Understanding the Tesla Model S Performance Motor

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Join me for a deep dive into the details of the 18,000 RPM performance rear motor and drive unit from a 2015-2016 Tesla Model S P90D. This drive unit is similar to the one used in the 2017-2020 P100D. The video is divided into four sections showing: 1. The motor and gears. 2. The high-performance bearings. 3. The lubrication system. and 4. The cooling system.

Thank you to everyone for catching my errors. There are always errors ;)
1. The Nissan Leaf ring gear is held on with 8 bolts, not 6.
2. The fluid in this drive unit is Dexron 6 transmission fluid.
3. Induction motor rotors do not have poles, just the stator. The 60 slot stator has four poles.
4. Silicon Nitride is a ceramic material.

0:00 Start
0:10 Introduction
1:35 Gearbox housing
2:10 Video Section 1 - Gears and Motor Rotor
2:45 The giant differential ring gear with 16-bolts!
4:20 The giant differential case bearings
4:50 The differential case speed at 250 km/h (155 mph) = 1841 RPM
5:15 MUST SEE Comparing the Tesla 213mm x 50mm. ring gear with 78 teeth (Factors 2, 3, 13) to a Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf EV
5:40 A Chevrolet Bolt EV differential 198mm x 34.3mm ring gear with 12-bolts.
6:10 A Nissan Leaf EV differential 200mm x 32mm ring gear with 8-bolts!
7:30 The Counter Shaft (Jack Shaft) with 25 (Factors 5, 5) pinion gear teeth. 78/25 = 3.12:1 Gear ratio from countershaft to the differential case
8:50 The countershaft speed at 250 km/h (155 mph) = 5743 RPM
9:30 The motor shaft with 25 teeth drives 78 teeth on the countershaft for another gear reduction of 78/25 = 3.12:1
10:08 The motor shaft speed at 250 km/h (155 mph) = 17,919 RPM
11:20 See all three gears in the reduction gearbox with an overall gear reduction of (78/25) x (78/25) = 9.7344:1
12:05 MUST SEE The AC Induction Motor Rotor with 74 bars
13:25 Motor specifications for power, torque, and gear ratio
15:00 MUST SEE Ceramic Bearings (Silicon Nitride) on the rotor from the SKF Group (skf.com)
16:22 MUST SEE Close up view of silicon nitride bearing
18:20 The motor rotor speed sensor reluctor wheel (tone ring)
19:22 Must SEE The rotor installed on the drive gear and the functioning gearbox
20:18 Video Section 2 - Specialized Bearings
21:21 The 60 slot four-pole stator and housing
23:05 The oil pump and how it is overdriven by the differential ring gear 23/78 = 0.2948:1 gear ratio (3.339 times faster than the ring gear)
23:55 MUST SEE The function of the oil pump (it may surprise you)
26:27 Motor shaft (Input Shaft) bearing reference speed and limiting speeds
27:30 How to run bearings at higher speeds than their limiting speeds
29:54 Video Section 3 - Lubrication
30:25 Drain and fill plug locations
30:50 Gearbox vent and inverter vents
31:05 Sport model label
31:39 MUST SEE Four different sealed areas in the drive unit
32:46 Video Section 4 - Cooling System
33:30 MUST SEE The coolant inlet port and the two paths coolant takes
33:53 Up for rotor cooling and gearbox cooling
35:03 Down for stator and inverter cooling
36:05 Coolant from the rotor moves to the gearbox heat exchanger and the outlet port
37:25 Stator temperature sensors
38:10 Coolant from the stator to the inverter coolant passages
38:28 Stator coolant temperature sensor
38:35 MUST SEE Insulated-Gate Bi-Polar Transistor (IGBT) module coolant passages and flow through gearbox passages
40:34 Inverter coolant outlet temperature sensor
40:45 The gearbox oil-to-coolant heat exchanger
41:38 Coolant outlet port to coolant pump and onboard charger module under the back seat.
41:55 Drive unit cooling system summary
43:04 IGBT inverter modules installed and inverter cover
43:40 High voltage battery cable connections and low voltage connections at the inverter
44:35 Video summary

Weber State University (WSU) Davis Campus - Automotive Technology Department - Advanced Vehicles Lab. A technical description and demonstration of the Tesla P90D Rear Drive Unit (RDU). We teach current vehicle technologies to our automotive students at Weber State University and online. For more information visit: www.weber.edu/automotive

This video was created and edited by Professor John D. Kelly at WSU. For a full biography, see www.weber.edu/automotive/J_Kel...

Visit my other youtube channel www.youtube.com/user/vibrates... to see the amazing NVH app for vibration diagnosis!

