This is the theory one of our readers appears to believe.
There is a possibility that the Tesla Model Y has a cast frame. We have already shown you the patents that suggest that and what a Twitter user claimed to be evidence of such. We wanted to break that down to our readers. Ironically, one of them apparently helped us do that with the image above. But is it correct? We will tell you the whole story.
Gallery: Tesla Model Y production
The Twitter user Nafnlaus – anonymous, in Icelandic – said the production picture of the Model Y showed casting signs, but he did not reveal which. We contacted Sandy Munro for a technical explanation, and he thanked us for sharing the image. Unfortunately, that was all we got back from him so far. Michael Coldren, a reader from Oklahoma, sent us the picture above with the very details we wanted to obtain from a specialist.
Coldren sent us the image with this text: “Why I think he is right! Mike-in-Oklahoma.” Then we asked him if the picture was his, if he authorized us to use it and what his background was to have created it. Our reader’s answer was the same image on a smaller scale, which makes us infer that he is the author.
That said, we decided to take our chances and share the image with you all. We'll include it right above to make it easier for you to check it.
It goes well beyond the inside part of the left rear wheel well. For us, that was the most crucial indication of casting, but apparently, Coldren saw many more aspects that tell the same story.
Gallery: Tesla Goes Patent Crazy With Huge Casting Machine For Model Y
Have a look at the frame structure on what is the niche for the driver’s door. According to the image, if it were stamped, the edges would be sharp. Instead, they would show a cast part that was not fully formed. If this is correct, this may be a concern regarding build quality.
The second piece of evidence is discoloration in some parts of the frame. The author of the image writes that stamping or welding would not cause that effect.
Finally, the last sign that the frame is cast is the one we saw ourselves: the complexity of the inner part of the left wheel well. It would be impossible to do that with sheet metal technology, and that creates a “crumple zone deluxe.”
Considering Coldren did not precisely answer our doubts, is he the author of the image and the explanations? If he is not, why did he send us a high-definition file? We prefer to believe he is a man of few words, but we can make any corrections needed regarding the author and the explanations the image gave us.
What did not seem fair was to hold the image for ourselves if it can help explain why the Model Y may be a revolutionary vehicle in more ways than just being an EV.