Tesla Motors CTO JB Straubel has posted an engineering update on the company’s work on “powertrain 1.5”—an improved motor to handle higher current and torque; an improved inverter to deliver higher motor current; and a single-speed gearbox designed to replace its problematic two-speed transmission—on the company’s website.
Initial production deployment of the new powertrain is targeted for around vehicle #41 later this year.
We also have a Roadster with a prototype 1.5 powertrain that we are now driving regularly. The higher torque is really phenomenal. I have many hours behind the wheel of the 1.0 powertrain and this is simply much better. The motor torque is improved by a bit more than 30% beyond what was already great and the ¼ mile time for the car is now in the 12.9 second range. The top speed of the vehicle remains over 120 mph.—JB Straubel
In addition to the improved motor, inverter and transmission, the new powertrain includes upgrades to the vehicle firmware and a new motor to gearbox coupler. There have been no changes to the battery pack.
According to Straubel, Tesla’s upcoming sedan project will also use a single speed gearbox that will be very similar to the new gearbox in powertrain 1.5, re-using most of the internal components and designs.
That is how we can accelerate the sedan project by leveraging this work.—JB Straubel