Join us for hybrid and electric vehicle training with two online courses and in a 5-day on-campus boot camp with Professor John D. Kelly. See www.weber.edu/evtraining

Please consider a donation to the Department of Automotive Technology at Weber State University here: advancement.weber.edu/Automotive


  1. D.A.L.
    Пре 12 сати

    I wish I could afford a used tesla drive unit and everything needed to make it work. I'm planning to build my own car and it would be awesome to have it electric. But I'm just a poor working man so I guess I'm gonna have to stick with a gasoline powertrain

  2. Timothy Maggenti
    Timothy Maggenti
    Пре 13 сати

    Nice Job, great job explaining everything. I really appreciate it.

  3. Stephen Lambrecht
    Stephen Lambrecht
    Пре 14 сати

    Thanks to you, Prof John, I am happy to have purchased a Bolt EV. Transportation Evolved gave you a great thumbs up for your excellent work. I 2nd that and love my car.

  4. eric olivo martinez
    eric olivo martinez
    Пре 17 сати

    Estos autos de tesla están muy bien construido ojalá y fabriquen autos económico que este al alcance de nosotros los pobres

  5. eric olivo martinez
    eric olivo martinez
    Пре 18 сати

    Ojalá y los fabricante de vehículos eléctricos no sean todos igual que tesla que los autos solo están alcance de los ricos en usa en cambio en China se fabrican súper barato para que cualquier trabajador o persona del pueblo lo adquiera

  6. Stan Rodgers
    Stan Rodgers
    Пре 23 сата

    8 bolts Nissan Leaf at 6 minutes.

  7. Nizel D souza
    Nizel D souza
    Пре дан

    great video mate!! informative

  8. sam min
    sam min
    Пре 2 дана


  9. Below asmelash habel shutel Gebremaraim
    Below asmelash habel shutel Gebremaraim
    Пре 3 дана


  10. Below asmelash habel shutel Gebremaraim
    Below asmelash habel shutel Gebremaraim
    Пре 3 дана


  11. David Elliott
    David Elliott
    Пре 3 дана

    I wonder why they don’t use two smaller motors and delete the differential. Also, epicyclic gears handle high torque and run quiet with straight-cut gears.

  12. froop
    Пре 3 дана

    11:00 thats cool... but driving 250Km/h is no problem in Germany on the Autobahn 😁

  13. Semih Fatih Adem
    Semih Fatih Adem
    Пре 4 дана

    Omg we are so lucky to hear these from a professor instead of a youtuber. Thanks for quality content

  14. Horseman Oz
    Horseman Oz
    Пре 4 дана

    Excellent, thank you.

  15. Abbas E1000
    Abbas E1000
    Пре 5 дана

    This is just nonsense!!! All these electronic parts, in addition to the high speed of the electric motor, make it completely unsafe and vulnerable to electrical and mechanical faults, because the tension is doubled to almost ten times. This car is short-lived and has many faults, believe me.

  16. LeZturbo
    Пре 6 дана

    Love the way you are describing/explaining things. I also loved the RAV4 hybrid trans explanation as I always said to my friends « there’s no real gearbox in a Prius, that’s the genius of it » !!!!

  17. Kamil Fikret Alsancak
    Kamil Fikret Alsancak
    Пре 7 дана

    45 POLES 22:00

  18. Alberto Martos del Rincón
    Alberto Martos del Rincón
    Пре 9 дана

    Congratulations! Very good training video!!!

  19. Glen Orrett
    Glen Orrett
    Пре 9 дана

    this is very excellent, I watched this video knowing nothing about the drive unit for tesla and now I feel that I could confidently explain how things work

  20. Jimmy Jawbone
    Jimmy Jawbone
    Пре 10 дана

    Very informative

    Пре 11 дана

    non conductive ball bearings, my favorite part

  22. Rampal Grih Dhwaj Singh
    Rampal Grih Dhwaj Singh
    Пре 11 дана

    nice simply explained video

  23. danny B
    danny B
    Пре 11 дана

    if your bored and disected the known universe can you take a part a renault zoe

  24. danny B
    danny B
    Пре 11 дана

    thanks for the facts and not the anecdotes

  25. danny B
    danny B
    Пре 11 дана

    dude you are 100 times more interesting than sandy keep it real

  26. JerryMetal
    Пре 13 дана

    Elon built this engine in a cave with only a box of scraps!

