Tesla Model 3 Teardown: Deep Dive Reveals The Car’s “Magic”



Auto industry expert Sandy Munro probably knows as much about the inner workings of the Tesla Model 3 as anyone outside of the company – he’s taken the electric sedan apart and examined every component to figure out how it works, where it came from and how much it costs.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: A Tesla Model 3 in the process of being disassembled at Munro & Associates (Image: CleanTechnica via Autoline)

The automakers that would compete with Tesla pay large sums for detailed reports from Munro’s teardowns, and the man himself has become something of a star, discussing his findings in an engaging manner in videos for Autoline. These chats are packed with fascinating insights into what makes Teslas tick. For those who love to delve into the technical details, the latest installment will surely rank as one of the best Tesla discussions of 2018.

Munro is a straight talker who clearly articulates what he likes and doesn’t like about Tesla’s manufacturing methods. His take on what’s good and what’s bad highlights the California company’s strengths and weaknesses vis a vis traditional automakers. After tearing down an early production Model 3, Munro criticized the EV’s build quality and body design, saying, “the strategy for the body is about as bad as could be.” While some of the weaknesses he identified have since been addressed, he still believes that the body is unnecessarily heavy and complex, and that Tesla could have benefitted from some old-school industry expertise in this area. When it comes to Silicon Valley specialties, however, Tesla far outshines the denizens of Detroit. Munro is full of praise for Model 3’s battery pack and its “military-grade” electronics.

Above: Sandy Munro talks, in-depth, about his teardown of the Tesla Model 3 (Youtube: Autoline Network)

In this latest video, Munro explains why Tesla’s electric motors are so superior to those of the theoretical competition. “They’ve got magic,” he says. “The electric motor is smaller and lighter than everybody else, but outperforms everybody.” He even shows us a little magnet used in Tesla’s motors – it’s the size of a camera battery, but it includes some astounding technology that gives it super-high performance.

One of the main points of these teardowns is to figure out how much of a profit the company can expect to make on the vehicle, so some of Munro’s insights about Tesla’s plans to produce Model 3 in China are especially interesting, as Teslarati noted. At the Shanghai Gigafactory, Tesla will be building a new production line from the ground up, so it should be able to apply its learnings from the Fremont and Nevada factories to significantly reduce manufacturing costs.

“Elon made a few mistakes on that body,” says Munro. “You think he’s going to do it again? I don’t. You think the production lines are going to be as bad as in California? I don’t. I think the factory in China is going to be wicked compared to what they’ve got in the States, and I think he’s going to be able to clobber everyone in China. Tesla’s going to make a gazillion bucks. I guarantee it.”

Above: Sandy Munro discusses his Model 3 teardown with Autoline’s host John McElroy (Image: CleanTechnica via Autoline)

Munro isn’t the only one who’s been taking Teslas apart, and some other tinkerers are much less gentle. Electrek recently reported on a video in which training expert Brock Archer tears a Model 3 apart in order to demonstrate how firefighters and other first responders can safely extract passengers from the electric vehicle after a crash.


Written by: Charles Morris; Source: Autoline Network

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

6 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Teardown: Deep Dive Reveals The Car’s “Magic”"

newest oldest most voted

On the topic of the Model 3, I saw this article today. Apparently, someone at Fox News reads insideevs.com! 😀


Sandy Munro is “The Man”. If you haven’t seen his appearances on Autoline, then you’re in for a real treat because this guy is the ultimate guru when it comes to car costing … and reverse engineering. Very objective in his analysis. In doubt? 50 Million Chinese cannot be wrong.

Looking forward to watching the full video so I can see what else Sandy can walk back from his earlier criticisms of the car. Ok, that’s a bit tough on Sandy. He’s generally pretty good, but has had some missteps when it comes to the model 3.

InsideEVs already covered Sandy Munro’s appearance on “Autoline After Hours” some weeks ago. It’s good to see more coverage of that, because Sandy had a lot to say about what makes the insides of Tesla cars* superior to the insides of other cars, and much of it was fascinating for a Tesla fan like me.

But this isn’t exactly “news”.

*Sandy doesn’t think much of the build quality of Tesla’s auto bodies, but for everything else inside the Model 3, he now describes himself as an enthusiastic Tesla “fanboy”!

Good to see a long-time LICE expert turn a 180 when seeing it all laid out before him. Gives one hope that objectivity is not (yet) dead.

We already saw this in an earlier article and discussed it at length… nothing new here (why the repeat?)