Tesla clarifies their plans for early production transmissions

Following a customer town hall meeting held by Tesla Motors last week it was reported that the company was considering shipping some early cars with short-life transmissions and retrofitting them later. That information came from notes that were posted on-line by one of the attendees on the conference call. Tesla VP Darryl Siry contacted us to clarify the situation with the transmissions. The company won't be shipping cars with a gearbox that they know won't last.

What they have decided to do is to equip the early build cars with a dedicated single speed gearbox. This gearbox is derived from one of the previously tested transmissions, but with simplified internals to eliminate the second speed. These units will be fully tested and will stand up to all the durability requirements. What it won't do is allow the car to meet both the acceleration and top speed performance targets at the same time, so they are sacrificing some low end acceleration to get the cars into customer hands. At the same time, development and testing of the production intent two-speed transmissions is ongoing and as soon as those units have met all the requirements, they will be introduced into the production flow. At that time, the company will bring in customer cars that have already been delivered and retro-fit those with the new unit. Regardless of which transmission is installed, the company's intent is to deliver production cars that won't leave customers stranded at the side of the road.

[Source: Tesla]

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