Tesla has released new impressive images of “revolutionary” manufacturing improvements featured on the Model Y’s underbody, and CEO Elon Musk says that there’s more to come.
As we previously reported, Musk said that Tesla is moving to an aluminum casting design instead of a series of stamped steel and aluminum pieces for the Model Y body:
When we get the big casting machine, it’ll go from 70 parts to 1 with a significant reduction in capital expenditure on all the robots to put those parts together.
A new patent application filed last year revealed this new casting machine that Tesla is using to build Model Y.
We have recently got a good preview of the new giant cast parts it enables to build, thanks to Sandy Munro’s Model Y teardown, but now Tesla has released new images showcasing the manufacturing improvement as part of its Q1 2020 results yesterday.
On the left, you can see the Model 3’s underbody made of 70 different metal parts, and on the right, there’s the Model Y underbody made of just two parts:
Tesla didn’t just release diagrams, but it also shared actual pictures of the giant cast part used in the Model Y versus all the welded parts in the Model 3:
In a conference call following the release of its results, Musk called the new casting for the underbody “revolutionary”:
For Model Y, we introduced a revolutionary two-piece casting.
The CEO added that Tesla is planning to make the entire underbody in just one part by the end of the year:
We are going to be making a single-piece casting later this year, meaning like essentially the rear third of the body is cast as a single piece. There is no casting of the size and complexity that has ever been done before.
In fact, there isn’t even anything that is on par with the two-piece casting for the Model Y. So, we’re really pushing the envelope on vehicle structural, engineering, and manufacturing. I’m very excited about this approach as it allows us to reduce the weight of the cars and improve NVH. It’s better in every way essentially.
Eventually, Tesla plans to bring the same bigger casting technology to other vehicles, but they want to do it in ways that will least disruptive to the current production capacity.
They didn’t commit to any timeline to bring the new casting system to the Model 3 or any other vehicle in the lineup.
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