Not so long ago, a car with 50,000 miles on the odometer was considered ready for the crusher. Then the bar was raised to 100,000 miles. Today, there are plenty of Hondas and Toyotas running around with 200,000 or more miles on them. Tesla, of course, never does anything that is just as good as the other guys. It is committed to building the longest lasting cars on the road — a significant factor in keeping the price of used cars high.
On October 15, Tesla tweeted the results of using the motor and gearbox of the Model 3 for over 1 million miles. From the photograph, it’s hard to tell them from new. Notice the beefy ball bearings used to support both components.
After the company tweet, Elon Musk added his own thoughts on Twitter. “Model 3 motor & gearbox still in good condition after driving 1M miles. Designed for ultra high endurance.” Keep in mind that the Model 3 components are expected to power the upcoming Tesla Semi, which means moving up to 80,000 lb on a consistent basis. It’s fair to say these pieces may be over-engineered a bit for the Model 3. Calling them “robust” would be an understatement.
Naturally, nothing Elon and Tesla do ever goes unchallenged. Twitter user Mark B. Spiegel, who styles himself as both an investor and a wise guy, offered this bit of whimsy on Twitter. “The whole thing is ABSURD. Bench-testing a motor & gearbox has NOTHING to do with running it pulling a 3600-pound load of car and batteries against friction and wind-resistance. It’s just more bullshit spewing from the lying mouth of Scmucksidy Fraud-Boy.”
Well, it’s hard to find more cogent argumentation that that! Another Twitter user, Mark Langridge attempted to straighten the learned Mr. Spiegel out but it’s unlikely his words had any effect. “That’s not how automotive testing works. You always have prototype drivetrains long before you have a car to put them in. They mount the drivetrain to a test bench, plug it in, and run it via software.”
Suffice to say, Model 3 drivers won’t need to be concerned about reliability and longevity with their cars. Can drivers of other brands make the same claim?