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?
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.