Tesla has reached the pinnacle of performance longevity and low-maintenance design but hold on to your seats because they’re about to take it up a notch Elon Musk recently revealed his latest motor and it’s already the best in the industry The revolutionary drive unit that is causing a stir is making electric vehicles even more competitive.
We’re talking about a motor that promises to change the game forever, and we’re here to show you why. So buckle up and get ready for the ride as we delve deeper into the benefits of the hairpin motor and why it’s getting everyone talking. Now, when it comes to Tesla, there’s no denying it. Maybe they’ve got their fair share of haters and lovers out there.
One thing we can all agree on is that they are making some serious headway in the world of electric vehicles. In line with their mission to cut costs and improve the environment, they are using software to create the best configuration and a unique design that includes welding without the use of rare earth minerals. This resulted in a drive train consisting of a $1,000 motor and $5,000 battery pack, which made their mass-market vehicle more than just viable.
But also made the gross margin higher. But what’s more exciting is their new motor technology, known as hairpin motors. It’s like nothing we’ve seen before, and everything about it is more compact, lighter, and more evolved. One of the most impressive features of this engine is the hairpin motor fill factor. Basically, this means the motor’s fill factor is up to 0.7, whereas you would get 0.4-0.6 in conventional round wiring. This means that the thermal performance of the motor is better and it enables a highly automated manufacturing process.
The new inverter design is a game-changer. It is much more compact with cast-in-place high-voltage connectors and data connectors. And you can see it yourself when you remove the molded cover. Tesla has also optimized the layout of the engine and improved the chiller assembly. They’ve used a friction stir-welded piece to put it together, and the result is pretty impressive. Now, you must be wondering about the filter in the engine. It’s no longer a spin-on or user-replaceable part, but that’s because it doesn’t really need to be replaced for the lifetime of the car.
Unlike an internal combustion engine, this filter is only meant to stop small wear and manufacturing debris. But let’s go back a bit and talk about the basics of the electric motor. In electric vehicles, electricity supplied by the battery is converted into motion to drive the wheels. And these new Tesla engines are taking that process to a whole new level. This is achieved by creating opposite magnetic fields in the stator and rotor. The pushing and pulling force between these fields causes the rotor to rotate. Now, in the stator, the magnetic field is generated by the electricity running through the copper windings.
But there are two different ways to generate the magnetic force in the rotor. In induction motors, the magnetic field of the rotor is induced using aluminum or copper rods. Since these rods are in the magnetic field of the stator, an electric current is induced in them, which produces the magnetic field of the rotor. And, now that we’ve covered the basics, did you know that Tesla has been designing its own drive units since day one? When Tesla released their Model S in 2012, they completely revolutionized the electric motor industry by bringing their drive units in-house.
This means that the technology will no longer be licensed from third parties. And let me tell you, their induction and permanent magnet motors are two of the most advanced and efficient electric motors on the market today. The induction motor was first developed by the famous Nikola Tesla in the 1880s, and remains one of the most widely used electric motors today.
Very neat, isn’t it? Tesla’s permanent magnet motor is used in a rear-wheel drive setup, while in dual motor versions of the car, an induction motor is added to the front wheels. Tesla can shift power between these two motors to optimize efficiency and torque in different driving scenarios. In simple terms, the induction motor is perfect for high-torque situations like acceleration or climbing hills, while the permanent magnet motor excels in efficiency.
A hairpin motor is an electric motor whose stator winding is made of hairpins instead of round wires. The rectangular shape of the hairpin allows for a better fill factor, which means that the copper winding makes better use of the space, resulting in approximately 20% more space. Efficiency is this technology offers many benefits. The better fill factor generates a stronger magnetic field, resulting in stronger rotation of the rotor and more torque at the wheels.
The smaller the stator can be, the less the energy loss (called copper loss) in passing the current through the copper. This optimized winding path simplifies the assembly process, and hairpin motors have less risk of failure over the long term. but that’s not all. Hairpins can conduct more current than round wires, generating less heat in the windings and motor. This simplifies temperature management and improves the reliability and lifetime of the motor.
In addition, the symmetrical and solid shape of hairpins makes them easier to wrap than round threads. They also do not require stator lacing like round wires, making the assembly process much simpler. With this innovation, Tesla has set new benchmarks in the world of electric motors. What a time to be alive! Hairpin designs offer several advantages over traditional round wire motors, such as precise placement and a cleaner design. This is the reason why companies like Volkswagen, BMW and General Motors have already jumped on board with this new trend.
But implementing the hairpin technique is not without challenges. A major constraint is the accuracy of the process of bending and welding the copper hairpin, as even a small error can result in loss of power. However, Tesla’s custom software revolutionized the game by modeling and simulating the entire motor along with its rotating electric field, allowing them to quickly iterate through millions of designs to choose the best design. Is. Talk about next level technology! But what really sets Tesla apart is its commitment to sustainability. They recently announced that no rare earth metals would be used in the next generation of motors.
Due to which there was a lot of stir in the industry. These rare metals are essential components of motors and can cost over a hundred dollars per kilogram. By eliminating the need for them, Tesla could save hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars over the long term, as well as reduce the environmental and social impacts of mining and sourcing these materials. And if you’re wondering whether this will have any effect on the performance of the motor, the answer is no! Indeed, Tesla claims that these new motors will be even more efficient and cost less. The announcement has already caused some turmoil in the markets, with rare earth mining stocks plunging after Tesla’s announcement. But at the end of the day, the biggest advantage for Tesla is that they can scale up production very quickly without worrying about sourcing scarce materials.
It’s a win-win deal for both Tesla and the environment. And it’s thanks to YouTuber “Ingineerix” that we got a chance to see it up close. First of all let’s talk about weight. The whole thing weighs a solid 194 pounds (88 kg), which isn’t too shabby considering all the power it’s packing. Speaking of power, this new unit is actually an evolution of the previous drive unit Tesla released in 2017 for the Model 3. But what sets this new design apart is the brand new inverter, which is much more compact than before and has a lot more features.
Brand new chiller assembly. The overall layout is the same, but it has been adapted in several areas to make it easier to manufacture and perhaps even extend its life. However, there is one potential downside to this new design: The cartridge oil filter is no longer user-serviceable. But don’t be afraid; As the engineers say, it should last the entire lifetime of the vehicle without needing replacement. The new design features a smartly updated breather, which has been moved to the top of the casing. This means that if water ever reaches the drive unit, it cannot get inside the gearbox unless it goes over the breather.