Tesla has started production of the Model Y with a massive single-piece rear casting, according to a picture of a new unit of the electric SUV. It’s the automaker’s latest move into massive casting techniques.
Tesla and massive casting
In recent years, Tesla has focused on making bigger casting parts in order to build bigger parts of its vehicles in single pieces to facilitate manufacturing.
We saw the first results of that effort in the rear underbody of the Model Y.
In Model 3, the rear underbody (left) is made of 70 different metal parts, but Tesla managed to change that into just two big parts in the Model Y (right):
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:
CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla wouldn’t stop there and plans to increasingly use bigger parts in its vehicles, including moving from two to one part for the underbody.
This new strategy is enabled by a new giant casting machine, the biggest in the world, that Tesla acquired, and subsequently ordered many more machines.
In September 2020, we reported on Tesla installing the first casting machine outside Fremont factory.
The machine is so big that it couldn’t be assembled inside the factory, so Tesla seems to have assembled it outside and built a roof over it.
A few weeks later, Tesla China announced that they started operating the machine.
Tesla Model Y with single-piece rear underbody casting
From starting production, we didn’t know how quickly Tesla would be able to use the new part in production Model Y vehicles.
Now we can confirm that the new single-casting rear underbody is in new Model Y vehicles.
The owner of a Model Y produced in late December removed the lining of his trunk for the installation of a third-party accessory and could see the new part:
We can see in the picture that there’s no joint in the middle, and it’s a single piece in which Tesla fits the trunk’s tub.
Tesla plans to produce more large cast parts in the future, and it is adding new giant casting machine at Gigafactory Berlin, Shanghai, and Texas.
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