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Transmission troubles expensive for Tesla

Discussion in 'News' started by MaryKathleenFlynn, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Old Martin quote:
    Tesla Motors - think
    "...Our company’s entire budget is probably less than the advertising budget for one model of SUV from one of the big guys. Our whole company is smaller than their Cup-holder and Trinket Tray Engineering Division. Mind you, we do have a decent budget for a startup company – Tesla Motors and its excellent investors have no delusions about the cost of creating a new car company, a new car that meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and all the other legal requirements. It takes A LOT of cash. Many companies have failed to come to market with new electric cars because they underestimated the money it takes..."
     
  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    It's mind boggling to think of how the release of a car could be held up by the smallest thing.
    Of course the transmission is no small thing but I imagine if the production line is missing the "special" cast steel bracket that holds the steering rack in place or the “custom” plastic bezel that frames the instrument panel or any one of the hundreds of unique bits that would not be easily substituted (like a ¼-20 bolt) or could not be hacked together overnight (like a CNC machined part) that could prevent the timely shipping of a car to showrooms.

    Here's hoping that this transmission delay gives Tesla/Lotus time to double check all the other suppliers to insure that they are ready to, or are already shipping their bits to the assembly line.
     
  3. Yanquetino

    Yanquetino Member

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    Worth it?

    According to Drori's blog post yesterday, the "temporary" single-speed transmission will propel the Roadster from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds --instead of 4. I have a very hard time believing that the vast majority of customers would find this too "slow."

    They should have gone with Martin's original plan! The Roadsters would already be on the streets. Musk could have then spent the next four or five years developing and thoroughly testing his desired two-speed gearbox for the next model of the Roadster, as well as his preferred higher doorsills and customized headlights.

    In my humble option, it is a shame that those features and 1.7 seconds faster off the line are behind such delays, let alone the extra millions spent. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if many of the first owners request to keep the single-speed transmission anyway.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    0 to 60 in 5.7 is going to be far from adequate for many customers who expected Ferrari like performance at this price.

    If they could have gone with a lower top speed (say 100MPH) then they could have geared it differently and perhaps gotten under 5sec for the 0-60.
     
  5. donauker

    donauker Member

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    I would be absolutely amazed if any of the first owners that get the single speed transmission would want to keep it. Why would they not want what they paid for? Sure I could live without the 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds but it's part of the deal.

    The part I would not want to live without is the increased regenerative braking that will be part of 1st gear. As far as I am concerned this is a must have for slow speed stop and go driving.
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    "I would be absolutely amazed if any of the first owners that get the single speed transmission would want to keep it."

    If for no other reason than resale value. Why devalue your investment?
     
  7. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Good point about Regen. These first cars that will be "locked" in (presumably) 2nd gear. Does that mean the regen setting is also the not-as-aggresive (read: less mileage) 2nd gear regen?

    Now, does that negatively effect overall miles per charge?

    hmmmm...
     
  8. AGR

    AGR Member

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    Somebody is reading this forum and actually listening....about shipping cars with a single speed transmission and converting them to the 2 speed at a later date.

    Nice to see Tesla crossing the chasm and hopefully put cars on the road and in customer's hands.
     
  9. mike

    mike EVangelist

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    Gearing ?

    One thing I am curious about is are they using the same gear ratio on the one speed as they plan on using for the second gear in the two speed gear box?
    It seems like if they are just designing an interim transmission then they could have found a compromise between 4.2:1 and 2.17:1 to accommodate quicker acceleration while trading off top speed.


    - Mike
     
  10. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    The 5.7 second 0-60 time suggests 2nd gear to me. This is probably the way to go, in my opinion, because then you're still in the sweet spot of the power curve at typical highway speeds, allowing for very sporty maneuvering.

    Using 2nd gear also has the advantage of limiting the re-training drivers require when they upgrade to the two-speed. It's like the same car, but can now smoke almost anything at stop-light drag races :)

    -Ryan
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Should we assume that the (250-> 245->) 220 mile range was calculated on a car that had 1st gear available? Will they need to further restate the range now that the first cars won't have 1st gear available?
     
  12. Yanquetino

    Yanquetino Member

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    We'll see

    Only time will tell how the first owners react to the single-speed transmission --and if they want to keep it.

    Personally, I think it is an exaggeration to state that those who are on the waiting list are there because they want Ferrari-like acceleration. After all, we are talking about EV advocates, first and foremost. The car's non-polluting efficiency is likely their prime consideration. Of course, they also want a good-looking, fun car that can provide an exilarating, wind-in-your-hair experience, but as long as it could hold its own with, say, a BMW Z4 (0-60 in 5.6 seconds), I suspect that most of them would be more than happy.

