Stop what you’re doing, because Elon Musk just gave us an exciting sneak peek of Tesla’s new super-powerful motor! The car manufacturer’s CEO took to Twitter today to share the amazing details about his brand new invention with his followers. If you’re wondering how it works and how long it’ll take until we can drive one ourselves, keep reading!
What is this new Tesla motor?
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, revealed details on Twitter of a new electric motor with impressive performance stats. The electric car maker calls it the Model 3 motor and says it will be installed in their upcoming Model 3 all-electric vehicle. With peak torque of 1,500 Nm (1,106 pound-feet), what Elon Musk refers to as the big gun can easily spin a 1,000 kilogram (2,200 pounds) car at 125 km/h (77 mph). And more importantly for acceleration fans: 0–100 km/h comes in 2.7 seconds! That’s even faster than a Formula One car—at least according to Elon.
He didn’t give too many details about how it will differ from what we already know about Model 3, although he says that peak torque is achieved at zero RPM, which indicates a robust electric motor. For comparison, Tesla’s bigger Model S sedan has a larger electric motor with a peak torque of 903 Nm (636 pound-feet). In addition to being smaller in size and lighter in weight, it also achieves peak torque of 1,000 Nm between 1,600 and 2,800 RPM—making it considerably slower than what Elon Musk just unveiled. Musk has been talking up electric motors for a while now: He believes they are far superior to those with internal combustion engines (ICE), even if ICEs have more power on tap.
Why is Tesla doing this?
The biggest challenge with an electric car is that you have to carry a lot of batteries with you, but nobody wants a big, heavy vehicle, said Elon Musk. This makes it extremely difficult to make an electric sports car that’s super fast.
But how would he do it? A new motor! For a while, Tesla has been working on reducing motor size. As it turns out, a big reason why engines are so big is because of cooling—you need space for cool air to flow around all that metal.
So, Tesla started thinking about how you could make a motor with no parts that move and nothing to cool—just a solid piece of metal. It sounds impossible, but they’ve done it!
… they’ve done it! – Third Paragraph: The new motor design uses magnets instead of copper coils and allows for faster acceleration than current models and better handling through crazy torque curves.
Elon’s also excited about a few other upgrades, like cold-weather performance and efficiency improvements. I can’t wait to test drive one of these bad boys!
How much power will it have?: The new motor will give Tesla vehicles crazy torque curves, and they’ll be coming out with even more powerful versions. We can’t wait to get our hands on one of these babies!
How will this change the world?
Tesla Motors has made a name for itself by taking an incredibly ambitious approach to production and technology. That trend continued on Tuesday as CEO Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s newest product: a battery for homes. The Tesla Home Battery will work with solar panels to store energy, providing backup during power outages and making it possible to run your house off-grid if you want. Here’s everything we know about it.
The goal of Tesla’s new battery is pretty clear: to provide a renewable energy source that’s more accessible than ever before. The company says it’ll be delivered in an easy-to-install package and fit in with almost any home design. It’s safe, efficient, and low cost, and it can be installed in less than a day, Tesla says on its website. Most importantly, it makes solar power available to households that would otherwise not host solar panels. The battery comes with adapters so you can plug it into a wall outlet or transfer energy straight into your house. It also comes with software that allows you to monitor energy use and interact with other connected devices—everything from security systems to pool pumps.
How Does it Work?
Tesla has always been a bit of an enigma, but today, Elon Musk revealed some pretty impressive new technology from Tesla that could change everything.
The new electric motor is called Model 3, and it’s insane. I’ll let Elon explain: Basically, it just makes for a much more efficient machine. And by doing so, we can make dramatic improvements to how quickly we can charge our cars, how far they can go and how much room is inside. If you think, going green was expensive now? Well, it just got cheaper!
By not having a rotor that physically spins, we’re able to pass those savings on to customers, Elon said. The new motor is about 30 percent more efficient than our previous generation motors producing horsepower and torque. The design makes it easy for us to scale. Just change out a little piece of hardware, and boom, you’ve got a motor that can handle up to 7,000 RPM. When you try to do something like that with conventional induction motors, they kind of burn up at high speeds because of how they are constructed.
