Every Tesla model has arguably been an unforgettable vehicle. The roadster was the first EV to offer the performance and aesthetic to attract car buyers.
The Model S was the first mass-produced EV car to deliver this combination and the Model X delivered it as an SUV.
The Model 3 the culmination of the company’s master plan was the first to bring the winning formula to the mid-price segment.
With the new Model Y, Tesla has reformed all the features of the Model 3 in a form factor aimed squarely at the most popular market in the world.
Stay tuned to find out all the economics surrounding the production of the new Model Y and the exciting new improvements that are being made to the EV.
This revolutionary EV arrived at the market with unfortunate timing. Tesla was just commencing customer deliveries when the Coved 19 pandemic, this more or less forced the company to shut down operations for weeks.
Roger Pressman the founder of EV annex and manufacturer and distributor of aftermarket accessories for Tesla explained that the Model Y was a culmination of everything Tesla had learned in the past eight years.
Tesla had said all along that the Model Y would be based on the Model 3, and in January 2019 Elon Musk made a statement saying that the two models would share 76% of the same components.
The strategy was to allow Tesla to leverage the economics of scale and greater efficiency, not only in its supply chain but also in terms of the supply of parts to its service centers.
The Tesla Model Y is in stealth mode, as all four Tesla gigafactories ramp up production of the electric SUV, and crossover.
Elon Musk has understood that the Model Y, the seemingly harmless vehicle, but with his expansion of the 1.5 million dollars in sales the Model Y would crush the European automaker’s new Giga castings, the 4680 battery cell.
A paint shop and economics of scale would all allow Tesla to reduce the price of the Model Y while offering exceptional quality.
Once the new gigafactory is open its game set match, with regards to functionality, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the Model Y and Model 3.
There are a lot of really cool features that the Model Y encompasses. like every Tesla vehicle the Model Y is designed to be the safest vehicle in its class. the low center of gravity rigid body structure and large crumple zones provide unparalleled protection.
Model Y provides maximum versatility as it’s capable of carrying seven passengers and their cargo. Each second-row seat folds flat independently creating flexible storage for skis furniture luggage and more.
The liftgate opens to a low trunk floor that makes loading and unloading easy and quick. versatile seating and storage for cargo and passengers as well.
There’s a button in the back which allows you to lower the back seats of the second row so you can easily throw some stuff in without having to walk around the car and open the door.
Another nice factor is that the center portion of the second row folds down without the other two sides folding down.
The Model Y is fully electric so you never need to visit a gas station and when fully charged overnight you are assured of a full battery every morning.
With an elevated seating position and low dash, the driver has a commanding view of the road ahead.
The interior of the Model Y is simple and clean with a 15-inch touchscreen, an immersive sound system, and an expansive all-glass roof that creates extra headroom and creates a seamless view of the sky.
The Model Y represents a refinement of all the ideas that have been integrated into Tesla’s other vehicles with the car ultimately becoming the biggest selling car in the line.
Octovalve Thermal Management
The model Y new thermal management system, Octovalve, is the heart of the car’s cooling and heating system. Octovalve replaces the super bottle that was used in Model 3.
All previous Tesla models used resistive heating systems where Model Y uses a far more efficient heat pump.
The heat pump means that the car can operate more effectively even though it’s heavier and has a bigger cross-section area. it can achieve a range that’s about the same as the Model 3.
Tesla’s heat pump includes several clever features including a local heating loop which is designed to improve performance in low-temperature operation.
Elon concedes that there is no easy way to describe a heat pump. He says it’s kind of like an air conditioner backward.
Musk further stated that heat pumps encounter issues around 10 to -20 degrees celsius so they have a problem of spooling up.
The solution that the Tesla HVAC team came up with was to have a local heating loop. the thing will spin itself up and get hot locally before opening another valve that then tries to heat the cabin.
Another innovation is hidden away in the rear underbody of the Model Y where Tesla has replaced about 70 parts with two enormous aluminum castings.
The current version of the Model Y has two big high-pressure die-cast aluminum castings that are joined and then a bunch of other bits that are attached.
Tesla plans to transition into using a single piece of casting for the rear underbody which will also integrate into the rear crash rails.
To achieve this the world’s biggest casting machine would be needed which is around 6,000 tons of casting machines, which is the size of a small house and Elon Musk claims that the company already has two of them.
According to Musk, this innovation allows the size of the body shop to be reduced to about 30% and greatly reduces the number of robots required.
That’s an improvement that Tesla plans to introduce to the Model 3 as well, but given all the other things the company has on its plate such a retrofit would probably have to wait a few more years, says Musk.
Tesla’s casting process is a little more complex than that used at the hot wheels factory. Tesla is using a specific aluminum alloy that requires no heat treatment after casting.
For the Model S and the Model X, we have to cast for the corner nodes, the main load-bearing portions of the car are high-pressure die-cast aluminum. There are numerous other improvements under the hood the body is a thousand percent better.
Sandy Munro has been in the auto manufacturing game for decades and has performed teardowns on every mass-produced Tesla model.
When he was interviewed by charged, he was in the middle of tearing down a Model Y and he agrees that the most significant design improvements are the heat pump, Octovalve, and the rear castings
Although Tesla is not the first automaker to employ large-scale casting, the reduction in the number of parts is quite significant. In the Model 3, they used every type of fastener that one could use on aluminum.
Sandy estimates that the rear underbody of the Model 3 has about 80 parts and another 80 fasteners. However, the new Model Y has just two major parts.
It’s got two brackets that they use for joining them and then they put the two bolts in each one. Approximately Tesla is going from maybe a total of 150 parts and fasteners down to four parts and eight bolts.
They took into account where they put the springs, the wire harness connection, the brake lines, and all kinds of stuff built right in. That makes it super easy for the assembly line operators to put things together.
Another tech detail that’s an improvement is the wiring. The wire harness arrangement makes it possible to put things together outside the vehicle where the wires are passed around from outside.
Tesla made use of corrugated sheathing and this protects the wires from rodents. One of the things that make Tesla unique among other automakers is its openness to criticism and quick response or feedback.
As other automakers do, Tesla updates and improve its vehicle as well as the production equipment and processes used to build them every time it brings a new model into production.
However, the company takes the ethos of constant accumulative improvement a step further. And in Silicon Valley style makes running changes in real-time, which leads to the eventual results being awesome.
What do you think do you think? the Model Y economics would allow it to become the world’s best-selling car, what are your thoughts on gigacasting and the 4680 battery?