Tesla's New CEO Blogs: Transmission Troubles and Range Errors

We were lucky enough to sit down with Tesla’s new CEO Ze’ev Drori last week, and we updated you folks on the status of Silicon Valley’s high profile electric vehicle startup. This week Drori, who is a man of a few carefully selected words, blogged an explanation of some of those issues on Tesla’s official blog site.

Drori writes about another small note of negative news: Tesla’s driving range, which was estimated at an EPA combined range of 245 miles back in September, will actually have an EPA combined range of 221 miles. Drori writes that the previously overstated EPA range figure was due to a testing error made by the lab that performed the test (Automotive Testing and Development Services). And he says that real world driving conditions could range from 165 miles per charge for aggressive driving to as high as 267 miles per charge for slow cautious driving.

As we reported, Drori notes that the transmission is the main cause of the delay in bringing the Roadster to market. Specifically he says the interim transmission that the company will use in its first cars will have less acceleration capacity, and will reach 60 mph in 5.7 seconds instead of the promised 4 seconds.

On Tesla’s production schedule, Drori writes that full production of Roadsters will start in the spring of 2008. The company also now says it doesn’t know how fast it will ramp up production, because that is dependent on the company’s suppliers and Lotus. Therefore the company says it can’t determine how many cars the company will produce next year. Hopefully the company can get its suppliers to deliver enough cars in the second half of 2008, or Wired’s Vaporware claim could ring true next year, too.
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