Tesla went to great lengths to make Model S Plaid the fastest production car in the world. The key component is an innovative motor that is capable of reaching the highest torque and achieving super-high revolutions per minute (RPM). But the company will not stop there and already has ideas to further increase torque and revolutions per minute for the new-gen Roadster.
During the Model S Plaid delivery event, the company's CEO, Elon Musk, shared unique details about the new innovative motor. The new electric motor is the first of its kind to be in production and features carbon sleeve rotors. In order to get the carbon wrapped over the rotor, there are some very tough obstacles to overcome. Musk explained that carbon and copper have different rates of thermal expansion and in order to achieve the desired result, the rotor must be wrapped at an extremely high intensity, which is difficult to do.
“As far as we know, this is the first time there has been a production electric motor with a carbon-coated rotor. This is an extremely difficult thing, because carbon and copper have very different rates of thermal expansion. To have a carbon-coated rotor, you need to wrap it with extremely high intensity and this is extremely difficult to do."
Today via Twitter, the head of the company shared some more details. Musk said that the fiber is wound over the rotor at a high tension load, which previously could not be achieved on a large production scale. Tesla Automation, which is based in Germany, made a machine for this. At the beginning of May, it was noticed that construction had begun near the company's facility in Prüm. It is likely that the new building will house production lines for new machines that are needed to produce the innovative motors that will power Model S Plaid and Roadster, according to Musk.
The main benefit of the new motor is that the carbon sleeve rotor creates a stronger electromagnetic field than a rotor that is held together by metal, the head of the company explained. Another advantage is that the rotor can go to higher RPM as the carbon sleeve stops the copper rotor from expanding due to radial acceleration. Thus, Tesla's new motor is the most advanced motor in production on Earth.
Main advantage of this is a much stronger EM field compared with a rotor that is held together by metal (usually high strength steel).— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 13, 2021
Other advantage is that rotor can go to higher RPM, as carbon sleeve (mostly) stops copper rotor from expanding due to radial acceleration.
Nevertheless, the company does not intend to be satisfied with what has already been achieved, which generally applies to any product created by it. Musk said that Tesla already has several ideas to further increase torque and maximum RPM for the new Roadster, which should begin production soon. As such, there’s no doubt the Roadster will have the most effective and innovative equipment, the analogs of which do not exist today.
The Plaid carbon-wrapped motor is arguably the most advanced motor on Earth outside of maybe a lab somewhere. We have to keep some secrets!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 13, 2021
We have a few ideas for increasing torque & max rpm even further for new Roadster. Definitely fun & exciting engineering ahead!
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.