  27. Hasan Nasaji
    Hasan Nasaji
    Пре 13 дана

    you are best teacher

  28. Good Will
    Good Will
    Пре 15 дана

    Absolutely amazing super job!!! Thanks

  29. Steven Young
    Steven Young
    Пре 15 дана

    Outstanding and highly informative! Thank you👍

  30. pbertf24
    Пре 15 дана

    Simple and elegant..that is Tesla for u

  31. Blacknass
    Пре 17 дана

    warum hat Elon Musk den Namen Von Nicola Tesla geklaut ? um sein Produkt besser verkaufen lässt. Nicola Tesla dreht sich gerade ihm Grabe um ! Ich hoffe die Menschen werden erwachen und Elon zum teufel jagen !

  32. DaChester
    Пре 18 дана

    min.6:10 Nissan Leaf 8 Bolts not 6

  33. Carsten Biehl
    Carsten Biehl
    Пре 19 дана

    Aren't there 8 Bolts on the Leaf Differential?

  34. Eugene Anderson
    Eugene Anderson
    Пре 19 дана

    Tiny for a Cat guy technology has been around since the 30’s

  35. Jason Jones
    Jason Jones
    Пре 20 дана

    great video WeberAuto

  36. DrHaiFisch
    Пре 20 дана

    My Yamaha FS was spinning 18.000 rpm but just on 120 km/t...

  37. Raghu Vamsi Kodaboina
    Raghu Vamsi Kodaboina
    Пре 21 дан

    That was one hell of a cooling system design. It is excellent. Thank you professor for such a wonderful presentation and explanation.

  38. GeneHG
    Пре 21 дан

    I was surprised that you didn't use a bead blasting technique to clean up the smoke residue. Different bead materials are available to give different aggressiveness. Glass beads work great for rusty things. The problem may be in finding a bead material that cleans smoke, but leaves printing and labels. Those could be masked off for manual cleaning.

    1. WeberAuto
      Пре 21 дан

      It was too large and too heavy to put into our blaster. Thanks for watching

  39. Dead Pilot
    Dead Pilot
    Пре 22 дана

    I think that any oils for turbojet engines are suitable, there are the same "ceramic" bearings, rotations and loads.

  40. DC9848
    Пре 22 дана

    Fantastic walk through for any Tesla fan, thanks for sharing!

  41. tony bryan
    tony bryan
    Пре 22 дана

    Thank you sir for a most informative, detailed description of the Tesla motor and drive train. A really fascinating dive into the inner workings. I especially appreciate your candidness on what is not known for sure, Thank you, my friend.

  42. unknown unknown
    unknown unknown
    Пре 22 дана

    legal factors and the fact that probably 70% of the masses will never drive 155 for at all let alone any length of time is why we as a populace need to get away from buying cars over powered to do greater than legal speeds. it will make electric cars more effective and more efficient and kill the need for a massive recharge network that some company is willing to make as long as they can monetarily rape us for it. same would happen if gas cars were made super efficient from the start, but people needed cars to go long distances quickly, gas companies wanted to sell a product that is instantly lost through use and needed you to buy more $$$$$ and failing of parts meant to fail through use $$$$$since ev's have much fewer parts that's much less $$$$ over time for car companies so dont plan on them making them more efficient and just trying to sell you the research time it takes to make little changes in battery tech and charging stations and high price of entry for a ev. Also until people the populace grows up and demand power efficient non over powered people movers the car companies and developers will always lube up and wait for you to knock on their door.

  43. tariq ruwaili
    tariq ruwaili
    Пре 22 дана

    can't wait for the plaid motor

  44. Алексей Михайленко
    Алексей Михайленко
    Пре 23 дана

    Дядька шарит, и произношение очень четкое, можно и про устройство узнать и Английский подучить)

  45. TecSanento
    Пре 23 дана

    "most people will never experience these speeds" ... me laughing in german (drovve a 90D on german autobahn at 250km/h for about half an our :D)

    1. tony bryan
      tony bryan
      Пре 22 дана

      Too much fun ;

    Пре 23 дана

    6:15 No, it doesn't have 6 bolts, it has 8 bolts.

  47. No-one_no1
    Пре 23 дана

    6 bolts on the leaf you say?

  48. apouy gaming
    apouy gaming
    Пре 24 дана

    good video

  49. Andrew M
    Andrew M
    Пре 25 дана

    Doesn't that Nissan Leaf have eight bolts holding the ring gear in?

  50. Jules CAIRON
    Jules CAIRON
    Пре 25 дана

    Amazing work from this professor. Thanks a lot.

