There’s some thrilling news for electric vehicle enthusiasts, especially those who are into Tesla. The recent developments this giant has made in their gigapress technology is no less than extraordinary.
For those unfamiliar with the term, Tesla uses Giga press casting machines to choreograph the production of vehicles like Model 3, Model Y, and the much-anticipated Cybertruck. This machinery, with its enormous power, effectively casts large portions of a vehicle’s underbody, eliminating the need to weld various parts together. That’s certainly something, as this single process is reported to have saved Tesla a whopping 40 percent of its manufacturing costs for the Model Y.
According to trusted sources close to the company, Tesla has used this technique to replace around 70 cumbersome parts with two large castings and a structural battery pack.
With such significant savings and efficient operation, it’s quite natural that people expected similar outcomes for their upcoming $25,000 vehicle platform. It’s a small compact design Tesla intends to use for both an affordable EV and a new take on the robo taxi.
The company had teased this vehicle during its Investor Day event on March 1st. The presentations did more than raise eyebrows – it brought to life an innovative new approach to vehicle manufacturing.
Coined as the “unboxed method”, it intends to overhaul the stationary methods of assembling vehicles that haven’t seen significant updates for the past century. The focus is to permit different sub-assemblies of a vehicle to be put together at different stations simultaneously, making human-robot collaboration seamless and reducing awkward workspace scenarios.
Equipped with insights gleaned during the Cybertruck’s production, Tesla has decided to take a bolder step now: casting the entire underbody of the new vehicle in one piece. Given the small size of the new vehicle with almost no storage space, it is an ideal candidate for testing this one-piece underbody casting.
However, some hurdles lie in this path. One of them is the need for a bigger press – possibly around 16,000 tons – and such a gigantic machine raises serious logistical and financial concerns, including redesigning of buildings and high mold production costs.
To tackle these challenges, Tesla plans to shift to sand casting. It’s an innovative method, developed by casting specialists in Europe, Japan, and the United States, involving 3D printing using industrial sand.
The 3D printing with sand is cheap and quicker, costing merely three percent of traditional mold-making techniques. This allows for easy creation, discarding, and repurposing of molds. Tesla’s switch to sand casting is truly a testament to how selecting a new production system can lead to gains in speed, quality, and efficiency. It certainly looks like Tesla is all set to revolutionize the way cars are built.
In additional news, Tesla has been getting plenty of appreciation for their semi-trucks. Pepsi’s Tesla semi, for instance, has been making impressive records. With 16,000 miles covered, 80,000 pounds of cargo hauled, and only five charging stops over 48 hours, the vehicle’s capabilities are extraordinary.
Pepsi’s experience showcases how the Tesla semi can perform under a near-constant full load with high efficiency. Thanks to extreme fast charging at a mega charging station, the semi went from an almost drained battery to 80 percent in under an hour without damaging the battery. It’s evident now why Pepsi, after taking delivery of their new trucks, is planning to switch over most of its fleet to Tesla semis.
There’s more exciting news from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who had a meeting with Turkish president Erdogan in New York City on September 17th. The Turkish president hopes to persuade Musk to plant Tesla’s next gigafactory in Turkey.
While no concrete decision has been made on this front, it’s clear that Tesla is expanding its presence in the country, going by the Model Y imports and the opening of a Tesla design studio and supercharger stations earlier in April. Turkey, with its stable economy, could potentially become an ideal location for Tesla’s next gigafactory, especially considering the country’s strategic location near the Middle East.
The electric vehicle domain is evolving at an impressive speed. It’s quite exhilarating to visualize a future where cars are not only built in a radically different way but also operate much more efficiently. With Tesla leading the charge, the realization of this future doesn’t seem too far away.
As a book and writer expert, following Tesla’s ride in the EV industry feels like being in a live-action novel with its twists and turns, exciting developments, and anticipation for what’s next. And like all good stories, Tesla’s journey has us at the edge of our seats, eager for the following chapters.