The Tesla Model Y teardown that Munro & Associates are still doing keeps giving birth to interesting videos on the car. Some may go unnoticed, such as one showing its front motor now has a smaller rotor, but there are others that shouldn’t. That’s the case of this one on the instrument panel. Sandy Munro shows both the Model Y and the Model 3 share it. He also shows how these panels help Tesla save buckets of cash with “elegance and minimalism.”
That is how most of the Model 3 and Model Y fans like to call the instrument panel in these EVs. People that are not that much in love with these cars are in the best-case scenario forgiving of how simple they are. In the worst, they say that cars that are so expensive should offer a more luxurious feel.
Both the Model 3 and the Model Y have just a single center screen that works as the dashboard. It is also the infotainment system, the air-conditioning panel, and where you can lock or unlock the doors, open the frunk, and control most of the car’s functionalities. Believe it or not, that is just one way in which Tesla saves some bucks.
Gallery: Sandy Munro Model Y Teardown
Munro points to something most people miss when they look at the instrument panel: It does not have HVAC outlets. If you think that those small moving parts are cheap because they are made of plastic, you are missing the point.
These outlets also increase the complexity of the instrument panel. They have to be robust, easy to operate, look good. You need to invest to meet these requirements both to develop and to get these parts produced.
Even if each of them cost just one dollar, multiply that for all the Model 3 and Model Y Tesla has sold to date and expects to sell in the coming years. That’s called scale, and it represents money Tesla can put in its pockets instead of spending.
Munro mentions the instrument panel structure is based on a cross-car beam, a sort of skeleton that not only makes it easier to put in the car but which also helps the vehicle body be more stable.
Another advantage is that the cross-car beam makes the automobile safer in side crashes. It also supports the steering column, airbags, and the HVAC system. It also makes saves weight and complexity, which saves money. Isn't it nice when you get cheaper and better with the same solution?