Lotus Position Tesla Motors

9 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Lotus Position Tesla Motors отключены
Lotus Electric Cars

Lotus Position

Holy There is no way I can respond to all your but thank you everyone for writing. time I will discuss one thread that many of you what exactly is Tesla’s with Lotus? Along the I will address a few other from your feedback.

again, I am writing without filters, so I apologize in advance for any slips.

Much as I love I am the first to admit that I, my co-founder, Marc Tarpenning, nor our investor (and chairman of our Elon Musk, is an automotive We have quite a few excellent engineers at Tesla now, but years ago, we did not. have worked for Lotus in the but that’s another story.) We the first Tesla car to handle a proper sportscar, so we approached Cars, known to make the sportscar on the road. (Marc and I Roger Becker at the 2004 LA Show and convinced him that was worthy of consideration.)

Since our meeting with Roger Tesla has built a strong, relationship with the team at focused primarily on bringing a new sportscar to the market quickly and Our relationship has several aspects, I will begin to explore in article:

Tesla has licensed key from Lotus, principally to structure and safety

Tesla has Lotus Engineering for various and styling jobs

Lotus is the contract manufacturer for the Tesla with Tesla as a key supplier to the in Hethel


For those of you who know, the Lotus Elise’s is a work of genius. Richard insight was to construct the entire out of a collection of custom aluminum as he calls it) extrusions that are (glued) together. Extrusions are and easily manufactured with cross-sections.

Bonding allows for aluminum than welding as it has a material area to transfer between members and avoids degradation due to the heat of welding. You fans will attest: the is a proper Lotus, and Colin would be proud. It is light, nimble, and quick.

It is also small, spartan, and not for everybody.

Some have that the Tesla Roadster is on a Lotus chassis. This is not Tesla licensed the Elise technology, but Tesla’s UK-based engineering team designed the chassis using that

The suspension and occupant protection are very similar. But here are a few key

Tesla re-engineered the main rail extrusions, making stronger and thereby allowing us to the doorsill height by 2 inches, improving ingress/egress. (Elon and I are more than 6’ tall, so ingress was a requirement!)

At the same we changed the way the chassis rails just behind the seats. simply bends the rails. instead miter-cuts the rail, bonds them together at the correct angle with a bracket.

This solution with the new extrusions to lower the and reduces manufacturing complexity.

We the box section that surrounds the gas on the Elise. The Tesla Roadster equivalent (actually slightly stiffness with the structural box encloses the battery pack

We a unique rear sub-frame, to a battery pack and electric rather than a gas tank, and exhaust system

We lengthened the Roadster’s wheelbase by 2 inches – of the seats, giving us a tad more for the battery pack, shifting the forward to keep the distribution reducing ride choppiness, and the car a little more sophisticated

We beefed up the composite crash at the front (one of Lotus’s innovations) to accommodate the higher of the Tesla Roadster

The suspension is identical to that of the Lotus, we strengthened many components, to accommodate the increased weight

We use brakes – both front and

And of course, our engineers extensively the new Tesla chassis starting the computer models so carefully by Lotus. We are right now proving the computer models told us harsh durability and safety on real cars. So far, look good. (Though painful to slam brand new into a concrete barrier!)

also licensed key safety from Lotus. Obviously, we did to save time and money. But it deeper than that. suppliers of critical safety (principally airbags and ABS brake are geared up to work with large OEM manufacturers. Over the Lotus has carefully cultivated with suppliers for these and the result is a “federalized” Elise all the right systems.

By using systems unchanged – and with as a supply chain partner for – we have access to components we might otherwise not be able to at all.

By using Lotus’s system and surrounding dashboard we achieved interior safety Some components consequentially like an Elise: the steering and its column; the upper dashboard including the passenger airbag etc.

But we felt that of the Lotus interior was too spartan too uncomfortable) for the Tesla Roadster. So we most of the interior:

We completely the seats, widening them by inches, replacing Lotus’s with carbon fiber, the padding material to the finest foam available, and re-styling the

We designed our own beautiful, exposed console that (can you it?) includes a cup holder

We a custom, color LCD display for all of interesting information about the train, the battery system,

We included a superior Blaupunkt with iPod connector and optional satellite radio and navigation system

We carpeted the to reduce noise and heat from the road (floor are also available)

We designed our own with electrically-activated latch it that “shaved” look – no door latch), leather-trimmed panels, controls for the power central locking, and electric release

As mentioned above, we lowered the by 2 inches to accommodate both and shorter people (and wearing skirts and heels

Engineering and Styling

Lotus principally does engineering and work for other car companies. I say that few major car companies not hired Lotus Engineering for work or other over the Tesla hired Lotus for various bits of analysis, supply chain help, and of body styling.

