Tesla has produced the first Model Y megacast at Gigafactory Texas ahead of the start of production of the Model Y with the new structural battery pack technology.
Tesla structural battery pack
At its Battery Day event last year, Tesla not only unveiled its new 4680 battery cell but also a new battery architecture built around the new cell.
Inspired by the aerospace innovation of building airplane wings as fuel tanks instead of building the fuel tanks inside the wings, Tesla decided to build a battery pack that acts as a body structure, linking the front and rear underbody parts.
Currently, Tesla builds battery packs by combining cells into modules, which when put together form a battery pack. That battery pack is installed into the vehicle platform.
The difference with this new concept is that Tesla is not using modules and instead builds the entire battery pack as the structural platform of the vehicle, with the battery cells helping solidify the platform as one big unit.
Using its expertise in giant casting parts, Tesla can connect a big single-piece rear and front underbody to this structural battery pack.
This new design reduces the number of parts, the total mass of the battery pack, and therefore enables Tesla to improve efficiency and ultimately the range of its electric vehicles.
Earlier this year, we obtained the first picture of Tesla’s new structural battery pack made with 4680 cells.
Now Tesla has started to produce the new megacasting parts that go on each side of the structural battery pack in order to create this new simple three-part vehicle platform.
Casting expert Axel Turck leaked an image of the first front-end megacast underbody produced by Tesla (via LinkedIn):
In the image, you can see casting experts wearing Tesla hard hats admiring the giant new piece of casting.
The auto industry has long been casting car parts, but it generally limits the size of the casts, and instead, it generally assembles smaller pieces together.
In the last few years, Tesla has been pushing the limits of how big casting parts can be in order to simplify the production process.
Turck mentioned that the megacast was produced in Texas by a Idra casting machine.
We reported earlier this year that Tesla took delivery of a Idra “gigapress” at Gigafactory Texas, and last week, the giant machine was spotted in operation for the first time in a drone video.
The expert also mentioned that the part weighs 130 kg (286 lbs).
The part is going to be used in the production of the Model Y at Gigafactory Texas, which is expected to start by the end of the year.
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