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Tesla Model 3 Torn Down, Hacked and Set On a Dynamometer, Exposing Unusual Tech Details ( 227

Rei writes: With an estimated 8,670 Model 3s delivered, a race is on as competitors and owners work to figure out its limits and explore the tech behind it. Many-time Tesla teardown expert "Ingineerix" has posted a series of videos and discussed his findings on Reddit. Among them: what appears to be the industry's first switched reluctance motor, a massive "smuggling compartment" allocated for a future front-wheel motor, no physical fuses (all solid-state), significant wiring harness length reductions via the use of multiple body controllers, a swappable crash energy absorption system, a liquid-cooled compute unit, and redundant controllers for all safety-related systems. He followed up by posting a screenshot of the car tricked into "factory mode" to reveal its internal specs, including a 1200A max discharge current, 370kW max discharge power, and a 76 kWh pack with 72,5kWh usable. Meanwhile, Munro and Associates tore down a Model 3 for an undisclosed, "not Tesla" client, releasing a video criticizing its build quality and for difficulty in accessing the HV cables in the event of an accident (Munroe's claims were dismissed by Ingineerix). Meanwhile, engineers from German automakers were extremely impressed by what they found during their teardown -- particularly the power electronics system, which they described as "compact, expandable, fully integrated, modular, easily accessible, well-protected, reasonably priced and astonishingly clever in many details." Other owners have been putting their cars on dynamometers to measure their power. Drag Times suffered some skid and measured a conflicting 281 / 327.6 hp with 552 lb-ft torque. Contrarily, Tesla Repair Channel found consistent readings around 250hp when starting from 30mph, but consistently around 390 hp when starting from 10mph. The reason for the discrepancy is not yet clear.
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Tesla Model 3 Torn Down, Hacked and Set On a Dynamometer, Exposing Unusual Tech Details

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  • Re, the motor: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @05:25PM (#56190585) Homepage

    To expand a bit on the motor: it should be clarified that it's not a normal switched reluctance motor [] (SRM), but rather a PMSRM (permanent magnet switched reluctance motor).

    Reluctance is used to some extent in many hybrid EV motors, in the form of "IPM" - interior permanent magnet motors []. These are a hybrid of a conventional surface permanent magnet motor (SPM) and a SRM, allowing for high power at high speeds that SPMs don't allow for, as well as reducing magnet sizes (and thus rare earth consumption). By contrast, a PMSRM [] is a SPM that incorporates permanent magnets into the stator; they don't move and are readily cooled, while sculpting and enhancing the field to increase torque density and help control torque ripple.

    It's a new type of motor, combining extreme efficiency, high torque density, and reliability over that offered by an IPM. Getting a PMSRM to work smoothly is an impressive job.

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @05:51PM (#56190725)

      I have to say, that between Tesla and SpaceX Musk seems to truly be amazing for at least one thing - hiring engineering talent.

      Sure Tesla has some struggle scaling up producing. But a lot of what they have built is really advanced technically, and generally works quite well.

      SpaceX is even more amazing in terms of tech, getting stuff working like vertical landings that seemed like it was going to remain as science fiction, while also seeming to be very reliable tech as far as the rocket industry goes which is its own feat (even in modern times you still see rockets exploding on launch).

      I'd have to imagine the Boring Company has hired some equally impressive engineers for mechanical engineering and understanding the science of tunneling...

      I wonder if the secret is Musk not creating a huge layer of bureaucracy above engineering on top of a decent amount of funding, so they can really accomplish things.

      • by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @05:58PM (#56190769)

        I wonder if the secret is Musk not creating a huge layer of bureaucracy above engineering on top of a decent amount of funding, so they can really accomplish things.

        Na, he just makes a randomly selected engineer ride up with every Falcon 9 first stage booster. Half of the engineers are hoping they get picked, the other half are scared shitless, but they all give 110%.

    • That is pretty impressive, with this they can they finally get the efficiency benefits of a "clean" rotor.
    • It sounds a lot like it's just a stepper motor with magnets in the stator.
  • by slazzy ( 864185 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @05:30PM (#56190617) Homepage Journal
    Can't wait to see a teardown of the Tesla Roaster, I heard Elon put it somewhere safe though.
  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @06:27PM (#56190923)

    any DMCA / IP implications here?

    • by caseih ( 160668 )

      No I shouldn't think so. Why would you think that? I'm sure there are loads of patents involved, but patents as you know are open and accessible. Anyone can read them, and anyone skilled in the art should (theoretically) be able to reproduce the technology described by the patent. Don't confuse patents with copyright, or with trade secrets.

  • by bongey ( 974911 ) on Monday February 26, 2018 @06:51PM (#56191041)
    Statler and Waldorf have moved from their previous job of reviewing live shows [] to reviewing cars at Munro & Associates .
    Both found that the BMW I3 the "most advance ever" with a electric range of 114 Miles and a 2 cycle generator option for extra range that gives off enough smoke "so you know it is working" .When reviewing the new Tesla Model 3 they "still cannot find the gas cap after 3 days" and hooking two jumper cables to 12V to open a trunk "more complicated than programming my VCR , I never figured that one out either".
    • They may hate Tesla, but I'm still eager to find out what Sandy Munro has to say about tearing down the Model 3 when he shows up on They are some of the best in the business at estimating costs, and that stuff is fascinating to me.

  • Did not blend.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      You could repurpose a Model 3 powertrain to make a blender that will blend a Model 3 ;)

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