Elon Musk has revealed some details of Tesla’s new Plaid carbon-wrapped electric motor, and teased an even hotter, higher-rpm version that will appear with the next-gen Roadster.
The Plaid motor is based on new technology that allows Tesla to build smaller, more powerful and efficient motors than ever. It’s small enough to be picked up by a single human, but can deliver “insane” power and torque.
During the presentation, Musk said Tesla developed a new machine to build the new motor. He elaborated on this in a series of tweets: “Fiber is wound over rotor at high tension load. Machine to do this was made by Tesla Automation. Carbon sleeve must put copper rotor in compression or it loosens at low temp due to differential thermal expansion. Preload is also helpful for maintaining precise gap to stator.”
“Main advantage of this is a much stronger EM field compared with a rotor that is held together by metal (usually high strength steel),” Musk continued. “Other advantage is that rotor can go to higher RPM, as carbon sleeve (mostly) stops copper rotor from expanding due to radial acceleration.”
Of course, when Tesla reveals a new and improved technology, it often hints at something even cooler in store. “The Plaid carbon-wrapped motor is arguably the most advanced motor on Earth outside of maybe a lab somewhere,” tweeted Musk. “We have to keep some secrets! We have a few ideas for increasing torque & max rpm even further for new Roadster. Definitely fun & exciting engineering ahead!”
Musk recently said that the engineering for the next-gen Roadster will be completed this year, and that it will go into production in 2022. A new engineering prototype is expected to be completed sometime this summer.