Tesla's DriveTrain 1.5 progressing on schedule

Tesla Motors has encountered several road blocks on the path of production for its all-electric Roadster, but it appears the biggest hurdles may be behind the up-start company. Tesla began production of the Roadster back in March and has since opened a new dealership in Los Angeles. Things continue to progress as the company's DriveTrain 1.5 is inching closer to being production-ready.

Back in December, we reported that Tesla was considering equipping the first batch of Roadsters with a single-speed transmission instead of the two-speed unit the company had planned. However, Tesla is reporting that it has solved its Roadster problems through a solution found on the company's White Star sedan project.

Tesla has dubbed the solution DriveTrain 1.5 and has been testing the system since January. While DriveTrain 1.5 uses the same single-speed transmission, the entire electric motor has been swapped for a new setup.

The new motor will use a liquid-cooling system instead of the air-cooled unit previously planned. Because the new motor is more complex, it also requires some upgrades to the electronics.

Although the new car forgoes the original's extra gear, the new engine produces more power and therefore can match the performance promised by the two-speed car.

Compared to the 1.0 car, the Roadster equipped with DriveTrain 1.5 will have more torque and an additional 10 miles of range. The most recent tests of the upgraded car returned a 1/4 mile time of 12.9 seconds and a top speed of over 120 mph.

Tesla has yet to give a firm production date for DriveTrain 1.5, but says it is aiming for car #41 which is scheduled to be built later this year.