Tesla Model 3 Aluminum, Steel, High-Strength Steel Mix Revealed
This is exactly how the Tesla Model 3 utilizes a state-of-the-art body design that marries super strength with lightweight blends at an economical price point.
Redditor User_Juan came across a Tesla Model 3 repair book and posted images showing the mix of metals in the Model 3. The images, which made their way to Twitter and were further shared on Reddit and Imgur, were confirmed by Electrek to be official.
As you can see from the pictures, Tesla uses three different levels of steel strength in the Model 3. The automaker recently posted a video on Twitter comparing the new car’s side pole impact performance compared to that of a Volvo S60 (a vehicle that CEO Elon Musk considers the “second safest” car in the world).
Watch a Tesla Model 3 vs. Volvo S60 side-pole impact test pic.twitter.com/dXBQkstrdo
— Tesla (@TeslaMotors) July 29, 2017
Tesla has said that the Model 3 will be the safest car in its class and earn the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration’s 5-star safety ratings in all categories. According to Tesla, the vehicle is also expected to significantly exceed competitors’ ratings.
As you can also see from the images, the Model 3 uses very little aluminum. This comes as no surprise since aluminum is expensive and also difficult/pricey to repair. However, in areas where an impact is less common or would lead to a minimal chance of injury — like the trunk floor and the wheel wells — aluminum is used to keep the weight down. The base Model 3 weighs in at only 3,549 pounds, with the long-range model (larger battery pack) weighing 3,814 pounds.
Aside from the small amount of aluminum, the vehicle uses ultra-high strength steel for the frame (which will prove helpful in rollover accidents) and high-strength steel for the underbody area where the battery is housed. A milder steel is used in areas that need the ability to crumple or absorb impacts.
Tesla Service Center technicians will need to be aware of which types of alloy are in each area of the vehicle. Body shop repairs will be possible to all alloys except for the ultra-high strength steel.