In a recent IndustryWeek article, Munro & Associates CEO Sandy Munro and Mark Ellis, senior lead design consultant, have a spirited discussion on electric vehicle drives.
Sandy also shared that, unasked, he also sent Elon Musk 230 ideas on how he could improve the build of the Model 3 and make it more realistic to manufacture. “I have no clue if he implemented any of it.” His motive was avuncular, he says—he wants Tesla to succeed because it’s the only automaker doing anything innovative.
Here are some other key takeaways from their interview:
- If Sandy had to pick only one thing that distinguishes the Model 3 motor, which is the lightest of the four and has the most output, it would be the casing.
- The magnets in the Tesla motor are “vastly different” than the other contenders.
- The Tesla motor is also the cheapest … they think.
- For car detectives, the Model 3 is the gift that keeps on giving.
- When his colleague discovered the magnet configuration in the motor, Sandy got curious, took it over to a vice and gave it a tap with a hammer to see if he could break a magnet free. The whole thing exploded.
- The BMW motor is the heaviest and most expensive, and it has the least amount of power.
- Telsa’s invertor/convertor—the device that takes the battery power, and supplies that power to the electric motor—is very advanced.
- Telsa’s the only automaker that uses silicon carbide on the integrated circuit (power supply) invertors.
- Overall, Tesla’s motor is considerably smaller and more high-tech than the others.
- The Tesla body, “looks like a kids’ high school project,” says Sandy.
- The Model 3 battery design is “brilliant” in its circuitry design and how simple and lightweight it is compared to competitors, but there are issues with its manufacturing.
- Overall, Tesla’s electronics team is “like a whole bunch of Sheldon Coopers that actually get along with people and don’t insult each other.”
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