I drove to work today, parked and plugged in as I always do. When I left at the end of the day the car was slow to move, it seemed like the e-brake was still on but it wasn't. I pressed harder on the accelerator and it lurched repeatedly as it moved forward almost like something in the gearbox was catching and then releasing.
This sounds like one of the rear drum brakes binding. I've had this happen to me in cold/wet weather. So badly in fact that I pulled up to a traffic light to stop, and could not get moving again even with full throttle! Twice in a few days...
When it binds up, only driving backwards will get it to let go again. This is not an uncommon problem on old drum brakes that are in need of some attention. If reversing gets you unstuck it's almost certainly the rear drum brakes to blame.
Other symptoms can be that at slow speeds (under about 15mph) the brake pedal will be overly sensitive and one of the rear wheels will tend to lock with the slightest touch of the brakes.
Both these problems will tend to get much worse in low temperatures (as the drum shrinks, reducing clearance to the shoe linings) and wet conditions. (As the shoe linings will absorb moisture and become more "grabby")
I knew this wasn't good and not wanting to drive anymore I put it in N to see if I could push it back into the parking spot. It rolled with very little effort as if nothing was wrong. I was relieved since that should rule out a mechanical failure in the gearbox. I tried all gear level settings and it behaved the same.
As others have pointed out, the gears are permanently engaged, so "Neutral" doesn't mean anything in a mechanical sense, Neutral just disables power (and regeneration) to the motor but does nothing mechanical.
Did you push it backwards by any chance ? The brakes will only grab going forwards but will turn freely in reverse since the leading and trailing shoes swap roles with direction of rotation.
I have read about folks having issues with the shifter, but mine is working normally. I don't have the car here as I drove a work vehicle home, but I would like help figuring out what to look at tomorrow to see if it is something I can fix or at least diagnose.
I'll be looking at schematics of the gearbox for the remainder of the evening.
Very unlikely to be the gearbox IMHO.
Personally I would pull the rear drums off and give the rear brakes a good going over or have someone do it for you. I disassembled cleaned and adjusted mine and gave the shoes a slight chamfer on each end of the lining material with a file (which helps prevent the leading shoe from digging in, which is what causes the grabbing and locking up) and while I wouldn't say it's perfect now (still slightly grabby in wet weather) I haven't had any more lockups in cold/wet weather.
Not a fan of drum brakes!