    Yes, the company stated that the Roadster would go 0-60 in 4 seconds, so customers could rightfully claim that this is what they paid for. But the company also stated that the Roadster would go 250 miles per charge, and that they would start delivering them to owners in mid-2007. The customers paid for those promises too, didn't they?

    Let me put it this way: if they had given customers like Chris Paine, Linda Nichols, Dean Devlin, Scott Burns, Maria Shriver, or even George Clooney a choice, which would they have picked?

    * taking delivery of a Roadster that goes 0-60 in 5.7 seconds in mid-2007

    * postponing the delivery until late 2008 or 2009 for a model that reaches that speed 1.7 seconds faster

    My guess is that they would have opted for the first choice --which was Martin's original vision. Of course, those folks would have to respond to know for sure. I can only say that my original interest in the Roadster was not based upon its touted acceleration. I'd like to think that I am not alone in that regard --even though I apparently am in this thread.
     
  13. AGR

    AGR Member

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    #14 AGR, Dec 28, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
    It would seem that the majority of the driving and testing was done with the transmission locked in 2nd gear. It also would seem that the car had a 2 speed transmission on the spec sheet/blogs/forums, on the road the reality was usually a single speed transmission.

    Tesla has quickly realised that delivering cars is a high priority at this juncture, the intellectual discussions regarding the transmission and 0 to 60 times have been superseded by the reality of putting cars on the road, and acknowledging the additional challenges of having cars built for them.

    A 6 minute video of a Tesla being driven at Latigo Canyon the transmission never shifts, the regen hardly ever engages....Click Here.
     
  14. GSP

    GSP Member

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    All hands should be on deck to launch the Roadster

    vfx said:

    "Here's hoping that this transmission delay gives Tesla/Lotus time to double check all the other suppliers to insure that they are ready to, or are already shipping their bits to the assembly line."

    I'll second that motion! I hope Tesla has ALL of the other suppliers (from IGBTs, to carbon fiber fenders, to taillight bolts) prove they can make quality parts at the full production rate, BEFORE full rate vehicle production begins.


    AGR said:

    "A 6 minute video of a Tesla being driven at Latigo Canyon the transmission never shifts, the regen hardly ever engages"

    I would not expect Tesla's transmission to shift. I think their transmission is NOT automatic; all shifts are done by the driver. This type of transmission is sometimes called a "powershift." It is basically the same as a "manumatic" transmission (like used in the 6-spd auto Corvette) that always is in manual mode. With the Tesla, if the driver wants "automatic-like" operation, they can just leave it in 2nd gear. Like all other aspects of the Tesla's design, I find this setup very appealing.

    I would like to wish the entire Tesla crew a Happy, and Productive, New Year!

    GSP
     
  15. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    Personally, the single speed, 5.7 acceleration would not be a make or break point. Regen and perhaps resale might be factors. One may want to inquire if Telsa's offer to install the 2-speed transmission can be transferred over to a potential new owner in a resale if the previous owner did not have the upgrade installed.

    I'd be curious to see Tesla's "lessons learned" list that can be applied to WhiteStar and model 3.
     
  16. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    My guess. . . . There wouldn't be much benefit, since the car apparently works quite well in 2nd now. Also, fiddling with another ratio might just take up time that should go toward developing the final transmission.
     
  17. BlackbirdHighway

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    They are not designing an interim transmission at all. They just happened to have one the many attempts at a transmission that works well if you leave it in second gear.

    Now they are trying to take advantage of that to get cars out the door, and escape the dreaded "vapor" label. The plan should work too, as long as they don't put out too many. Every car produced with the one speed is a liability in that they are on the hook for a warrenty transmission replacement.
     
  18. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Oh well. . . I'm sure they need *something* to keep their service department busy. Otherwise they'd be sitting around all day like that lonely Maytag repairman. :wink:
     
  19. BlackbirdHighway

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    Yeah, I remember one of the EV1 mechanics in "Who Killed The Electric Car" talking about topping off the wiper fluid and sending them on their way. Can't be much of a career in that.

    Which do you think is easier, changing a transmission in a Tesla, or in a conventional car? With a traditional front engine, rear wheel drive car it's pretty easy, I've done those myself. Front wheel drive takes a little more work.

    I think on a Tesla it involves lifting out the ESS, so you'd need a crane.
     

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