When you look at a car and think of something solid, remember this video.
When I wrote that cars were much like sheet metal origamis, back in 2016, my goal was to reinforce how necessary it was that people praised safety at the wheel. Not only by driving responsibly, but also by choosing the safest vehicles they could. Cars are not solid objects: they have lots of hollow areas and apparently fragile body panels. That is necessary for the car body to absorb crash energy in a way that does not hurt its passengers. Tesla is one of the best companies when it relates to crash safety, and the latest Model Y teardown video shows what a complex work it does at folding and bonding sheet metal.
Sandy Munro had the help of another engineer to separate the body panels of the Tesla Model Y. They have used an air arc – also known as a plasma cutter – to cut the parts around the weld points that joined them.
Some of the body panels you usually see are composed of many metal parts bonded together. Munro shows us a T3: a component made of three layers of stamping. The engineer also speaks about doublers – additional sheets of metal used to reinforce others – and explains how many different materials and kinds of steel are applied to make the car both lighter and safer in crashes.
Some of the crucial components for that are the Model Y’s crush cans, made of extruded aluminum. Their main goal is to deform so that your bones stay in place in case of an accident. They ensure we do not evolve into Graham, who you can meet in the video below if you haven’t already. Munro already said the Cybertruck could easily have them even with its exoskeleton structure.
Not every automaker is good at origami: some sold real death traps, as IIHS, NHTSA and Global NCAP entities showed along many decades of testing. Others excelled expectations and received higher scores than some tests could even register. Tesla is one of them, and this video helps us understand why this is the case.