Hard accelleration wear and tear

Hard accelleration wear and tear

In a normal car, everyone knows that hard accelleration wears the motor out.
Is that the same in this EV? With very few moving parts, is it bad for the motor in the long run?

Please observe that I am NOT talking about tires or consumption, just the motor.

And another thing: I read in another thread that regenerative braking wears the tires out. This I don't understand at all. The braking part is in the motor. There is no force applied to the tires/wheels - they just roll slower. Accelleration is quite another thing - there the added force is transmitted to the heels and the tires might even spin a little. But the braking is smoooooth and no braking power is applied to the wheels, but inside the motor. Or am I wrong again?


christurbeville | 16 October, 2013

I'm sure bolting off the line is worse for it than not. How much less worse than an ICE I'd defer to others. FWIW I do it all the time. Why buy a fast car and drive it like a slow one:) Oh and regen does transmit force to the tires just like braking does. Its just force in the opposite direction of travel. Don't see how regen would wear tires any worse than wasteful friction brakes though. Same force to slow the same mass type of thing.

jat | 16 October, 2013

The motor itself doesn't make much difference, other than some stress in the rotor and additional heat in the windings, but I would expect gears in the gearbox and differential to wear more quickly.

Theresa | 16 October, 2013

@christurbeville, You are correct but what you forgot is that the braking force is only applied to two wheels with regen vs four wheels with brakes. So the wear is worse for the rears but should be better for the front.

DonS | 16 October, 2013

Mechanical and electrical parts wear out due to stress cycling. This stress can be both heat and mechanical flexing. More stress means they wear faster. Designs use an overbuild factor to get a reasonable lifetime. The better designs use a larger multiplier. We can only hope that Tesla design engineers use the bigger multipliers.

Brian H | 16 October, 2013

Some reviewers described the Tesla as over-engineered, with support components etc. much stronger than they needed to be or than industry standard.

Olof | 16 October, 2013

ICEs wear exponentially more when accelerating/revving compared to at careful driving because of the reciprocating mass and its inertia inside the engine. Obviously the complex transmissions and friction clutch(es)suffer at fierce getaways.

So mechanically an EV should withstand hard driving better then an ICE.

But what about the EV batteries, any ideas how they are affected?

ollie | 16 October, 2013

I don't have actual data or know of statements from Tesla, so I'm giving you my opinion only. I don't think there is such a thing as "ragging it out"... and if there is, then I predict that it's a small fraction of the effect of the same behavior on an internal combustion with transmission.


1) one fixed gear - this should be as reliable as a differential on an internal combustion - I've never replaced a differential nor know anyone who has

2) AC induction motor - Only touching/moving parts in there are bearings, and again I've never replaced these nor known anyone who did. It's still common to see AC induction motors in operation that were put into production decades ago... like old fans in warehouses and industry. What a great advantage using the electromagnetic force as a means to perform work!

I take delivery of my P85+ Nov 15, and I am going to drive it like I stole it.

Bubba2000 | 16 October, 2013

Any auto, ICE or EVE, will wear out from driving too fast, hi acceleration or hard braking. It is stress across the system. The question is how much? I think highest mechanical stress has to be on reduction gears of the Model S. Hi torque gave tore the gears in the original roadster.

In the electrical system, I would think the batteries can handle the moderate hi discharge just like they can handle supercharging. I would not do it too often. Most of the time, all it takes is a gentle tap on the accelerator to pass, merge, etc.

I think steady increase or decrease in the speed is the best.

WATTAGE | 16 October, 2013

Finally picking up my Midnight Blue Pano P85+ this Friday in Portland. Long-time lurker, occasional poster under my email address.

My question to those of you who are seasoned owners is this (not accounting for elevation etc, what is the highway speed at which the car seems to be most economical in terms of range? For my Range Rover it was probably 65 or 68 (and still awful mileage at 14-15HWY! Good riddance!). Apologies if this has been discussed ad nauseam prior to my arrival/asking.


AmpedRealtor | 16 October, 2013

@ WATTAGE - The basic rule of thumb is that the slower you drive, the longer the range. I believe the Model S battery can easily achieve 400 miles if you only drive the car at 25-30 MPH. If you need maximum range at freeway speeds, drive the car as slow as is safe for the driving conditions.

July10Models | 16 October, 2013

I once worked in a plant where an electric motor(75 HP) ran for 24 months straight at 1800 RPM. That would be the equivalent of 200000 miles on the Model S. The unit was taken out of service to maintain the attached pump and was returned to service with no work done on the electric motor. That was not a record breaking run in the plant.Unlike a conventional motor which suffers from over heating, the Model S cools the motor and warn the driver when the drive train temp is going out of bounds. Electric motors don't mind running at full load as long as the windings don't overheat. Single reduction gear should not see any significant wear either. Buy lots of rubber, keep her charge and enjoy the grin.

July10Models | 16 October, 2013

@wattage 60 on the flats will run you 280Wh/mi or about 300 miles. When you are driving for range, just keep your usage at or below 270Wh/mile and you'll get slightly better than ideal range. Drove home once from 121 miles away with 120 miles ideal range left. I followed the above by displaying the energy app and last 5 average. That meant doing 40 up the steep hills and limiting top speed to 65 even when heading down hill. Going slow sure beats waiting for a tow truck but proper planning trumps always.Driving leaving no margin for range error or unexpected detours is not recommended.

WATTAGE | 16 October, 2013

Sorry I put this somehow in the wrong place, but probably just as well. Thank you for the responses.

diegoPasadena | 16 October, 2013

As to tire wear: Theresa's point is a valid one: Regenerative braking is applied only to the rear wheels, so the rear tires bear more of the stopping load than the front tires.
But that's true with every two-wheel drive car. If you look at the constant power jolts going through the transmission to the tires of an ICE car as it shifts up and down, and factor in that they, too, have engine braking - albeit to a lesser degree - I wouldn't be surprised if the difference between EVs and conventional cars is negligible when all is said and done.
The Model S might wear its rear tires more quickly that your last car mostly because it is probably more powerful, likely heavier - and you might have shown off its "roller-coaster" acceleration a few dozen times, with a big, broad smile on your face...

Car t man | 17 October, 2013

AC motors are nearly indestructible. Unless there is a design or production flaw, you can't really kill it or overheat it (it likely has a heat diode for hardware heat protection and software protection in inverter).

Your Tesla fill fall apart well before you will put meaningful wear on an AC motor. Provided you do not remove the thermal protection via modding software and removing the heat diode and intentionally doing it which is basically sabotage. Don't worry about it. It is the tire wear and its cost that will be the narrow throat to your fun, then maybe the gearing mechanism.. Just have fun
and don't indulge in zones where you have pedestrians or other vulnerable third parties present..

Mark E | 18 October, 2013

There will definitely be more wear and tear on the rear CV joints if you launch the car hard every time, you are accelerating a very heavy car very fast.

My Porsche Mechanic tells me that the CVs in Cayenne Turbos are not holding up well to repeated launches, mostly due to the stress thats put on them when people drive aggressively. I'd not be surprised to find the Model S can defy physics - driving one hard all of the time will cause wear and tear on drivetrain components.

Brian H | 18 October, 2013

Mark E;
Your last sentence contradicts itself. "not" in the wrong place?

AmpedRealtor | 18 October, 2013

@ diegoPasadena - by the same token, all forward momentum is transferred to the front wheels which then have to dissipate said momentum.

Mark E | 18 October, 2013

Thanks Brian - I should type while tired! It should read that I'd be surprised if the Tesla can defy physics.

Brian H | 19 October, 2013

Why do you want to type while tired? ;p