EVTV hacks Tesla drivetrain, whiskey ensues [w/video]
Such was the case recently when an impromptu assembly of engineering types showed up at the outfit's Cape Girardeau, Missouri headquarters to take a crack at animating a Telsa motor through the inverter to which it is twinned. Electric motors are installed in kits and conversions on a regular basis, but when dealing with components from an OEM, the task can be complicated because of the manufacturer-specific code involved.
To conquer the Tesla, the team used a controller area network (CAN) capture device it developed to read signals sent from the readily accessible diagnostics port of the Model S belonging to EVTV founder Jack Rickard. The captured code was then edited and fed back to a salvaged motor and inverter, powered by a battery from Better Place, installed onto a maple-top workstation. After some fussing and problem solving, the electric lump started spinning, success was declared, and the team celebrated with a toast of Rickard's homemade whiskey.
With this victory, Rickard tells AutoblogGreen that he expects to see Tesla motors and inverters finding new homes within the chassis of custom EVs within months. In fact, EVTV intends to get the band wagon rolling with a second drivetrain it acquired for that very purpose. It's something we had already had expected to see in the unlikely shape of the so-called "Stretchla" project of Otmar Ebenhoech. That effort, however, got somewhat stranded when Tesla decided not to sell Ebenhoech additional parts because of the salvaged nature of his vehicle. Sadly, the right-to-repair issue is one not limited to the traditional automakers.
EVTV feels strongly, however, that once you buy a car, or even a salvaged drivetrain, it's yours to do with what you will. To that end, it offers its reverse engineering tool, called the CANDue/SavvyCAN, for sale on its online store, and for those who can handle the excitement, will be explaining how they get the Tesla drivetrain to function properly inside a donor vehicle on its weekly show.
You can watch this entire particular episode below, or, if you can't spare a couple hours (or so), begin viewing at the 1:23:06-mark. If you end up using this knowledge in a project of your own, feel free to let us know about it.
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