This I will focus on styling.

In the I thought that we would over some of the Elise panels – just because the of tooling so many parts daunting when Tesla had no money.

But Elon Musk as a McLaren F1 owner, has pretty expectations for a car’s looks) me not to be such a wimp. Supercars are not of fiberglass, and our market will a more sophisticated look that of the Elise. Once I was that carbon fiber was the way to go, Elise went out the window (if you will forgive me) the front and windows.

Though expensive and consuming, this decision us the opportunity to fix a few things: unlike the the Tesla Roadster includes 2.5 mph bumpers, federally compliant HID and all LED rear lights.

A car’s is an expensive and tricky bit, with safety, rollover (when you consider the windshield legal visibility requirements, interaction with the wiper, It made a whole lot of sense to use the “glass house” and rubber system. However, even we improved: the Tesla Roadster’s has an expensive but effective UV- and IR-reflecting embedded in it to keep the cabin on hot days.

With the basic dimensions, the glass house, and the requirements settled, we hired well-known sportscar stylists to proposals for the Roadster styling.

Lotus Electric Cars

I exactly what I wanted the car to like – at least in my own mind. But I am one of engineers who can’t even a circle. My six-year old boy draws cars than I do. -( I spent with a couple of these describing what I wanted. The came back all wrong. looked like cartoon cars – all kinds of doodads, solar panels, bogus thingies, etc.

Not even close to what I

I have a good friend, Moggridge, who is one of the founders of IDEO, a major design studio designs practically everything cars. Bill is a designer’s with cutting edge and impeccable style. He also me well enough to listen to my ramblings and sort out what I Bill wrote a Keynote for me in which he invented a 5-axis that describes the looks of a

For each axis (e.g. at one end, curvaceous at the other or at one end and futuristic at the other), Bill example cars that the extremes. Then we negotiated exactly, on each axis I the Roadster.

We gave this as a brief to all the stylists working on proposals. What a difference! we were getting proposals looked like what I had in my

When the proposals came in, I a room at my house down to white walls, and hung the of sketches from each on the walls. We invited everyone we rope into the task to on the proposals. I was in favor of a lengthy asking the viewers what liked and did not like about design.

Bill had a better give each viewer 3 red and 3 green sticky-notes. Red = bad, = good. Put ‘em wherever you want. It was

After the first 50 or so people with their sticky we saw the following: several stylists had a of red and green notes on various – a bunch of red notes on an ugly a few green notes on an interesting etc. One stylist was so disliked his name was covered with red his last success was an SUV, so should I expect?) But Barney – one of Russell Carr’s guys in the Design Studio – collected a of green. No doubt about it.

Barney had a few red notes to be sure, but he was the winner. I never expected it, his first proposals (before brief) were awful.


Lone Ranger

Elon and the team spent a lot of time – and trips to England – working Barney to perfect the styling.

We a lot from his original proposal, and we with him to get what we wanted the several clay models. I bore you with the details, but a few anecdotes: Barney originally the Roadster with a ridge the hood that ended in a front. This made and me cringe, but I couldn’t sway What was it about the “beak” looked so bad to us but not to Barney?

Then it hit me. I was down the street and passed one of iconic Pontiac Firebirds the ‘70’s. Remember the ones the chicken barfing on the hood?

Firebird had the exact same look. To an American eye, the screamed “redneck.” But the British had the never to import that I sent him a few choice photos of the and he got it.Also, Barney’s original included a black front was an attempt to integrate off-the-shelf This looked terrible on the ¼ clay model – someone it “the Lone Ranger”

No matter how we tweaked it, the front bad. Again, Elon us to spend the considerable money to develop custom (and headlights to make the front great.Just about three from the day Marc and I started we saw our first real Roadster the assembly line. What a

Bye-bye golf carts: is what an electric car should like.


Lotus is one of the very few companies in the world has manufactured cars for competitors: the VX-220 and its cousin, the Opel were manufactured on the same that builds the Elise and the Their assembly line is such that they can different models on the same – no easy feat. This them a natural partner for

Lotus certainly is not the least car factory in the world, and the exchange to the Pound Sterling keeps worse, so for us, the Hethel factory is as a contract manufacturer only for cars. But they are great for the Roadster.

Tesla Position

The Roadster does indeed some Elise DNA. But it is a different car, designed to different goals and deliver a experience. We at Tesla are quite with our friends at Lotus, but our is to become a full-blown car manufacturer, our own factory and a broad product

I expect that Lotus will continue to do work for for a long time – for example, who ride and handling like do? But they are only one resource for us as we

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