Tesla Model S drivetrain hacked!

It is done. The Tesla motor is happily spinning next to me, as I write this text. You can see the proof here:

This is actually quite an achievement for me, as this is the most advanced electric car drivetrain in production. And now, anyone can grab a wrecked Tesla Model S, Mercedes B electric, or Toyota RAV4 electric, as they share the same motor, and reuse these motors in any car. Another interesting thing is that they all have different ratings on a paper – Tesla Model S is obviously more powerful than Mercedes B, but it all boils down to the same drivetrain inside – all that changes is a firmware. Unfortunately the CAN protocol changes, so the interface is not the same.


The original Tesla motor controller

But this doesn’t really matter when you replace the motor controller from Tesla with a new one, where you have the full control of all the parameters. You can even put two such motors in one car, and they will not collide with each other. Do you want to squeeze all the possible power from your drivetrain, and put it in some kick-ass car? With the UMC Drive motor controller you can 🙂

UMC Drive with a Tesla inverter

Short summary of the UMC Drive:
– Possibility to drive any three phase motor (induction, BLDC, weird hybrid designs etc)
– Both sensor as well as sensorless capabilities
– Drive by wire dual output accelerator support
– CAN interface
– Isolated USB interface
– Very robust input protection
– Compatible with all Toyota / Lexus stuff, Chevrolet Volt inverters, Tesla inverters and several others
– Self-learning of new motors (you can use this with motors I have never owned)

UMC Drive 2.0 assembled and ready for testing

When everything started working, and I could spin any motor here at my place with Tesla inverter, it was time to get somehow that huge Tesla motor in my tiny apartment. Not an easy task! But thanks to a friend of mine, we managed.

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Loaded up and ready to go

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And it’s there!


Posted in Electronics, Tesla hacking | 30 Comments

It’s alive!

Okay, I’ve been thinking about writing a blog about my projects for a long time.

The idea is to post progress on my electric car project, Tesla Model S hacking, motor controller design, teardowns of expensive and rare stuff (expect mainly electric car related things, like inverters, chargers and so on). You’ll find many more pictures than text here – writing text costs time, and I prefer spending the time on doing things – not writing about them 🙂 The positive outcome of this will be less heavy reading and more photos.


As the first few posts will be targeted on Tesla Model S drivetrain disassembly, here is some eye candy:

2015-04-18 13.20.06

Posted in General stuff | 14 Comments