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Did Roaster use AC Propulsion Technology?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by leong, May 16, 2014.

  1. leong

    leong New Member

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    Mr. Musk has stated in multiple occasions to hint that "ac propulsion's stuff didn't work" and more and more times I encounter people to derive the idea that "Tesla did not use ac propulsion's drivetrain". I don't know how to react to such statements so I would hope some comparisons of the key elements may help. If you are technically capable, any comment is welcomed.

    acp_tesla.jpg
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    My understanding is that the Roadster 1.0/1.5 PEM used an AC Propulsion patent, which used the motor coil as part of the charging process, but that was designed out of 2.0/2.5. I have no idea what percentage if any of the design was based on AC Propulsion designs.
     
  3. PRJIM

    PRJIM Member

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    With regards to the Roadster, Tesla's major value add was the controls. ACP was using Analog controls, Tesla ditched these controls and created their own digital controls. Tesla Roadster technology is loosely based on ACP, but ACP's manufacturing process was not suitable for mass production so Tesla took the best of ACP, created better process', better quality and less costly materials and turned it into a marketable scalable vehicle. Even today the digital control algorithms that Tesla patented for AC excitation motors is the main reason behind the performance advantage of their vehicles.

    The story goes that Martin Eberhard paid Alan Cocconi the full price of a T-Zero up front but ACP was unable to deliver the car and they refunded Martin. This money was then used to bootstrap Tesla Motors. I truly believe that if ACP delivered that T-Zero, Tesla Motors would not exist.
     
  4. leong

    leong New Member

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    Jim, as soon as you say "the digital control algorithms that Tesla patented for AC excitation motors is the main reason behind the performance advantage of their vehicles" I would not think you are quite technical in the traction motor or power electronics control field. the challenge to get most power out of a motor or inverter is not in the way of analog or digital control. There could be a lot ifs in history, I'm not sure about your 'if' but if there were no acp, there is no Tesla.

    but those are not the point.

    I read about the recent Musk comments like this one:

    Elon Musk on the Flawed Premise of Tesla and the False Promise of Fuel Cells | Re/code

    in which the statement "We ended up having to redesign the whole car and the whole power train." . the statement has to be clarified by Mr. Musk or his technical staff in detail. When some one claims "redesign the whole power train." that needs to be proven by exhausting all differences in the Tesla powertrain and acp powertrain. While I provide counter proofs to disprove the statement, as indicated by the photographs above.



     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    leong your post was put in auto-moderation by the vBulletin software. Since you only have a couple of posts it errs on the side of not auto-approving. It will become more forgiving as you participate more. Sorry about that but the rules are necessary to prevent spammers from taking over the forum. I released the first version of your post and deleted the second two. Please do not re-post if your message does not appear immediately.
     
  6. strider

    strider Active Member

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    I guess my question, why does this matter? The PCBs in your first post look the same but the motors look different to me. I'm not a EE nor did I stay at a Super 8 last night but I'm guessing that there are only so many ways to make an AC induction motor so they're going to look similar. The DC motors in my slots cars and electric trains look the same, does that mean they used each other's technology?

    Can we not also say that the second person to build a wagon built upon the first person's technology of the wheel who built upon those who rolled a flat board pulled my a rope over logs? Did you work for ACP and want a pat on the back for making Tesla what they are today? I just don't understand the purpose of the thread.
     
  7. leong

    leong New Member

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    Strider, as i said if you are not technical, you don't have to comment on the technical part.

    the purpose of the thread is not to get a pat on the back but to react to the kicks on the back. Elon's recent remarks on Lotus and ACP had been every irresponsible and biased. In hindsight, Musk wouldnt use Lotus for Tesla Roadster


     
  8. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I think it is known that Tesla started with AC propulsion systems motor and electronics. But early in the process there was a reason(s) than they parted ways. I think the AC systems were only in the 1.0 systems and the 1.5 came with a Tesla designed PEM. I too do not understand what you are trying to get at. There are MANY reasons companies part ways and most are minor. Tesla has so.e very smart people and I can see them wanting to make improvements and AC bulking.
     
  9. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    That's my impression too. What I remember the most was that Tesla licensed ACP's reductive charging (where the motor is used as part of the charging system) but dropped that for later versions of the Roadster.

    As for Elon's point, he doesn't seem to imply Tesla didn't use ACP at all or that their stuff just plain didn't work at all. He seems to be saying their stuff doesn't work as-is in a commercially ready product. Basically the idea of putting an ACP drivetrain into a Lotus body didn't work without a lot of modifications.
     
  10. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    It's no secret that the early roadster program was pretty much based off of ACP's then cutting edge technology. As time went on, it evolved, and went on it's seperate path. Tesla's technology is much more mature, and they have done many new things, while ACP remains stuck pretty much where they were back then. It all comes down to R&D money, which Tesla has much more of.
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    There is a bit of "hindsight is 20/20" with the statements of today.
    If they had known back then all they know now they would have done things differently.

    There was an early learning curve for this new company, and I think the leverage from ACP and Lotus was very useful in bootstrapping and learning how to jump to the next level. It is sad to go back and badmouth those that were useful to you in the past even if you have grown to no longer need them.

    "Sour grapes" and "dwelling on the past" have no place in a forward looking company.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Unfortunately you are right. Revisionist and totally unnecessary given their incredible accomplishments. No one is perfect, of course.
     

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