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Tesla continues groundbreaking advancements in technology that could revolutionize vehicle production: 'It is an enabler on steroids'

"It has a huge implication for the industry, but it's a very challenging task."

"It has a huge implication for the industry, but it's a very challenging task."

Photo Credit: iStock

Tesla is no stranger to innovation, and even its existing technologies are not out of bounds regarding revolutionary improvements. 

The company's "gigapress" has already been allowing for cost reductions in the construction of its Model Y, with the rear of the vehicle being built in its Shanghai plant using this process from 2020 and allowing for 40% cheaper manufacturing.

But Tesla is now looking to scale up this technology to deliver the entire underbody parts of its cars in one piece, according to a Shanghai Securities News report summarized by Reuters. 

"Gigacasting" is achieved with a machine that presses molten aluminum into a mold, which is then cooled and released to form a fully constructed car part. 

Tesla's innovation in what would seem to be a fairly achievable press and mold system has come with the creation of an aluminum alloy that doesn't require the kind of heat treating that would be needed to make the finished product stronger, according to Reuters

Other electric carmakers have taken notice, with Shanghai Securities News, via Reuters, reporting that Xpeng and Zeekr are looking to adopt gigacasting in their own vehicle construction processes. 

Meanwhile, Toyota is also set to use gigacasting to construct components for a modular structure in its future electric car strategy.

Sources told Reuters that gigapressing, as part of Tesla's "unboxed" manufacturing strategy to build cars more efficiently and cheaply, could help the brand build cars from the ground up in 18 to 24 months, as opposed to three to four years other rivals would need. 

The president of American engineering company Caresoft Global, Terry Woychowski, stated that gigapressing could change the face of automotive construction as we know it, even if the process is tricky. 

"It is an enabler on steroids," he said. "It has a huge implication for the industry, but it's a very challenging task. Castings are very hard to do, especially the bigger and the more complicated."

Tesla is seeking to launch a small electric vehicle in the $25,000 price range, and gigacasting is key to achieving this. 

At a Battery Day event in 2020, Tesla CEO Musk noted that the development of such a vehicle would also rely on improved battery technology.

Affordable electric cars will be a huge benefit in the take-up of zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles. According to the 2023 Global Automotive Consumer study from Deloitte, with findings passed on by Green Car Reports, 52% of respondents said cost was the biggest concern surrounding purchasing an electric vehicle

Bringing an affordable EV to the market will therefore provide a boost in taking more dirty fuel–powered vehicles off the nation's roads.

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