Tesla Engine Superiority

Dalton Schultz
April 22, 2016

Submitted as coursework for PH240, Stanford University, Fall 2015


Fig. 1: Tesla Model S P90D motor. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Automobiles are an amazing accomplishment of human engineering. Engines are able to turn gas into kinetic energy allowing us as humans to travel across vast distances with ease. The standard engine in most cars today has a lot of moving parts and is an incredible invention in and of itself, however, Tesla Motors is determined to set a new standard for automobile engines. Engineers at Tesla Motors have created a new type of engine that puts combustion motors to shame. It's more fuel efficient, it's smoother, and it's environmentally friendly unlike combustion engines.

Motor Superiority

Tesla Motors' "engine" isn't actually an engine at all. It's a motor. Standard engines found in the majority of vehicles on the road today consist of pistons, crankshafts, and rods. According to Tesla Motors' website, when dealing with combustion motors only a fraction of the stored energy in gasoline is converted into forward motion. Replace that wasteful combustion engine with a motor, and things really start to change. With the motors' only moving piece being the rotor, it doesn't have to deal with converting linear motion to rotational motion, saving energy. With no combustion, there is minimal noise and less heat generation, also saving energy. This allows the motor to effectively harness more of the energy generated and is able to directly convert it into motion. "An electric motor has high torque at zero rpm, and delivers almost constant torque up to about 6,000 rpm, and continues to deliver high power beyond 13,000 rpm." [1] With all this torque at its disposal, the motor is able to keep up with a lot of high end sport cars in terms of acceleration.

>If all of that sounds too good to be true, remember that a Tesla motor, such as the P90D in Fig. 1, also runs purely on electricity.


Tesla's motor has changed the game. They are paving the way for electric powered vehicles to become the prominent type of vehicle on the roads today. This motor has shown to be much more advantageous than combustion engines in terms of speed, efficiency, power, and torque all while still having the ability to save people copious amounts money on gasoline and reducing the carbon footprint on the environment. Tesla Motors has created a new species of car capable of not only sustaining travel at 55 MPH for over 300 miles, but capable of changing our future way of life.

© Dalton Schultz. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] E. Martin and M. Tarpenning, "The 21st Century Electric Car," Tesla Motors, 24 Sep 07.