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Electric Motor Counts

by Moderator

There are a surprising number of electric motors in each Tesla. We examine what’s beyond just the traction motors!  (Jun-2022)

Motor Counts


There are no solenoids in your Tesla, at least which we could find. Other than a starter solenoid in an ICE car, most vehicle manufacturers switched to small electric motors for latches and actuators.  Small electric motors for automotive applications are better in many ways.

  • A motor is quieter than a similarly powered solenoid
  • The sounds motors make are more pleasing that the thunk of a solenoid
  • A motor gear combination can be designed to be faster or slower than a solenoid, which has only one speed
  • A motor gear combination can offer more force than a similar-sized solenoid
  • Motors today, even with more parts, are normally as reliable as a solenoid
  • Costs are similar, as a solenoid contains more expensive copper than a permanent magnet motor
  • Motors can offer two or more unpowered states, where a solenoid requires power to remain in a second state
  • Small electric motors are often lighter than the solenoid they replace
  • A motor requires less peak power than a solenoid when controlled by electronics, saving additional costs and improving system reliability
Vintage Solenoid Trunk Latch


  • Motor Counts are for the 2022 Model Year
  • 2022 Model S/X LR is almost identical to Plaid, with the reduction of one traction motor
  • 2022 Model 3/Y Performance has the same motor count as the LR
  • High Voltage is typically between 350 and 450 volts depending on the battery pack
  • Low Voltage is typically about 15.7v; On older cars with AGM 12v battery, low voltage is typically around 13.5v
  • After extensive research, we were unable to determine many of the DC motor types (brushless/brush), and label them just as “DC”
  • Tesla may have multiple vendors for some motors, which may alter the motor type in different vehicle builds