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Roadster #1 on its way plus more

Discussion in 'News' started by TedK, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. TedK

    TedK Member

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    "We’ve made significant progress since we last provided an update on the Roadster program in December. This letter outlines key milestones and our plans for getting the Roadster in production. In addition to this letter, we are planning another “Town Hall” style Q&A session for Wednesday, January 30th at 10am to go into further detail and answer any questions that we didn’t anticipate here

    We have received all regulatory approvals to import the first production Tesla Roadster (“P1”) for sale. This includes all necessary EPA, DOT and NHTSA approvals. This is an historical milestone that heralds the future of the electric automobile. As you read this letter P1 is on its way to San Carlos.

    The plan we have developed has some very positive benefits for our customers. Instead of a complex 2-speed transmission design, we 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 this additional power. The new transmission unit will be engineered to handle the higher torque of the powertrain. This plan not only reduces program risk, but also provides better efficiency, lower weight, equal or better range, better thermal performance and quicker quarter mile acceleration due to the elimination of a shift. This new path incorporates the latest developments of our powertrain team which has been continually improving on our core technology."

    Things are moving forward! The above is not the full text of the communication.
     
  2. donauker

    donauker Member

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    I had to reread the email a time or two before I could believe it!

    Looks like Martin's design wins after all! :biggrin:

    Although they did punish him by making him wait a few months for P2.
     
  3. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    We'll see if we can wheedle more details about the new drivetrain. I was only wedded to a sub-4-second 0-60 time, not to having gears, and never having to worry about drivetrain lash would be very cool.

    It now seems a waste to have a big gearshift knob just to select between forward and reverse. :)
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Whoa! That is interesting! Back to the original idea of 1 gear that had been suggested so many times. My guess is that the higher powered PEM was work being done for the higher end version of Whitestar but now put back into the Roadster...(?)

    So, I wonder how this affects range, efficiency, top speed and all that.

    A while back, I had rambled on and on over on the Tesla blogs pondering if the PEM was the limiter for roadster power peaks, but was somewhat led to believe that the eMotor and (to some degree) the batteries were the power limiters, not the PEM. It sounds like some improved cooling helps the eMotor, but what about the ESS batteries? Can they remain durable under the strain of having to produce more power now?

    I was worried that the advanced airbag exemption hadn't come through, but this makes it sounds like that isn't a problem.

    All in all, this sounds like good news.
     
  5. TedK

    TedK Member

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    Agreed, looks like good news overall. I wonder just how much re-certification will be necessary for the upcomming trans/engine/PEM changes? If no one else asks at the town meeting on 1/30 then I will.
     
  6. DDB

    DDB Member

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    Autoblooggreen reported that the new one-speed transmission was developed for the Whitestar...wonder if that design is further along than I had anticipated. Very cool. I hope all the orignal customers who bought the Roadster for the muscle aren't disappointed.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  8. donauker

    donauker Member

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    Tesla Motors said this:

    and this:

    Based on this there is no down side and only benefits. The only thing I want in addition is an adjustable or selectable regen since I wanted first gear more for the increased regen in stop and go situations.
     
  9. Yanquetino

    Yanquetino Member

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    A shift back to no shifting!

    I've gotta give Martin a big "high-five" here! :biggrin: What goes around, comes around. Literally, it seems! Too bad so much time, money, blood, sweat, tears --and careers-- were wasted instead of simply going with his original vision.
     
  10. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I have mixed feelings about this. I thought the two-speed transmission was one of the cool aspects of the design. This is the first significant departure from the car that I put down my deposit on.


    I'm not sure that a major powertrain redesign at this late date actually "reduces program risk".


    The powertrain team? Didn't we just get through firing them?
     
  11. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    Something that jumped out to me is the March series production start. They've never claimed production was that soon before... now that's something to get excited about, especially if you're near the front of the list :)

    -Ryan
     
  12. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Is it? Up until now the plan was for production in the first quarter. Mid-march is almost the latest moment at which they can begin assembling cars without breaking that schedule.

    But maybe I'm just cynical because I'm not near the front of the list.
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    From autobloggreen: "One of the changes being developed for WhiteStar which will be a larger heavier vehicle than the Roadster requiring more power is a liquid cooled motor. The Roadster will now also get a liquid cooled motor. This will allow to produce more sustained power than before."

    I had asked in the Tesla blogs long ago why not a liquid cooled motor (like I see on most other EVs). The answer was basically "lighter weight, and to avoid the risk of spraying liquid with 400V behind it". I gather they are now willing to live with the weight penalty and the (possibly overrated) risk of having liquid cooling near the high voltage.

    "Once the new power-train has been validated, production will ramp up quickly and early units will be brought in to be retrofitted with new motors, transmissions and PEMs."

    Oof. Not only will they swap the tranny now, but the PEM and motor! Thats gonna hit the bottom line. So where do I sign up to buy a used, low-mileage 1st generator PEM and eMotor?! Maybe I could fit it in my MR2.
     
  14. donauker

    donauker Member

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    Well at one car a week there are very few people that can get excited. The time to get excited for me will only be at the still to be determined start of full production.
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #15 TEG, Jan 23, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
    WOW! Better efficiency and lower weight?! How did they manage that? I guess the water cooling on the eMotor weighs less than the extra gear and clutch mechanism. Better quarter mile times too! Sweet!

    Yes, good point. 1st vs 2nd was supposed to offer different regen profiles. I hope they have a new answer to that puzzle.
     
  16. donauker

    donauker Member

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    I wonder where the liquid cooled motor reference originated. The listed source from Tesla Motors on Autobloggreen and the email only say this:

     
  17. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    Yeah, that's a huge challenge. The new parts have to fit in the original space.

    I think Tesla's executives have conceded that they're a long way from making the Roadster project profitable, but in order for that to ever happen, they need to establish a good reputation. More expense now is preferable to losing everything.

    -Ryan
     
  18. donauker

    donauker Member

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    I agree with you on this. This was a very unique aspect and it does tend to do away with a good bit of potential fun factor.
     
  19. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    Another thing that jumps out at me from the letter is the "town hall" meeting on the 30th. That should be a very interesting discussion. $5 says somebody will bring up Martin's blog :)

    -Ryan
     
  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I really like the idea of going 0 to 125 without shifting. I don't like the idea of a vestigial shifter in that car though. How stupid will that be to tell your passenger that all this thing does is Forward and Reverse and that it left over from the days when the car had a shifter. I hope they design a new center section with hole plugged up so drivers don't feel like Ricky-Racer posers. Why have big stick coming out of the center of the car when a simple F/R toggle switch can do the same thing. (or F/N/R)

    So they are changing the transmission, the PEM and the Motor housing? That sound like more than slapping something on. It sound like back to the torture track for 100s of thousands of miles (and having that whole bunch of changes not fail) And it sounds vaguely like new crash testing and somewhere in there it sound like they would need more air to the cooling fins the dissipate all that extra heat. Does the car also get more holes?
     

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