Tesla is doing it's best to counter rumors of their impending failure and bad press from their former CEO. The company claims the first production Tesla will be delivered to HQ next week and work of the first run of Teslas will begin in mid March. More importantly, the company claims a solution to their transmission problems have been found.
Tesla says they're going to a be dropping the planned two-speed transmission and replacing it with a much simpler one-speed model that will provide performance numbers in line with what was promised. The two-speed model had to be dropped because of problems with longevity. Of course, this doesn't change the fact that if you're getting a first run Tesla you're going to receive it with a temporary gearbox and have to wait for the permanent solution like everyone else.
The solution, now called DriveTrain 1.5, is going to involve replacing the entire powertrain. The air-cooled electric motor is getting kicked to the curb and its place will be a liquid-cooled unit with more power. Progress! The car works... as long as they can replace everything in time.
Tesla Motors Completes all Regulatory Approvals and Sets Schedule to Begin Production
First production 2008 Tesla Roadster Imported - Series Production Begins in March
* Tesla Motors has received all regulatory approvals to import the first production Tesla Roadster ("P1") for sale. This includes all necessary EPA and DOT approvals, including completion of all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS.)
* P1 will arrive at Tesla Motors headquarters next week for delivery to customer Elon Musk, Chairman of Tesla Motors.
* Series production of the Tesla Roadster is scheduled to begin March 17th, 2008.
* As communicated previously, early production units will be equipped with an interim transmission that meets durability requirements but limits acceleration to 5.7 seconds from 0 to 60 mph.
* Separately, Tesla Motors engineers have designed a permanent solution for mass production that supports the original specification of 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds.
* The planned solution has some very positive benefits for our customers. Instead of a complex 2-speed transmission design, Tesla will achieve the original performance goals with a simpler one-speed unit mated to a higher rated Power Electronics Module (PEM.) The existing motor will be modified to have advanced cooling capabilities to handle the additional power. The permanent transmission unit will be engineered to handle the higher torque of the powertrain.
* The planned solution reduces program risk, provides better efficiency, lower weight, equal or better range, better thermal performance and quicker quarter mile acceleration due to the elimination of the need to shift gears.
* The planned solution incorporates the latest developments of our powertrain team which has been continually improving on Tesla's core technology.
* Early production will proceed at a limited rate and then ramp up to full production when the permanent powertrain solution is production ready later this year.
The upgrade from the interim solution to the higher power, permanent solution will be provided to our customers free of charge when available later this year.
[Source: Tesla, AutoBlog Green]