Reader Question: Why don't electric motors short out in the rain?
Tesla Roadster motor
One of our readers dropped us a note the other day with a very valid question about electric motors:
I'm a big fan of Autoblog Green. My wife and I both plan on buying 100% electric cars as soon as we can. My wife asked me why don't the electric motors short out in the rain or when they get wet. I said "I don't know" I'll see if I can find out. Can you shed any light on the subject?
Well, yes, I can. Unlike consumer electronics devices, cars and trucks have to be designed to work in a much wider range of environments from -40F to 120F and in sand, rain, snow and anything else imaginable. In order for cars to work reliably, electronics and electrical components have to be specifically designed to seal out the elements. Connectors and housings have seals to keep out water and other stuff that doesn't belong. Of course many and rubber and plastic parts often dry out and crack. To avoid this, special materials have been developed and these parts have to go through extensive durability testing to insure that they can last the life of the car. Testing occurs both in the lab and on the road in all conditions. This is just part of why it takes so long to develop and validate new cars. Trust us, all EV drivers are thankful it happens, even if the wait for new electric cars is so long.
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