It is curious to realize the core of the Tesla Model Y was not attracting as much attention as the cast parts, the wiring harnesses, or the build quality. That is probably because customers already knew Tesla battery packs are the best in business. Would that be the reason for Sandy Munro to start this video with an airbag deployment? We can’t say for sure, but one thing is certain: it was a blast!
Apart from being a curious note, we are glad that Munro demonstrated how fast and how loud an airbag opens. Hopefully, that will make anyone that still relies on airbags to drive irresponsibly to prefer to avoid crashing as much as possible.
Regarding the battery pack, the engineer showed the cover was glued in place, which made it very hard to remove. According to Munro, the Model Y that made this teardown possible uses a long-range battery pack, with 74 kWh. If you remember, this is the Performance derivative. The Standard Range is expected to arrive only in 2021.
Gallery: Tesla Model Y Battery Pack Teardown Starts With... Airbag Deployment?!
When the guys from Munro & Associates managed to see what was underneath, they had some intriguing surprises, most of them related to something the engineer believes to be cost-cutting measures. But were they?
A runaway solenoid there should have five bolts holding it in place. Instead, Munro found only three of them. He believes the two missing ones were a way to save, as well as the screws for the battery modules. Each side should have ten bolts but has only eight. He calls that a “running change.”
Brand new cars have too little production “running” time to present any changes, but remember the Model Y shares its battery pack with the Model 3. We just wonder why Tesla decided to skip some bolts from the project instead of redesigning the affected parts. The way this “running change” was made, it can look like a quality control issue.
Other modifications are much more clearly intentional, such as the use of fewer sensors – from 5 to only 2 in each module – and a bracket that used to go inside the extrusions that join the modules. Instead of those brackets, Tesla put nuts inside the extrusions and insulators in the hole to prevent electric shocks.
How much has Tesla saved with these measures? We have no idea. Anyway, put all of them side by side, and the amount will be massive in the high scale perspective. We hope these savings translate into new projects that prevent “running changes:” they may be useful for the pockets, but they do not look ok by any other means.