Wear and tear is an unavoidable part of the car ownership experience. That’s the case even with electric Teslas.
However, the Silicon-Valley automaker is trying to make it so that at least part its cars won’t be subject to degradation over time.
During the call, Musk announced that his company is working to make electric motors that never wear out.
“Basically we want drive units that just never wear out,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s third quarter earnings call earlier this month. “That’s our goal. And I think we’ve made really good progress in that direction.”
According to Musk, the company is making significant strides towards to that goal. Tesla’s Model S sedan and Model X crossovers are driven by either one or two electric motors powered by a massive battery pack located underneath the passenger cabin.
“Right now, we’re actually very happy with the quality of the drive units,” Musk said in the transcript published on Seeking Alpha. “I mean, internally, our goal — we changed the goal of the drive unit endurance from being approximately 200,000 miles to being 1 million miles.”
In comparison, the everyday internal combustion engine found inside a conventional car is good for roughly 200,000 miles with well-maintained models capable of achieving more
With that said, a million-mile electric motor doesn’t mean Tesla-owners won’t have to deal with wear and tear. Their large and expensive battery packs are subject to degradation over time and may require replacement.
Last month, Consumer Reports published its annual reliability report which showed large numbers of Model S owners complained about everything from squeaks, rattles and leaks to complete failure of the car’s electric drive system. Although the Model S put up record breaking scores on Consumer Reports’ road test and customer satisfaction survey, the build quality issues forced the publication to its withdraw the Model S’s “recommend” rating.
During the call, Tesla CTO JB Straubel indicated that the company has made strides to fix the problems that plagued early production cars.
“We’ve made improvements to the large drive unit and those issues were really limited to early population large drive units,” Straubel said.
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