  51. cookiehead2
    Пре 26 дана

    Dextron VI is used in a lot of things

  52. SquillyMon
    Пре 27 дана

    An Absolute Master Class Discussion right here

  53. SquillyMon
    Пре 27 дана

    So what you're saying is... DO-NOT physically damage that housing! Holy Smokes I had no clue of the level of simplicity and complexity going on in that assembly. I suspected as much but this blew my mind. Some adventurous engineering right there!!

  54. Donnie Dye
    Donnie Dye
    Пре 27 дана

    Really enjoyed the video. It's like showing a magicians tricks.

  55. maria cornwallis
    maria cornwallis
    Пре 27 дана

    I have just orderd a hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai. BUGGER your EVs

  56. Eric Schickelgruber aus Linz
    Eric Schickelgruber aus Linz
    Пре 28 дана

    Da gibt's kein Geheimnis. Patent ist 120 Jahre alt. Und funktioniert immer noch. Ist aber inzwischen technologisch Out of Date und alles andere als ein Performancemotor. Das Patnet ist sogar inzwischen Lizenzfrei. Darum nennt es Tesla auch Open Source. Ist ein Marketingtrick.

  57. Ramiro Rodriguez
    Ramiro Rodriguez
    Пре 28 дана

    Wow! Thank you so very much.

  58. Stel ThirdEyeProductions
    Stel ThirdEyeProductions
    Пре 28 дана

    Amazing! So much high tech in such a 'simple' design, driving components to extreme conditions. Such a 'well' balanced system. Looking forward to watch the power electronics video tonight. Brilliant explanation (as usual). A 'perfect in every way' lecture! Respect!

  59. Someoneelse
    Пре 28 дана

    Did someone get a labelmaker for christmas?

    1. tony bryan
      tony bryan
      Пре 22 дана

      He's a teacher. Teachers are gonna teach. ;

  60. thewitchertales
    Пре 28 дана

    what a great educational and well made video with tons of detail... great job man!

  61. thewitchertales
    Пре 28 дана

    35:00 it passes threw the stator housing and middle of stator not only to cool but it can run the induction rotor without the car moving to build up heat so the heated coolant and warm up the battery if its cold. pretty genious.

  62. Jim Mcfarland
    Jim Mcfarland
    Пре 29 дана

    OMG another Elon Musk fanboy....

  63. Mauricio Ocampo
    Mauricio Ocampo
    Пре месец

    Great video.

  64. ryusuke yamamoto
    ryusuke yamamoto
    Пре месец

    This is best automotive channel . Thank you for all this information open to public 😃amazing

  65. Kei Davis
    Kei Davis
    Пре месец

    The Nissan Leaf you showed has 8 bolts, not 6.

  66. gentel fix
    gentel fix
    Пре месец

    Really inpirational

  67. Steven Madsen
    Steven Madsen
    Пре месец

    Can you suggest a good e-bike Tesla motor??

  68. vinda narine
    vinda narine
    Пре месец

    Excellent video, are you a teacher at a automotive school

  69. StrawberryredfiestaST
    Пре месец

    6:18 its 8 bolts not 6

    1. StrawberryredfiestaST
      Пре 27 дана

      @WeberAuto you probably did hear this a lot already. sorry 😅. great video tho 👍🏼

    2. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      Yes, I was wrong. Thanks for watching

  70. akfinner1
    Пре месец

    This man really loves his bearings

    1. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      LOL, yes. Thanks for watching

  71. Creative1615
    Пре месец

    Excellent and educational video. Next should be The Rimac Concept One, direct drive motors for each wheel are their also gear boxes for each wheel?

    1. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      That would be cool! No, direct drive

  72. Krusty Pickles Gaming
    Krusty Pickles Gaming
    Пре месец

    ive heard they use bmw coolant to cool their batteries. maybe they use bmw spec oil for the drive unit

    1. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      I do not know. Thanks for watching

  73. rishabh sehgal
    rishabh sehgal
    Пре месец

    Dislikes for?

    1. tony bryan
      tony bryan
      Пре 22 дана

      @sam smith The prof didn't diss anything or anyone. He just explained stuff. And he did an excellent job, in my opinion. :

    2. sam smith
      sam smith
      Пре месец

      Tesla fan bois think elon touches anything and it turns to gold, down vote from Tesla haters. Tesla fan bois down vote any video that diss Tesla. You gonna get down votes whichever way you do the video. Best not get involved in any Tesla argument if you dont want down votes.

    3. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      I gave up trying to figure that out. Thanks for watching

  74. turbyturbo1
    Пре месец

    can you do the plaid ?

    1. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      I hope so! someday

  75. Tuğrul Tamer Coşkun
    Tuğrul Tamer Coşkun
    Пре месец

    awesome video! thank you!

