.5. Production of the EV Roadster, however, will take a while to gear up: initially the company will build just one vehicle per week, getting into the full swing of 40 cars per week by the end of the year.

Observers also recently noticed a banner reading "Coming Spring 2008" that was hanging in front of Tesla's dealership in Los Angeles has disappeared. With Tesla Motors being so much in the spotlight, some speculated that the Roadsters arrival had been delayed again. The company's spokesman, Joe Powers, has revealed that the banner merely blew off and hasn't been re-hung yet. It just goes to show how interested and impatient people are for the Tesla Roadster to finally arrive.

Click on the thumbnails below to view images from AutoblogGreen's ride-along in the Tesla Roadster.

[Source: Inside Line]

Gallery: Riding in the Tesla Roadster



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  • 24 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      The car will be fitted with a temporary single speed tranny, not two speed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not that it matters but technically I think it is a 2 speed transmission - which is just locked in second gear (making it a one speed tranny in effect). That is what was used for the customer drives (and most of the major magazine drives).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tesla has actually said that due to the higher efficiency of the liquid cooled PEM, that it would allow for "equal or greater range". Of course, only time and testing will prove that but it seems reasonable.

      -Jon
      • 7 Years Ago
      Couldn't they just had procured minis with no drive trains, and slap in their electric system? Maybe a miata, or solstice?

      Seems these cars make no sense. They will be cool for about 5mins, then we'll get the Volt previews this spring and the Telsas will be forgotten.
        • 7 Years Ago
        They did exactly that. It's based on the Lotus Elise.
      • 7 Years Ago
      For what it matters, the one I saw had a significant radiator up front. Far more than I expected. Perhaps it was already liquid cooled? It was definitely locked in 2nd gear and went like hell anyway off the line.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Even if the drivetrain isn't ready, can't they start building the rest of the car? Then drop in the new motor and transmission when they're ready?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well I don't work for Tesla (although I am a customer) so the best I can do is speculate.

        First off (and the answer you are most likely to hear from them), building cars is HARD. They need to work out the kinks in the production line and the best way to do this is to start slowly and test each car and then iterate. If they build one car and then realize that there is a (minor) problem in the line, they just hand fix it and change the line procedure and iterate again. If they are trying to do 40/week before these kinks are worked out, it would get ugly. As they gain confidence in the line, they'd speed up.

        Secondly, while it is obviously very important to them to be able to say that they are in production and shipping cars to actual customers, they don't really want to do TOO much of it. Keep in mind, that they are going to need to swap out the entire drivetrain (at their cost) for every car that ships. I would imagine that they will downplay this reason but it is a legit one. Unfortunatly, it probably means that I won't get my car until very late in the year. :)
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm just wondering why they're only building 1 a week starting 3/17.
        • 7 Years Ago
        RP,

        Um. That is exactly what they are doing. P1 is on the way right now for delivery next week and production of the rest is starting 3/17. Actually, they are doing better than what you say since they are putting in an interim drivetrain and then swapping them out for free.

        -Jon
      • 7 Years Ago



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      • 7 Years Ago
      "It just goes to show how interested and impatient people are for the Tesla Roadster to finally arrive"

      And by "people," you mean LA celebrities who will ADD this to their stable of cars to make them feel more "green."

      Yeah, I'm sure the masses will be pouring into dealerships trying to procure a $100,000 car from an unproven company who will be installing temporary transmissions right off the bat.

      -SimianSpeedster
        • 7 Years Ago
        Did you two stop to think that maybe, just maybe some people will buy this INSTEAD of another car? Or that they might actually drive it day to day?

        You're just trying to find negative things to say.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Should we mention that lithium ion batteries are produced only in China (which has no regulations whatsoever) and Japan, and need to be shipped all the way around the world? And how they only last roughly 5 years, and we have no way to recycle them yet? And the fact that building a new car is one of the most 'ungreen' decisions you can make? Want to be green? Drive an older car. Old cars kept on the road as long as possible is the best way to save energy, reduce waste and pollution, and help the environment.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Simianspeedster,

        IMHO you are completely missing the entire point of Tesla vehicle. You are looking at "right here, right now" and not at the big picture of Tesla being one of the first all electric zero emission sport cars that is planned to be followed by a much higher volume family sedan based on same electronics.

        1) It doesn't matter what percentage of Tesla buyers will use it as their daily driver.
        2) Its obvious that one of the most efficient and advanced cars in history will have personnel issues and miss its launch deadline.

