At present Tesla uses 6000-ton Giga Presses to build the front and rear chassis of the Model Y as single pieces. Using the Giga Press has allowed Tesla to decrease the parts that make up the rear body of the Model Y from 120 to 1.
And going from 120 parts to 1 allows Tesla to eliminate several welding robots from the production line; decrease the factory's footprint; decrease manufacturing time, complexity, and assembly errors.
Having a single-piece rear body as opposed to 120 also makes the Mode Y lighter, stiffer, and simply an overall better product but at a cheaper price.
This on its own is incredible innovation on Tesla’s part. However, for the company’s upcoming vehicle, Tesla has chosen to take things one step further.
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Currently, Tesla, together with its Italian Giga Press supplier, IDRA, has completed work on an even more powerful 9000-ton Giga Press. And according to Elon Musk the new machine will be used to build the Cybertruck’s body.
After undergoing extensive tests at IDRA’s facility in Italy, the new 9000-ton Giga Press has arrived at Giga Texas and Tesla engineers are currently in the process of installing the machine ahead of the start of Cybertruck production.
And a few weeks back, before we were done digesting this news, IDRA, through its official Linkedin account announced that it is in the process of assembling a brand new Gigapress.
At the time, IDRA did not give any specifications regarding the new Giga Press, however, from the pictures the company shared, we had assumed that it is the 9000-ton version and that it was a second Giga Press to be used to build the Cybertruck.
Our first assumption was correct, as a few hours ago IDRA revealed that it has finished work on a second 9000-ton Giga Press. IDRA made the announcement again through the company’s official Linkedin account, and wrote that “another 9000t is ready for shipping”.
However, in an unexpected turn of events, IDRA added that the new machine was ready for shipping “on its way to Asia!”
NEWS: @Tesla Gigapress maker, IDRA, has announced on LinkedIn that another brand new 9,000t Gigapress is "ready for shipping on its way to Asia."LinkedIn post: https://t.co/Z0tcolxemJ pic.twitter.com/wCRx3tsk3C— Sawyer Merritt (@SawyerMerritt) January 9, 2023
Currently, it’s a well-known fact that Tesla will only sell the Cybertruck in North America as the vehicle’s size and unorthodox design make it illegal to drive in most other countries. And it’s also known that Tesla is currently only preparing to start Cybertruck production at its plant in Austin, Texas.
So this raises the question of why Tesla is shipping a massive 9000-ton Giga Press to its plant in Asia. However, before we can answer this question, we first have to understand a few things regarding Tesla’s overarching goal for the Giga Press and how the EV maker ultimately wants to build vehicles.
Tesla is currently in the process of massively increasing the company’s production capacity. By 2030 the EV maker plans to produce 20 million vehicles a year. However, in order for Tesla to reach its 2030 goal, first, the EV maker has to streamline the production process.
And according to Elon Musk, one way Tesla plans to streamline the production process is by basically printing the entire chassis of the vehicle as a single piece similar to how toys are made. And in accordance with Musk’s statement, Tesla has filed a patent describing a machine that inputs molten aluminum and outputs the entire body of a vehicle as a single piece.
The second piece of information to keep in mind when trying to answer the mystery of the 9000-ton Giga Press going to Asia is, that Tesla has been working on a new compact car that will be built in its Shanghai, China plant.
Currently, there isn’t a lot of information regarding this new vehicle besides the fact that it will be smaller and cheaper than the Model 3 which is currently Tesla’s smallest vehicle offering.
And the third piece of information to keep in mind is that Tesla has recently announced that it will be holding a dedicated event for investors on March 1st. And in the Press release for the event Tesla writes…
“We plan to host Tesla's 2023 Investor Day on March 1, 2023. The event will be live-streamed from our Gigafactory Texas, with the option for some of our institutional and retail investors to attend in person (details to follow). Our investors will be able to see our most advanced production line as well as discuss long-term expansion plans, generation 3 platform, capital allocation, and other subjects with our leadership team.”
This tells us that Tesla has been working on a new “generation 3 vehicle platform”.
So what happens if we try to put everything together? First, we know the new 9000-ton Giga Press going to Asia can not be for the Cybertruck as Tesla won’t be selling the futuristic truck outside North America.
Second, we know that Tesla has been working on a smaller compact vehicle for China. And if 6000-ton Giga Press is able to decrease the parts count on the bigger Model Y into 2 pieces, then a more powerful 9000-ton Giga Press applied to a smaller compact car will likely be able to make the entire vehicle as a single piece.
And to add to this point, Tesla and Musk have revealed that being able to make an entire vehicle in one piece is something the EV maker has already been working on and is the long-term direction for the company.
And third, Tesla has said that it’s ready to discuss a next-generation vehicle platform in less than 3 months' time. And if the Generation 2 platform decreases the parts count on the Model Y chassis to 2 then it stands to reason the generation 3 platform will make that into a single piece.
If our above prediction is indeed correct, this will certainly make Tesla’s upcoming investor day even more exciting and possibly one for the history books.
Having said that, before we get too ahead of ourselves, there are a lot of moving pieces to our prediction, and one miscalculation can throw off our entire analysis so it's important to temper our expectations.
However, we will be sure to keep you posted as we get more information regarding the new 9000-ton Giga Press going to Asia and the nature of Tesla’s generation 3 vehicle platform. Until then, make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Excited to see a second 9000-ton Giga Press heading to Asia? What do you think Tesla is planning to use this machine for? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
For more information check out: Tesla’s Record Germany December Delivery Numbers Amount To 210k Vehicles A Year
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news