Exactly how many moving parts in the MS?

Exactly how many moving parts in the MS?

For the longest time I had thought and therefore told others that there were 21 moving parts. Granted I didn't know what made up the "21". This past weekend I was at a car show and a fellow MS owner said there were 12 moving parts. Which one of us as our numbers backwards?

I always joked with people that wheels and steering wheel are 5 of the 21 moving parts.

This what I came up with/would count:

Left half axle
Right half axle
Steering rack
4 wheels
1 steering wheel
3 (I think)battery coolant pumps
Gear reduction box | July 16, 2014

There are many more moving parts if you include all the switches and various motors (over 50 including windows, rear hatch, windshield wipers, etc, etc.). Also should you include door hinges, seat tracks, seat belts? How about the brakes? The HVAC system has a few too. Lots more moving parts if you look around.

Now if you are considering only the motor - it has one moving part, as compared with hundreds of moving parts in a ICE engine. The transmission has another moving part, as compared with another ton of moving parts in an automatic transmission.

jordanrichard | July 16, 2014

I think when most people think "moving parts" they are thinking about parts that move when the car is running. A window switch moves but no one would consider it a moving part, like the motor.

Besides, I am not the one who came up with these numbers, they are just something I had heard and was trying to get either a confirmation of such.

Robert Fahey | July 17, 2014

I'm interested in the number also. How many moving parts make the Model S go, turn and stop?

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | July 17, 2014

I think the only relevant number would be the difference between the typical ICE car with the same options ( e.g. Power windows, power brakes, etc.) and a Tesla. All cars must have wheels, brakes, windows, cooling and HVAC, etc. so the drive train difference is the issue. Therefore compare the Ice Engine and transmission against the Tesla motor, inverter, and gear box. The difference has to be at least 1000 to 1, but I am sure someone will take the time to count it and give us a much more accurate estimate!

Another consideration could be to count the ware points and the type of ware points. The ICE engine drive train has multitudes of surface to surface ware points that require constant oil lubrication. The gear to gear contact in the gear box is the only surface to surface ware points in a Tesla I can think of. The rest are high quality ball bearings which have long service reputations.

Bottom line is the simplicity of the Tesla drive train will eventually be bullet proof. It will just take some maturing of the engineering and design to make everyone a believer!

JAD | July 17, 2014

They all move on my car and very quickly when I step on it :)

There is no easy answer other than far fewer than an ice. It all depends what you count and how you define it.

J.T. | July 17, 2014

@JAD +1 It all depends what you count and how you define it.

And when you count it. An ICE has a helluva lot more moving parts with the engine running in park than a Model s does On and in park.

jordanrichard | July 17, 2014

Ok, I am talking about what to say in general terms, to the "general public". We start getting anal/technical about counting all the parts that "move", the answer we would give people would take hours.

The responses from everyone above, though accurate is a perfect example. When talking to people, they want a simple general answer, which what I was hoping to get.

I should have asked that guy at the car show, where he got the number "12".

Since the only difference between an ICE car and the MS mechanically would be the drive train. So with that said, the MS has 2 moving components, the AC motor and the gear reduction box.

Well I suppose I should add the coolant pumps. An ICE has 1 engine coolant pump. How many battery coolant pumps are there? | July 17, 2014

Three coolant pumps in the Tesla. But a ICE car has a oil pump, coolant pump and one or more fuel pumps. I don't think there is a solid answer as they systems are so different, other than Tesla has a lot less drivetrain parts! In just this short thread, people include different parts for what they think should be included.

Should we count each bearing as a single item, or each ball within the bearing (also I have no idea if these are ball bearings or other types). It's an interesting problem, but without a clear answer.

tes-s | July 17, 2014

418. | July 17, 2014

@tes-s - I stand corrected!

JAD | July 17, 2014

The drive unit is 'one' part, so go with that or pick any small number that sounds good and say it with authority and no one will question you ;)

Of course, the 'one' part thing is growing in ICE cars as well. The Porsche transmission is now 'a' part. If it breaks, you replace the transmission, no serviceable parts. Oh, and it costs more than the Tesla drive unit...

tes-s | July 17, 2014

@TeslaTap - still trying to get it all put back together. I was close, but had a couple of parts left over.

J.T. | July 17, 2014

@tes-s As we learn in Doc Hollywood there are always a few parts left over. Mel doesn't know why.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | July 17, 2014

@tes-s, I guess those last two parts were the moving parts!

fosh | July 17, 2014

FWIW, at a gallery, I overheard a prospective customer ask a Tesla associate the 'number of parts' question, and the associate responded with 18.

balabanshik | July 17, 2014

You didn't count the billions of the electrons doing all the work.

MNGreene | July 17, 2014
Iowa92x | July 17, 2014

Parts don't have to move to wear out. Batteries, for example. 12-volt car batteries kick the bucket after 6 years in cold climates.

johncrab | July 17, 2014

Let's add some fun.... One. The passenger's sphincter the first time the driver punches it.

Grinnin'.VA | July 18, 2014

@JAD | JULY 17, 2014:

Your comment: They all move on my car and very quickly when I step on it :) pretty much says why most Tesla owners bought Teslas. That Tesla GRIN.

Ron :)

just an allusion | July 18, 2014


If you're talking about EV power plant versus ICE power plant, just one(1) moving part.

jordanrichard | July 18, 2014

Well, I just at a local "cruise", earlier this evening and I was telling people that the drive train has 2 moving parts. The motor and the gear reduction box.