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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
With gas engines, tuning them can improve a variety of parameters from power output, driveability, sound generation, fuel economy, etc.
Since electric motors can easily generate 1000+ hp, have gobs of torque accessible from 0 RPM, and are ultra smooth in operation, and can get 100+ MPG(e), will electric motor tuning becoming a thing with EVs?
Or will the powertrain tuning industry slowly die off once EVs become the majority of cars on the road on diyelectriccar

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Inverter "tuning" already exists in the form of controller swaps for OEM EV inverters, allowing higher motor power and operation of inverter in non-standard applications.

Tuning of AC motors doesn't seem to me to have obvious potential... what would you change in a motor? Perhaps higher cooling capacity would allow higher sustained power in some cases, but the fundamental components of the motor are not readily tweaked.

Much of the "tuning" done with engines now simply consists of removing protective features of the control systems, causing them to run with excessive exhaust emissions and reduced reliability - it's sad compared to the good old days of actually improving production vehicles. Controller tuning offers much of the same, allowing overheating of the motor with excessive current and damage to the battery with excessive power draw.
 

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You probably won't see shops taking apart a motor to fit a different stator for performance gains like you might change the rotating assembly or cam in an ICE. The closest comparison would be swapping out large system components like motor/inverter/batteries, or changing reduction ratios to optimize for acceleration vs. top speed (not sure how many people are running the salt flats with EVs right now).
Whether you can "tune" and EV vs. just putting a more powerful motor/inverter will depend on how much potential the OEM leaves on the table. If the OEM engineers the vehicle to utilize all of the potential of the powertrain components there might not be any opportunity to tune the system, but if they over-engineer it or just limit it for reliability you might be able to squeeze out some extra performance. An example of this would be the Tesla Model 3. Those cars are software limited depending on what you pay for, so there are and will be people who software tune to get the extra power/range at the expense of reliability/warranty. That could be said to fit in the same category of modern tuning that brian_ mentioned above, but that's a different debate.

The other side of the coin is that most of the people on this forum are ev "hot-roddders" anyway. We do exactly the same stuff that the ICE hot rod community has been doing for 100 years, just with a different type of powertrain. With that in mind, "tuning" is never going to die. It just looks different. The hot rod and race shops will live on making great custom cars and pushing the OEM and aftermarket EV industries. The guys in their garages will also keep tinkering with their cars, even if the OEM stuff becomes less conducive to tinkering.
 

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Not sure you CAN TUNE an electric motor. Back in the day, we removed winds in slotcars, but that only increased amp draw. Everyone nowadays overvolts motors to the same effect. Some improvement could be done in magnetic materials for stator and rotor, but you're essentially making a custom complete motor.
 

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You can blueprint a factory electric motor just like you can an ICE and you can redo it because you can control tolerances on a one-off.

Nobody's bothered because they have enough from the motor out of the box -- there's not a "Leaf Motor" racing class, for example. We're just not there yet.
 
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