Much has been made of the issues that Tesla Motors encountered with its original two-speed transmission. The fledgling EV automaker was unable to find a supplier that could engineer a two-speed gearbox capable of allowing the Tesla Roadster to hit 0-60 in four seconds and meet specified targets for its range. The two-speed box was eventually dropped in favor of what has been called "powertrain 1.5", which uses a single-speed gearbox and other improvements to the electric motor and inverter to achieve Tesla's seemingly incongruous goals of performance and efficiency.

JB Straubel, Chief Technical Officer Tesla Motors, recently posted an update on the progress of powertrain 1.5 on the company's blog, and be warned, if you're not up to date on how highly complex electric motors and transmissions work (like us), you'll probably get lost. The basic nuts and bolts of it amount to a Tesla Roadster that will have both a 33% higher peak torque output and an additional 10 miles of range versus the 1.0 car. According to our own Sam Abuelsamid who has followed the Tesla Roadster's development from gestation, these two seemingly irreconcilable accomplishments were achieved mainly through lowering resistance at every point along the powertrain. This was done by redesigning some components, using low resistance materials and switching to a new, shorter gear ratio of 8.27:1. You can read Sam's nitty gritty explanation of the changes over at AutoblogGreen, but it seems the little EV company that could is finally getting back on track after some major set backs.


[Source: Tesla Motors via AutoblogGreen]

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