Lightweight Garage # 39 Giga Press Model Y @ Tesla

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Lightweight garage

20.04.2023 Luca Wilhelmy

The vehicle

Behind this garage door is an electrically powered road vehicle, the Tesla Model Y. With 1995 kg and space for up to 5 people, the Model Y, which has a maximum speed of 250 km/h, is one of the most popular electric vehicles. This is also reflected in the sales figures: 4.3 million Model Ys were sold worldwide in the first half of 2022.

©Wikipedia, Tesla Model Y

The technology

One of the lightweight construction-relevant features of the Model Y is the production of the rear underbody structure of the chassis. In the Model 3 there were 70 different components, in the Model Y there are only an impressive two components. This significant difference has an immense impact on the vehicle on several levels. Firstly, the integrative aspect should be considered. By eliminating the additional components, fewer connections need to be made between the components. This means that weight can be saved by eliminating the connecting material (e.g. screws, welding rod, glue, etc.).

In addition, many weak points caused by connecting elements are eliminated. Furthermore, the integration of 2 components saves the production of 68 individual parts. This is also associated with transportation and storage costs, which are eliminated due to the lower number of components. A so-called giga press is required to produce the components for the Y model. The Italian manufacturer IDRA produces such giga presses. Giga presses are die casting machines that press aluminum alloys into shape with up to 9,000 tons of pressing force. However, the Model Y has so far only used Giga Presses with a pressing force of up to 6,000 tons.

©wikipedia, Giga Press by Idra

The lightweight aspect

The integrative design of the rear underbody structure in the Model Y is a great example of integrative lightweight construction. The reduction of components results in a number of advantages. As already explained, greater structural rigidity can be achieved both in terms of structural mechanics by eliminating joints, and cost savings are also possible in various areas. In addition, the weight of the connecting elements is eliminated, resulting in less weight on the rear axle.