It is no secret Tesla has been working towards a “unibody” casting design that would see a large section of the car made up of a single piece of aluminum.
When the Tesla Model 3 was released, the rear part of the body consisted of as many as 70 different pieces. The automaker was able to improve upon that with the Model Y released earlier this year, which consists of just 2 pieces.
To reach their ultimate goal, Tesla recently began the installation of two massive single-piece casting machines at its factory in Fremont, known as a Giga Press. Based on footage from a recent drone flyover of the facility in California, it appears one of them is already operational.
In the video, posted by Gabeincal, one of the two massive casting machines can be seen, with what appears to numerous single piece casting of the Model Y underbody.
With Model Y production still ramping up at Fremont, implementation of the casting machines and the switch to a single-piece rear underbody could result in big improvements to the efficiency and costs of manufacturing the electric SUV.
Since these castings appear to be test pieces, it is unknown when they will make it into production. Delivery estimates for the Model Y in both the US and Canada were recently extended to as much as 14 weeks, indicating a change could be coming soon.
I think 7-11 weeks for the Model Y in Canada 🇨🇦 and 10-14 weeks in the US 🇺🇸 is the longest delivery estimate we've seen for any Tesla. Model 3 is still showing as 2-4 weeks on both sites. pic.twitter.com/qVVSGErDjU
— Drive Tesla 🇨🇦 (@DriveTeslaca) September 8, 2020
Check out the full drone flyover video below.