The new motor is more robust and lighter than our previous generation. The one we use in Model 3 is less than half of a millisecond faster to reach full torque than our previous generation. It’s an insane amount of acceleration – it makes for an enjoyable driving experience. Better power density also means that we can fit more motors on Model 3 than any other vehicle, which means a lot more range without adding extra weight. On top of that, all of these improvements are achieved with only minimal increases in cost and complexity. Simply put, there isn’t another electric vehicle out there with an engineering package that delivers anything close to what Model 3 does.
Will more automakers use it?
Traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs) are made up of a mix of moving parts and valves that need to be precisely aligned. They can fail or wear out over time if they’re not, causing breakdowns and costly repairs.
By contrast, electric motors have only one moving part: an electromagnet or an induction device that pushes and pulls on a piece of metal to generate torque. This design makes them more compact than ICEs and way less likely to break down—and according to Musk, it also means that powertrains will last longer in electric cars. The fundamental unwritten goal with Tesla is to build a great car, not just some other electric vehicle, he said. This will be quite a big jump in technology.
In one slide, Tesla compared a traditional ICE powertrain (top) with an electric motor (bottom). The electric motor is only one moving part, while an ICE has more than 100. This means that while they’re not designed to last forever, there are far fewer moving parts that can wear out or break in an EV than there are in a gas-powered car. As with any innovation, it may take some time for other automakers to catch up. But if we keep seeing reactions like these from industry experts and auto executives, it sounds like electric cars will keep getting better and better—and become ever-more popular.
Overall, while we’re excited to see what Tesla can do with its new motor, there are other ways to minimize moving parts in an EV. The Renault Zoe—Europe’s best-selling EV so far—has only one moving part in its powertrain. Other automakers may also find ways to use different motors that run for longer on a single charge and don’t rely on rare earth metals. As EV technology advances, a range of options could emerge. But either way, it sounds like electric vehicles will be getting a lot more reliable in future years.
What comes next from Tesla?
Tesla has long said that its next car—smaller than a Model S and cost about half as much—will go into production in 2017. And at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting, Musk revealed some more details about his company’s upcoming product: It will have a new kind of motor and won’t look like anything else on the road. The biggest news is we have finally figured out how to power an electric car. You know there are a lot of myths about how you can’t, he said.
Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 is going to change all that. This next-generation car is about half as long as a current Model S, and it will cost nearly half as much: around $35,000. It’s meant to be a direct competitor to luxury sedans from established automakers like BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus. Of course, being an electric car, it has almost nothing in common with those companies’ internal combustion models—and Tesla isn’t stopping there. The point of doing that is to make cars more affordable by dropping costs out of the system… Musk said that we want people to buy their first Tesla instead of buying a used car at today’s meeting.
And part of reducing costs is eliminating expensive things like gearboxes, so Tesla has developed an entirely new type of motor called a rotary smasher. Musk said that its simplicity and compact size would allow Tesla to make a lower-cost electric car.
Rumors have been circulating now that Tesla was working on its custom electric motor. During his Wednesday night keynote at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, California, CEO Elon Musk confirmed those rumors.
The unconventional new motor design is designed with electric vehicles (EVs) in mind. While it wasn’t explicitly named during Musk’s keynote speech—it only has a code name for now—it’ll likely end up being called something like EV8000. The new system uses a unique number of relatively small stator windings (which create a magnetic field to push and pull against) that are individually controlled by computer systems. This allows for fine-tuned control over torque and maximum efficiency.
As exciting as that sounds, Tesla isn’t planning to replace its current electric motors with EV8000s immediately. It’ll first use them in its upcoming Model 3, which has been touted as Tesla’s first mainstream EV vehicle due to its relatively affordable $35,000 base price tag. The automaker has a target of producing 500,000 cars per year by 2018—the Model 3 is expected to make up a large portion of those production numbers. If you’re interested in learning more about Tesla’s new motor or what Elon Musk had to say at Wednesday night’s keynote speech,
What do you think of Tesla’s newest innovation? Tell us in the comments! And, if you enjoyed reading about Tesla’s latest and greatest, feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter. That helps others discover great content as well!
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