Tesla Cybertruck: Mass Manufacturing Edges Closer
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, recently shared how excited he was about his company's long-awaited Cybertruck going into production. On Sunday 2nd April, Musk shared a tweet which said: "Walked whole Cybertruck production line at Giga Texas for several hours earlier today – gonna be awesome!". He then added that his experience at the Tesla Gigafactory 'feels like the future'.
The design of the Tesla Cybertruck differs greatly from other vehicles in many ways, perhaps the most notable of these is that it will made with an exoskeleton as opposed to the more traditional body-on-frame design.
The Cybertruck will be made using a newly-created stainless steel alloy, for which Tesla has been granted an exclusive patent. This super-hard cold-rolled steel has also been used in the building of the SpaceX Starship rocket, which is expressly designed to function for many years, with no impact on performance, in the hostile and demanding martian environment.
The stainless steel used to build the Cybertruck will be sourced from Steel Dynamics. Dennis Black, the General Manager of Steel Dynamics's new plant in Texas, revealed that the plant will use a massive 90% of recycled stainless steel scrap.
Traditionally, the bodies of vehicles are stamped out using machines that are expensive to run and require excessive amounts of energy input. The new stainless alloy used to make the Cybertruck is too hard to be stamped and the plates are instead bent into shape (after a deep score is made on the bend's inside) using relatively inexpensive machinery.
In order to resist buckling, the flat planes of the Cybertruck must be thicker than usual, which adds extra weight to the finished vehicle. To compensate for this, Tesla has avoided the standard body-on-frame design, instead choosing to use the vehicle's exterior as a stressed member, which means that it acts as both frame and body.
Stainless steel also features heavily in the machinery that will be used to mass-manufacture the new vehicle. One element of this machinery is a newly-commissioned Giga Press, which will build the under-chassis of the Cybertruck. At 9,000 tonnes, the new Giga Press will be 50% bigger than the Model Y Giga Press and will be able to produce complex parts with an extremely high degree of efficiency and precision.
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