Electric cars are often advertised as having lower maintenance and that’s mainly because of electric motors being far less complicated than engines. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even disclosed having the ambitious goal of making Tesla’s powertrains last for 1 million miles – meaning that they would virtually never wear out.
Last weekend, we reported on Tesla introducing a series of new performance enhancements to Model S and Model X. Tesla wouldn’t confirm the nature of those improvements beyond saying that it was enabled by both software and hardware upgrades and therefore, it is only on new vehicles being built today.
The automaker builds 3 different electric motors: a main rear-wheel-drive motor, a smaller front-wheel-drive motor used in dual motor versions of the Model S and Model X, and another bigger “Performance version” rear-wheel-drive motor.
After updating the performance specs this weekend, Tesla changed the parts number of its main rear-wheel-drive motor.
Tesla’s drive units are built using a patented assembly process that includes having an electric motor, a power inverter assembly and a gearbox into a single, multi-piece enclosure – pictured above and below.
Tesla has been working on new electric motors for the Model 3 and while it would only be speculation at this point, they could have transferred some improvements made through the development of the motor to its current Model S and Model X motors.