Does Tesla have 12 GigaPress casting machines? Sandy Munro thinks so

Sean Mitchell is a familiar face in the Tesla community, running a successful YouTube channel, often releasing videos on Tesla and the EV industry in general. In the latest...

Sean Mitchell is a familiar face in the Tesla community, running a successful YouTube channel, often releasing videos on Tesla and the EV industry in general.

In the latest video from Mitchell, he interviews Sandy Munro of Munro and Associates, who famously tore down the Tesla Model 3, then the Model Y.

It’s been 12 months since the pair spoke and in that time, a lots happened in the world of Tesla. The most significant event was of course Battery Day, where Tesla rolled out a series of announcement that even months on, the world are still digesting the implications of.

During Battery Day, Musk showed a video of a massive casting machine making entire rear body sections. Tesla will use this to revolutionise the construction of their vehicles, making the front and rear section of the car, joined by a new structural battery pack, so essentially 3 pieces, replacing what typically is hundreds.

This has massive benefits to production time, weight reduction and per-vehicle cost. Of course massive casting machines aren’t cheap, but if they are so much better than the current methods, the question becomes, why wouldn’t you use that method to make all your vehicles?

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During the interview with Munro, he revealed that Tesla is scaling up massively.

I found out through the grapevine that, they bought 11 more of those casting machines.

While Munro doesn’t reveal his source, he’s clearly well connected in the automotive industry so I feel he’s a reliable source.

Known in the industry as the GigaPress, we know there’s one at the factory in Freemont and another at the Gigafactory in Shanghai. Naturally, this raises the question about where the other 9 are located.

Its likely that Tesla deploys at least 3 more at the upcoming Gigafactories in Berlin (initially Model Y) and Texas (Cybertruck and Semi), but that still leaves 6 of these giant machines with unknown destinations. Of course that new Roadster is still not accounted for, so 1 may certainly relate to that product.

Recently we learned that Tesla will shut down the Model X and Model S production lines for 18 days over Christmas, starting Dec 24th. That sounds like the perfect opportunity to shift from their existing body shop, to refresh the cars to use the new Gigapress design. While Tesla could leave it at that, they may also chose to take this opportunity to add the larger 4680 cells, faster charging and the much anticipated design refresh while they’re going.

Imagine we do see the Model S and X lines upgraded, then we still have 3 unaccounted for. Leave your thoughts in the comments as to where Tesla may be deploying these.

You can watch the full interview at below, with the comments about the casting machines occurring around the 35 minute mark.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021
12 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

  • Keith Mathews
    19 December 2020 at 12:28 am

    Logic would suggest that a doubling up of the pressing machines to speed up the largest assembly lines for the most popular vehicles makes sense.

    Leave a Reply
    • Jason Cartwright
      19 December 2020 at 6:13 am
      • Art K
        19 December 2020 at 9:20 am

        Sandy said eleven ADDITIONAL casting machines.
        According to Wikipedia (added 12-18-20), two are currently installed at Fremont, three at Shanghai and eight slated for Berlin. No mention of Austin but there are at least three vibration isolation pits under construction there.
        These machines are capable of mind boggling cycle times 80-90 seconds yielding over 300,000 castings per year each!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giga_Press

        Leave a Reply
  • morrisg
    19 December 2020 at 10:58 am

    Jason, we’ve seen drone shots of two machines outside at Fremont. We know that Shanghai has at least three machines from the interior pics released in the 3Q financial report. We can see foundations for eight casting machines at Giga Berlin just south of the Paint building. That’s thirteen by my count and I wouldn’t be surprised if Fremont and Shanghai have more on order due to mushrooming Model Y sales. So yeah, Munro hearing that a dozen have been ordered is pretty solid I think.

    Leave a Reply
  • Art K
    19 December 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Sandy said eleven ADDITIONAL casting machines.
    According to Wikipedia (added 12-18-20), two are currently installed at Fremont, three at Shanghai and eight slated for Berlin. No mention of Austin but there are at least three vibration isolation pits under construction there.
    These machines are capable of mind boggling cycle times 80-90 seconds yielding over 300,000 castings per year each!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giga_Press

    Leave a Reply
    • Art K
      19 December 2020 at 7:46 pm

      Sorry for the double post. Verification was not going through.

      Leave a Reply
  • Frankenbeans
    20 December 2020 at 9:38 am

    The Model Y is suppose to be the first vehicle to come out of Austin.

    Leave a Reply
  • Steph Metcalf
    20 December 2020 at 5:48 pm

    PS except for the new pilot Fremont machines, all other existing machines (fremonybmodel Y line and Shanghai model 3 and Y) are the smaller Megacasting not Gigacastings.

    Leave a Reply
  • Steph Metcalf
    20 December 2020 at 5:56 pm

    The all new Gigacasting-based model S was first predicted even before battery day in Connecting The Dots YouTube channel. Smart guy there
    Search YT for “battery day’s biggest secret” by “connecting the dots “

    Leave a Reply
  • VV17
    21 December 2020 at 12:38 am

    What happens.if you have a accident,? The single part can’t be replaced. And if it is aluminium, then it can’t be welded? Does that mean that the car is a write off? I can’t see insurance companies being happy about that. No wonder Tesla thinking about its own insurances.

    Leave a Reply
    • Jason Cartwright
      21 December 2020 at 9:04 am

      That’s still to be confirmed, but it definitely appears there’d be an increased chance the car gets written off in a major accident. Hopefully, this is countered by Autopilot/FSD’s improved capability to predict and avoid accidents.

      Leave a Reply
  • Marcel Dimoski
    27 March 2021 at 7:28 am

    So if doing front and rear casting won’t he need 1 of each or he will need multiple if cycle time is slow

    Leave a Reply
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