According to a report by Texas resident and drone operator Joe Tegtmeyer, that was shared by Tesla Owners of Austin, the automaker has completed the first full test casting of the Model Y electric crossover at its upcoming Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.
Keep in mind, this isn't confirmed, though Tegtmeyer says the information came from a reliable on-site source. Tegtmeyer visits Giga Austin on a regular basis, he's as up-to-date as possible about news surrounding the factory, and his drone work certainly keeps him in the loop more than the majority of us.
The report says that Tesla is already running one-piece casting tests on the Model Y, and it's still months ahead of projected production. This comes as no surprise, however, as we continue to report that Tesla is prioritizing the Model Y and Model 3 over all other vehicles. We've also learned that Tesla is likely already sold out for the quarter, so getting to a point in the near future where the brand isn't production-constrained is paramount.
Check out the tweet below published by Tesla Owners of Austin. It includes a written statement from Joe, along with some images he captured. Joe says the first official Giga Press #1 test was completed on the Model Y for the crossover's single-piece rear casting.
We've reported about Tesla's casting plans on several occasions. In summary, it has acquired massive and incredibly powerful "Giga Press" machines from IDRA. Using the equipment, Tesla can make single casts that would have required some 70 parts to build without the machine.
Tesla reportedly ordered an even larger version of the IDRA stamping machine for producing its upcoming Cybertruck, which will be manufactured at Giga Texas after the Model Y. The process is meant to streamline and speed up production, improve build quality, and improve vehicle safety. According to Teslarati, CEO Elon Musk told teardown expert Sandy Munro in an interview:
“At some point, we probably will switch to a single-piece casting, but I think we need to get the Texas factory and the Berlin factory going. We do have an issue. It is hard to change the wheels on the bus when it is going 80 MPH down the highway. So, Model 3 is…well, was most of our volume. Model Y will exceed Model 3, but we just need an opportunity to redo the factory without blowing the cash flow of the company.”
We've embedded Tegtmeyer's most recent Giga Austin drone footage below for your enjoyment:
Source: Tesla Owners of Austin (Twitter) via Teslarati