Tesla has begun building the next generation of Model Y with singular front and rear body castings.
Elon Musk has called the new Model Y a revolution in automotive body engineering, turning a total of ~ 140 parts into 2 metal parts. This follows investments in procuring the biggest, most advanced 8,000 ton casting machines available on the market.
The new design is being produced at Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas, whereas it was originally slated to begin production exclusively at Gigafactory Berlin in July of this year.
Next-generation 4680 battery cells, which will provide significantly better efficiency, cost, and potentially range completing the design, aren’t part of the current manufacturing revamp and are expected to be introduced at some point next year.
Manufacturing becomes much more simple with the singular castings, eliminating what’s being described as hundreds of welding robots and stamping machines. Model Y also becomes lighter which leads to increased range and acceleration.
Most Model Y’s produced for the North American market are produced at Gigafactory Fremont, which will likely be the last factory to begin production on the next-generation chassis.
Tesla has had this ambitious goal for some time, and they’re implementing it just a few months behind schedule. It’s a feat that hasn’t been attempted at this level in the automotive industry, requiring custom metal alloys produced in part with SpaceX.
Custom chassis designs are usually limited to more rare materials such as carbon fiber for the use of supercars and incredibly expensive limited-production vehicles. We applaud Tesla for taking the initiative to break standard conventions, much like how BMW utilized carbon fiber in the i3 — which was recently and sadly discontinued for North America.
In fact, we think Tesla should continue breaking norms in manufacturing which seems to be where their focus has been situated lately. We’d like to continue seeing innovation and smart vehicle design, as there is still a lot of room for improvement.
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