Tesla unveils the least expensive engine and next-generation EV platform

Viewers of Tesla’s Investor Day 2023 stream are hoping for more details on the upcoming Cybertruck or a look at the rumored Model 2 were left disappointed. However, the electric carmaker has detailed what its next-generation vehicle platform and powertrain look like, promising to be more efficient and more affordable.

The automaker’s powertrain designers used in-house developed software to simulate the interaction between the magnetic fields between the stator and the rotor, optimizing the cost, weight and size and sound of the electric motor through rapid iterative design. They also worked closely with Tesla manufacturing engineers to make similar optimizations to the manufacturing process and materials.

The new drive unit will feature a permanent magnet design, but does not require rare earth metals.


Now playing:
Watch this:

Musk outlines vision for electric planes and boats


Tesla says the next-generation powertrain will require 75% less silicon carbide to produce, without any compromises in efficiency or performance. Despite the new powertrain being a permanent magnet design, Tesla also says it will require zero rare earth materials. It will be more efficient in production, requiring 50% less factory space than the Model Y engine and about $1,000 less expensive per unit to produce, which is significant given that vehicles built on this platform are expected to be Tesla’s most affordable EVs to date.

The new platform will be compatible with any battery chemistry and will use new manufacturing methods to streamline manufacturing. Tesla says it learned the hard way during its development often delayed Cybertruck inspired her to rethink the assembly line of the traditional range. Instead of the vehicle body moving down as a whole, parts of the new model (side, doors, floor, front and rear subframes) will be assembled in parallel lines, only at the end of the line.

Tesla says this “out-of-the-box process” is more efficient, cost-effective and less prone to manufacturing bottlenecks. That last bit is especially important if Tesla wants to hit its goal of building 20 million EVs a year by 2030.

of Tesla

Instead of assembling the vehicle in one line, subassemblies of components will be assembled in parallel before being assembled much later.


In addition to the high-voltage powertrain, the automaker is also overhauling the low-voltage powertrain, redesigning and reducing the tangles of cables that serve as the vehicle’s nervous system. It moves from 12 volts to a 48 volt architecture which (thanks to Ohm’s law) will allow for lower current, smaller cables and components with smaller heatsinks, all of which help save weight. Then, instead of a complex network of analog belts, Tesla is moving to a network of smaller controllers — also designed and built in — connected via ethernet to the vehicle’s powerful central brain. This will significantly reduce the number of wires flowing around the body and, thanks to two-way communication, simplify diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Neither Musk nor other Tesla leadership who presented at the investor day commented on a timeline for the expected development of the next-generation platform, powertrain or vehicle that will eventually host it.

Leave a Comment