  76. Runforestrun FPV
    Runforestrun FPV
    Пре месец

    Mechanically it is similar to a transmission unit of my team associated SC10 without the need for extensive liquid cooling unit.

  77. neil barron
    neil barron
    Пре месец

    I would like to "guess-to-mate" that all the cooling on the electrics is more to transfer the heat to inside of the cabin. After all how else would could one heat the interior? Any one thats owned VW bug knows about this issue on a cold Canadian January morning!! I am quite sure other high power electric motors are air cooled such as an elevators and such that get as hot or even hotter. I would really like to know at what temp the engineers designed this whole unit to operate at. And thank for a great break down and video!!

  78. tkswdr
    Пре месец

    The non burned engine has a sticker saying 18.5k if I'm right. That means 18500rpm limit.. ceramic bearings?

  79. Jonas L
    Jonas L
    Пре месец

    Great videos! Thanks for your effort! Will there be some videos about the Mustang Mach-E e-Drive? Especially the cooling would be interesting.

  80. Devon Nobles
    Devon Nobles
    Пре месец

    Did I miss something, or is that really 8 bolts on the leaf diff?

  81. Euro Asia BT Limited
    Euro Asia BT Limited
    Пре месец

    Great video

  82. Axel Werner
    Axel Werner
    Пре месец

    i am surprised. i was expecting 4 wheel hub motors, not a single motor with lots n lots of gears.

  83. Christian Szell
    Christian Szell
    Пре месец

    Very well done !

  84. Rudi aus Altschauerberg
    Rudi aus Altschauerberg
    Пре месец

    10:59 try 250 km/h on a track? No no the keyword here is the German AUTOBAHN!

  85. Richie Leon
    Richie Leon
    Пре месец

    Hemp Oil! What else? Hump Back Whale Sperm Oil is off the table, so, I'd say the Hemp Oil as a High RPM Bearing Lubricant and Coolant due to it's High Viscocity, High Temperature Break Down and it's Inviornmental, Economic, Social and Medical Solutions

  86. Sebastian Briones
    Sebastian Briones
    Пре месец

    Thanks for the great video! Why do you say 32 IGBTs? Shouldn't it be a multiple of 6 since it's a 3-phase bridge?

  87. joe momma
    joe momma
    Пре месец

    I know how a ufo works i wont to build 1 so bad

  88. Barry Carpenter
    Barry Carpenter
    Пре месец

    8 bolts = 6

  89. Emad A
    Emad A
    Пре месец

    Nissan leaf has 8 bolts holding the ring gear not six bolts..i enjoy your lecture

  90. Josef Kop
    Josef Kop
    Пре месец

    06:19 6 bolts? Imagine to be educated by WSU. Unable to count to eight!

  91. Edward Li
    Edward Li
    Пре месец

    great video! thanks

  92. Joe Qiu
    Joe Qiu
    Пре месец

    thanks for the excellent original content! One question: Combustion engines have seals/gaskets that are expected to fail due to rubber degradation over time & heat. Do you see that type of failure coming in this motor assembly? It sounds far more expensive to fix than a combustion engine if such failure were to incur.

  93. Greg McMurry
    Greg McMurry
    Пре месец

    Is that the same motor that is in the RAV4 EV?

  94. John Williamson
    John Williamson
    Пре месец

    Less I failed to count the leaf has 8 not 6 bolt on it diff.

  95. Apple White
    Apple White
    Пре месец

    EV need a true transmission like gas car to save the energy. 18.000rpm rev is a waste. Gas car only rev between 1800rpm to 2500rpm

    1. John Smith
      John Smith
      Пре месец

      thats absolute nonsense

  96. Tyler Phillips
    Tyler Phillips
    Пре месец

    I've seen your videos on transmissions, and I was happy to see your face when I clicked on this video because I knew you'd be extremely knowledgeable! :)

    1. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      Thank you very much

  97. Shangun Tamang
    Shangun Tamang
    Пре месец


    1. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      Thanks for watching

  98. Mike Brown
    Mike Brown
    Пре месец

    Simply amazing. Is there a course or degree I could do to learn how to repair and service Tesla’s

    1. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      Thank you. We offer EV training at www.weber.edu/evtraining but it is not specific to Tesla.

  99. Stephan Plümer
    Stephan Plümer
    Пре месец

    Nice Video Thank you !

    1. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      Glad you liked it!

  100. Bill Vitez
    Bill Vitez
    Пре месец

    I count eight (8) ring gear bolts on the Leaf.

    1. WeberAuto
      Пре месец

      Yes, I was wrong