Tesla Model S Becomes First Pure Electric To Win International Engine Of The Year Award

JUL 8 2014 BY MARK KANE 25

Score Sheet

Score Sheet

Tesla Model S drivetrain

Tesla Model S drivetrain

For unknown reasons, Tesla Model S wasn’t picked by Ward’s 10 Best Engines.  In our opinion, the Model S breakthrough drivetrain architecture deserved some award and now it received one.  The Model S recently got The International Engine of the Year Award in Green Engine category.

“It’s time for another milestone in the history of the International Engine of the Year Awards, which has previously counted petrol, diesel, CNG and hybrid designs among its winners. This year sees the first-ever win by an all-electric powertrain with victory for the Tesla Model S in the Green Engine category.”

“The Model S’s winning full-electric powertrain is available in three grades. The base model couples a 225kW e-motor to a 60kWh Li-ion battery pack that provides a 335km (208-mile) range. The mid-range option has a 270kW motor and a 426km (265-mile) range from an 85kWh battery pack. Topping the line-up is the Performance derivative, which increases the motor size again, this time to 310kW. That’s good enough for 600Nm of torque from 0-100rpm and a 0-96km/h (0-60mph) acceleration time of 4.2 seconds, showing that green engines need not be dull!”

“At the heart of the car, physically and figuratively, is the huge battery pack, which is assembled in the Tesla factory from some 7,000 individual cells provided by Panasonic/Sanyo. It provides power to a large, single motor chosen for its better power density, overall efficiency and range than a twin-motor setup.”

BMW i3

BMW i3

Second and third place went to both versions of the BMW i3.

“The BMW i3’s two powertrain options are both excellent, but couldn’t match the Model S’s broad support.”

Judge Carl Cunanan was one of many to back the acclaimed electric Model S:

“The Tesla is making headway where no one has gone before, with a power system that is exhilarating, reliable and proving to be increasingly accepted in today’s world.”

The Model S’ beautifully executed drivetrain was enough to convince juror Georg Kacher, who described it as:

“A real game changer – and the Model S is only the beginning.”

Tesla Model S Wins One More Award

Tesla Model S Wins One More Award

Source: UKIPME

Categories: Tesla


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25 Comments on "Tesla Model S Becomes First Pure Electric To Win International Engine Of The Year Award"

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reliable ?! really ?


Best believe it. ONE moving part, super reliable.

Piling on. Yes. Very reliable. As Max said, fewer moving parts. But theory aside, there have been no reports of the motor actually requiring replacement and the drive electronics have been amazingly trouble free as well. The real star though is the battery. So far there have been few reports of battery problems and capacity has been holding up.

Yes really, a few anecdotes about some lemons don’t make the car unreliable.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I wonder how much volume and mass difference there is between Tesla’s current motor + differential and 2 motors back-to-back.

You also need to consider cost. Each motor requires an inverter drive. I would guess that it costs less to build one inverter that has twice the power than it does to build two smaller ones. Same applies to the motor – one with twice the power is cheaper than two smaller ones.

Arguably, the Spark EV’s motor is a better design. But since it is relegated to a compliance car in the US, it was not considered for international engine.

Congrats to Tesla for making its powertrain available not only in the US but internationally.

In what way? It needs rare earth magnets, and it’s roughly the same volume as Tesla’s motor while providing only a quarter of the power.

Why is REM bad?

REM motors potentially has higher efficiency and easier to control. Its low end torque can be superior as well compared to Induction motor.

Rear earths are just that… a finite resource. In terms of being a “green engine”, electric motors that use rare earths don’t really fit the bill in the larger picture.

It’s an induction motor, no rare earths. Sorry.

lol spark has nothing better than any car

I didn’t recall the motors were diff between the 60, 85, and P85 kWh version. I thought it was the inverter. Perhaps I’m thinking of the diff between the 85 and P85, tho.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I believe the motor’s the same between 60kWh and 85kWh variants, the difference is available voltage. I believe the inverter’s a common component there too. P85 gets a hand-wound motor and higher-capacity inverter.

There was a gentleman who blogged his 60->85kWh battery upgrade and found that after it was done (hardware and firmware) he got the 85kWh performance as well as the range.

I believe the difference between the 60K and 85K batteries is actually the available current (C rating is the same) rather than voltage.

The inverter has a DC-DC converter that can convert that higher battery current into a higher voltage applied to the motor windings.

An electric motor makes an ICE look like a kludge festival of parts. It didn’t have to be the “Green” category, to win.

ICE are a cacophony of over 300 moving parts, any one of which is a point of failure. That’s why I don’t want an EV with a range extender.

A range extender is like an ICE on a car that is driven only 1000-2000 miles a year. It should be extremely reliable.

+100. It amazes me at how complex a modern ICE is. Even more amazing is that with all the complexity, the manufacturers have managed to create a fairly reliable product.

It’s also not just moving parts but things like fluid seals that fail, injectors and sensors that plug up, multiple fluids that can run low.

It surprises me too every time. I’m even surprised other EV makers get their cars to work when you see how complex and built like an old fashioned ICE they are.

Do like the Japanese and Chinese have done so well:
1. Take a part and investigate (the Tesla)
2. Copy
3. Improve (this step might be really hard in this product category but maybe possible in a decade or two :P)

Should someone mention that the Voltec system also made it in the top 6, with 70 points?

How ironic; the Edmunds long-term Model S just received its 3rd drive unit replacement (4th overall), at 30,000 miles. They are averaging a replacement roughly every 10k miles.


I want to love it, but this drivetrain has a serious design flaw. I can’t consider the ‘affordable’ Tesla until Tesla publicly addresses how this is fixed.

If this was a major problem, it most definitely would have shown up in the CR surveys.

What I see is a company being extra cautious – particularly with long-term test units at Edmunds/MT/etc – and getting as much data as they can from the field before finalizing design on a Gen3 car that will be produced in the millions.

The used units aren’t being junked. They’re being analyzed and refurbished. It’s just a lot easier to swap out an electric motor than an ICE.