        What matters most is that there are people that are willing to invest and to wait for it to come. It is not you or me but these people that are investing into a better future of super-efficient zero emission vehicles. By working out most problems with this 1st model Tesla will be better prepaired for their next generation cars. Tesla Motors are pioneers in zero emission vehicle development, and if its celebrities dollars that fund their R&D, God bless these celebrities for doing us all such a huge favor.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Vintage,

        Your post is a welcome relief from some of the knee-jerk green hype I see too much of in the media and on blogs these days.

        I've seen people who keep trading up to the latest and greatest hybrid model, selling 2-3 year old cars along the way. Why? They want the "greenest" car available to prove their "greenness" (yes, I'm making up words now).

        They, of course, fail to think about the fact they are creating extra demand for new vehicles which take significant resources to build and ship, not to mention eventually recycle, etc. My favorite pet peeve is when the Hollywood A-list ADD a hybrid that they can be seen driving to awards shows, etc. but they still keep their Lambos, Hummers, etc.

        I have nothing against any of the emerging fuel efficient cars, but the hypocrisy of people who believe that adding a Prius or a Tesla to their garage helps the planet is off the charts. After all, how many Tesla owners do you think will use the Tesla as their sole, daily driver car? 10%? On the flip side, how many think *adding* a Tesla is good for the environment and will somehow help stop global warming? 90%?

        -SimianSpeedster
        • 7 Years Ago
        Jan

        You are the one missing the big picture by focusing sole on the car and none of the factors that go into creating and powering the car. You also presume that the Tesla is "the future" as if you have the crystal ball that us mere mortals lack.

        In reality, there is no such thing as a "zero emissions vehicle." That is nice marketing speak, but an electric car simply performs an emissions "cost transfer" -- emissions generated to power the car are released at the power generation plant, most likely powered by petroleum products and/or coal. Certainly wide spread use of cleaner sources of power (wind/solar/hydro) at the point of generation might minimize this effect some day, but all of those methods are a long ways off from being able to supply the kind of power people demand (and increasingly so) in a modern world.

        I won't re-hash it in detail, but consider the emissions involved in the creation of this car's batteries and its long term environmental impact of having to dispose of them. These are considerations, too.

        You describe the Tesla as a representative of a "better future" and hold that we should all be thankful for its development. That is a big assumption and a value judgment on your part which is not shared by everyone. The value in owning and driving a car can vary greatly between people -- some simply want efficient transportation, others want to feel automotive soul above all else.

        Since you haven't driven the Tesla, there's no way for you to know if the car is better to drive, better to enjoy or better in any tangible measurement that comes from first hand experience. If you choose to drink the kool-aid and idolize the Tesla based on its potential/promise alone, that's your prerogative, but please don't presume that your ideals are my ideals.

        My criticisms of this car are real, pragamatic and based in fact. People buying this car should rationally be concerned about its quality, safety and longevity. I think your support of the Tesla is, on the other hand, based on conjecture and your dream of an idolized "better future" that may never stem from the development of the Tesla. if you have the $100,000, go for it, but caveat emptor, brother!

        -SimianSpeedster
        • 7 Years Ago
        Jan,

        Get a grip.

        First, what percentage of Tesla buyers do you honestly think will use it as their daily driver, their sole automobile? You can't be deluded enough to think it's more than 25%.

        Second, it's not at all hard to find negative things about the Tesla. They are jumping out at us; they are in fact very hard to ignore.

        -- The company is having huge personnel issues
        -- The car has already missed its launch deadline
        -- The company has announced that the car will come with a transmission that is nearly certain to fail in a short period of time.
        -- Shall I go on?

        Time to take off the rose tinited glasses and see this car for what it is -- an experiment for the George Clooneys of the world. Indeed, it may turn out to be the start of something big in autodome, but right now, it's not looking good.

        -SimianSpeedster
      • 7 Years Ago
      http://autocollections.blogspot.com/

      check it up for your facilities.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dear General Motors,

      Please don't make me look like those foolish people at Tesla Motors. Perfect my batteries and it's related parts as much as technologically possible before making loaded promises to the automotive press.

      Sincerely,

      Chevy Volt
      • 7 Years Ago
      Can't wait for the price to come down, you know, so us lower class people can afford to help save the planet. Great car though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Won't the more powerful drivetrain lower the range of the vehicle?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Exactly, the more power you use the less range you will get.
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