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After building a couple of dozen prototypes over the last two years and a single previous production model last December, Tesla Motors officially started series production of their Roadster today. Production unit number 2 started making it's way down the assembly line at the Lotus factory in Hethel England today and should be completed in the next couple of days. At this point these "production" cars are actually more like a late Beta or Release Candidate 1, given that they still have known issues. These first units are equipped with the original motor and modified single speed transmission to ensure durability. What Tesla calls Drivetrain 1.5 is currently undergoing testing and verification in preparation for a running change later this year. Until the updated motor, transmission, and power electronics module are ready, the build rate will be held at about one car per week. Once the new hardware is ready, the rate will be quickly ramped up to 15-20 cars per week. The car being built today is destined for Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard. This and other early build cars will be retrofitted with the new drivetrain hardware once it has been validated.
Related GalleryFirst Drive: Tesla Roadster
[Source: Tesla Motors]