Tesla realized early on that reducing the number of components that go into a car and simplifying the build process results in reduced costs and increased profitability, and probably the biggest step towards achieving that was the use of single-piece castings for the Model Y chassis. When Tesla started asking hydraulic press manufacturers if they would try to create its Giga Press, only one, Italy’s IDRA, said it would give it a shot.
The automaker wanted to know if it was possible to create a vehicle’s chassis in just one piece, but apparently that’s exceptionally difficult to create. However, IDRA did make a huge press that is able to stamp out half of the Tesla Model Y’s frame, so its chassis is made from just two pieces, instead of dozens.
Tesla first announced that it had begun using this Giga Press as it was called back in 2021 and we started to see evidence of Model Y frames that did appear to be made with it last year. Now the company is not making a secret out of utilizing this press and it recently released a video showing the press in action creating what looks like the rear part of the two-piece Model Y chassis.
And it really does look very easy, so the caption that Tesla provided for the video is not out of place. The manufacturer notes that
Our huge casting machines enable us to make full-size cars the same way toy cars are made.
The apparent ease with which the stamping is made is, of course, thanks to IDRA for taking on the challenge to build this remarkable press. And because it’s an Italian company, what the machine looked like while operating was a major concern, which is why parts of it are painted red, adding to the sense of occasion when seeing it in action.
Tesla has eight of these presses in total, installed both in its Austin and Berlin factories that build the Model Y. It takes under two minutes for each chassis section to be created and we’re sure other manufacturers want in on the benefits so they have surely commissioned IDRA (or other companies that are developing similar technology) to make some for them as well, or they are at least considering it, especially when looking at the impressive profits consistently posted by Tesla.
Other companies looking at Giga casting