When it comes to automobiles, Sandy Munro knows whereof he speaks. His company specializes in taking new cars apart and analyzing every little bracket and screw—what it’s made of, who made it, and how much it cost. Charged was fortunate enough to have Sandy present a couple of video sessions at our Virtual Conference on EV Engineering in which he looks at the most critical components of today’s EVs.
In this installment, Tesla’s Inverter Technology Versus Other BEVs, Sandy compares what he considers to be the three best inverters used in current production EVs: the Tesla Model 3, Nissan LEAF and Jaguar I-PACE.
Munro’s teardowns aim to reveal not only technical information about a vehicle’s components, but the financial aspects as well. One of the striking things he uncovers here is the drastic cost reduction that Tesla has been able to achieve in just a couple of years. He estimates that, in 2018, Tesla’s Model 3 inverter cost around $810, whereas the inverter used in the 2020 Model Y cost only about $522. Tesla’s inverter also happens to be smaller and lighter, and it consists of fewer parts.
Sandy show us where the Tesla inverter fits into the vehicle, then goes on to take it apart and examine each section—housing, SiC MOSFET module, heat sinks, etc. He shows us the circuit board, both as a photo of the physical board and as a block diagram, and gives us the grand tour, describing each component. Having revealed the intimate details of the Tesla inverter, Sandy performs similar striptease routines on the Nissan and the Jaguar.
There’s a tremendous amount of detail here, both technical and financial, so if you’re interested in the EV industry, you’ll want to watch the video in its entirety. However, Sandy doesn’t show us all he knows here—there are some grey areas that will be revealed only to paying customers. If you’re actively involved in building EVs, you may find Munro’s printed report to be a good investment.