Tesla's Shanghai factory has adopted one-piece die-casting technology for its Model Y production, significantly reducing component costs. This innovative move is part of Tesla's ongoing efforts to enhance manufacturing processes and efficiency.
Tesla is taking the lead in the EV industry by upgrading its integrated die-casting technology to version 2.0. This advanced technology enables the casting of nearly all complex underbody parts of an electric vehicle as a single unit, as reported by China's official Shanghai Securities News, citing a source close to Tesla.
A reporter from the newspaper visited Tesla's factory in Lingang, Pudong, Shanghai, where it was observed that the Model Y's rear underbody structure is already being produced using integrated die-casting technology, allowing for rapid casting.
Cui Hailun, Tesla Shanghai's manager of structural and thermal management systems, highlighted the significance of this technology, stating, “Our gigacasting is an important innovation that is very much in evidence on the Model Y.” With the implementation of one-piece die-casting, multiple fragmented parts in the Model Y's rear underbody have been consolidated into a single component, leading to a notable increase in productivity.
This novel approach not only improves efficiency but also results in a weight reduction of more than 10 percent compared to traditional methods. Furthermore, it offers substantial cost advantages, with the cost of the rear floor assembly reduced by 40 percent due to the adoption of one-piece die casting, according to Cui.
Experts suggest that integrated die-casting technology is poised to bring disruptive changes to the automotive industry. Yan Jinghui, an expert committee member of the China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), commented on the transformative potential of this technology, as reported by Shanghai Securities News. Yan noted that Tesla's new all-in-one die casting helps reduce vehicle weight and extend range while keeping labor costs in check.
Notably, several Chinese automakers have also embraced one-piece die-casting technology, anticipating improvements in body lightweighting and production cost savings. For instance, Geely's Zeekr has employed this technology in its Zeekr 009 MPV, resulting in the elimination of nearly 800 welds, an 80 percent reduction in the number of parts, and a 16 percent reduction in weight.