Model 3

Tesla’s simple Model 3 drivetrain design is key to its mass market future

[Credit: Ingineerix/YouTube]

One can argue that the simplicity in design of the Tesla Model 3 drivetrain and subframe assembly is a key to Tesla’s future. Used in both the Model 3 and the Tesla Semi, while also serving as a platform for Tesla’s upcoming Model Y, the powerful and efficient drivetrains are designed with versatility in mind, as recently highlighted by auto enthusiast Ingineerix on YouTube.

In the short video clip, a Tesla drive unit retrieved from a totaled Model 3 aims to highlight the straightforward design of the all-electric drivetrain that lends itself to ease of manufacturing. Aside from a housing for the inverter and permanent magnet switch reluctance motor, only a handful of electrical connectors could be seen, including a high-voltage connector that leads to Model 3’s battery pack, and a data connector. The entire subframe is attached to the Model 3’s chassis by four bolts, which, when removed, allows the whole assembly to be detached cleanly from the vehicle.

The Long Range RWD Model 3’s drive unit is rated at 211 kW, powerful enough to propel the electric car from a dead stop to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. The simplicity of the drivetrain’s design is further exemplified by the company’s usage of four Model 3 electric motors in Tesla’s tire-shredding electric Semi truck.

When Elon Musk unveiled the Model 3, he made it a point to emphasize that the vehicle is designed to be as simple as possible. Everything, from its chassis to its electric motor, was built with efficiency and simplicity in mind.

In an era of DIYers and their knack for resurrected Frankenstein projects, Tesla Model 3’s drive unit could very well prove to be popular with hobbyists and aftermarket companies looking to capitalize on electric vehicle conversions. This will especially hold true as electric vehicles start to command a significant market share and manufacturing of electric drivetrains, along with access to salvaged vehicles, become more prevalent.

The Model 3 is one of the final phases of Elon Musk’s first Master Plan, which he penned back in 2006. During that time, Musk envisioned the Model 3 to be a vehicle that brings EVs mainstream. Almost twelve years down the road, with Tesla seemingly hitting its pace to the deliver the Model 3 en masse to reservation holders, it appears that the electric car is doing just that.

Tesla’s drive units are quite durable, with a Tesla Model S recently passing the 400,000-mile mark on the road. Thus, it seems safe to assume that the Model 3’s drive unit would be just as durable, if not even better built, than Tesla’s first-generation electric motor. Tesla is aiming to produce around 500,000 Model 3 in a year. That’s half a million electric cars with drivetrains that could easily be detached and used for optimal EV conversions, even after the Model 3 is retired. With the Model 3, Tesla might have really created a car that can usher in a new era of automobiles.

Watch a quick walkthrough of a detached Model 3 drive unit in the video below.

Tesla’s simple Model 3 drivetrain design is key to its mass market future
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