Open Heart Surgery on the Tesla Roadster Electric Car


Quick Look at Tesla's Insides
Number 1 on the photo above is the AC electric motor. It might look a bit like a vacuum cleaner, but this beast can generate 248 hp (185 kW), spin up to 13,000 RPM, and its max torque of 200 ft-lb is produced from 0-6,000 RPM.

Number 2 is the transmission. After some problems and a temporary two-speed transmission, the Roadster now will have a one-speed transmission with a drive ratio of 8.27:1 that allows it to do 0 to 60 mph in around 4 seconds.Number 3 (above and below) is the power electronics module. One of its tasks is to recapture energy during braking to recharge the batteries, and to make sure that acceleration during a fast start stays under control and that everything stays smooth (if the car wasn't programmed to hold back, it could be downright unpleasant for the people on board).

Number 4 (above and below) is the battery pack. 6,831 lithium-ion cells arranged into 11 modules connected in series with a lot of safety sensors and cooling systems to avoid catastrophic cell failures. Full charge time is around 3½ hours, it contains about about 53 kW·h of energy, and it weights between 900 and 1000 lb (400-450 kg). Estimated life: over 100,000 miles (160,000 km).

For those who are curious to know, we did a post about what happens to a Tesla battery at the end of its life.


Number 5 is the Tesla Roadster's body and frame. It is made of carbon fiber and aluminum to keep the car as light as possible, requiring less power to move it and extending its range.

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Tags: Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles | Japan | Transportation