Tesla is working on a new electric motor upgrade for Model S and Model X with a more efficient permanent magnet reluctance system based on the motor Tesla developed for model 3. A report earlier this week indicated that Model S and Model X sales recorded significant dropped during the first quarter.
There is an indication that the anticipation of a hardware upgrade and a design refresh for those vehicles might be affecting the current demand. Last year the firm planned for an interior design refresh for the second half of 2019. Now there is another information that the firm is also planning for a powertrain upgrade for Model S and Model X.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the firm started including references to new motors for Model S and Model X in recent software upgrades. The new electric motors, codenamed ‘Raven’ are permanent magnet reluctance motors, like the ones found in model 3.
With Model S and Model X, the firm has been using AC induction electric motors for years, but the company switched to permanent magnet electric motors when introducing the model 3 back in 20117.
According to Konstantinos Laskaris, the Tesla’s principal motor designer, who explained the logic behind the move in an interview with Charged last year. “it is well known that permanent magnet have the benefit of pre-excitation from the magnets, and therefore you have some efficiency benefit for that, induction have perfect flux regulation and therefore you can optimize your efficiency. Both make sense for variable-speed drive single-gear transmission as the drive units of the .
Therefore, as you know, our model 3 has a permanent magnet now. This is because for one specification of the performance and efficiency, the permanent magnet better solved our cost minimization function, and it was optimal for the range and performance target.
Quantitatively, the difference is what moves the future of the , and it’s a tradeoff between motor cost range and cost that is determining which technology will be used in the future.”
The more efficient electric motor is contributing to model 3’s great range in a more significant way than some people think. According to the report, the model 3 motor can register an efficiency higher than 97 percent compared to around 93 percent for Model S and Model X motor.
The average discrepancy is even more important in the stop-and-go traffic where the model 3 electric motor is much more efficient than tesla’s AC induction motors. Adding more to the motors with the existing packs could add up to a few dozen additional miles of range to Model S and Model X.
The timing of the e-motor improvement for Model S and Model X is not clear exactly but it could happen relatively soon, according to people familiar with the matter. The upgrade of the electric motor could also come with other Hardware upgrades to increase the charge rate of the Model S and Model X. the new specs enabled by the new motors are still unknown, but we expect a decent range and power bump.
As reported earlier in the week by a journal, the two models X and S’s sales decreased during the last quarter. This hardware upgrade could be used to catapult the sales of the two models. It also comes just before a series of new and competing for electric vehicles hit the market, and could help Tesla maintain its competitive edge against vehicles like the Audi e-Tron and Porsche Taycan.
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