HomeGreen TechnologySpeculations On The New Tesla Platform

Speculations On The New Tesla Platform

I don’t suppose I’ve ever been extra interested in a Tesla investor day because the one developing March 1st. There’s a lot hypothesis on what we’re going to see, and I normally simply learn what others attempt to predict after which seize my popcorn and revel in the reside occasion, however this time I can’t assist myself. I’ve to get this on file, as a result of my head is about to blow up.

I will probably be clear that the brand new automobile platform is what I discover most attention-grabbing. The vitality technology, storage, and AI vitality arbitrage that Tesla excels in are inevitable, and in distinction, are easy duties. The brand new automobile platform is the true problem for my part, and mixed with AI, the true money cow. At the least till the Tesla Bot takes over the world….

Elon Musk has been very clear that the sport any further is scale — huge scale. To perform huge manufacturing scale of any product, excessive scalability is important, which suggests simplicity is of the essence, not solely of the completed product, however each single part it consists of. We have now heard it so usually from Elon that the most effective half is not any half, however in the event you truly need a product to exist, you’ll be able to’t take away all elements — you want no less than one half anyway.

Talking of AI: Picture by DALL·E when requested to create “a tesla toy automobile forged as one single piece of steel.” It blows my thoughts….

The true downside in manufacturing is to determine which indispensable elements could be mixed, therefore the toy automobile analogy Elon has alluded to prior to now. That is what I’ve been pondering these days, and although I can not in any manner declare to know what I’m speaking about, I simply have to put out my ideas right here — as a easy sketch, as a result of in some unusual manner, it appears believable. We’ll see.

Sketch by Jesper Berggreen

Preserving the utopian thought of a one-part product in thoughts, listed below are my ideas on these teams of elements:

  • The physique. I can solely think about the sheer quantity of challenges Tesla has been by in making the Cybertruck prepared for manufacturing. The idea of an exoskeleton appears easy, however it’s such a radical new strategy that the manufacturing strategies will need to have been designed from the bottom up. Nevertheless, Tesla has clearly made it to this point, and the Cybertruck is definitely coming to market this yr. And what the exoskeleton strategy will imply for the Cybertruck and new fashions by way of value financial savings is anybody’s guess, however I think financial savings will probably be substantial. I believe Tesla simply may need determined to have the choice of selecting between exoskeleton and a conventional body and panel physique constructed into this new platform.
  • The inside. I believe the inside needs to be so radically completely different from anything we now have seen to date. Possibly not at first look, however modularity will probably be of the essence if the inside is to accommodate completely different use circumstances like, on the one hand, the standard drivable automobile with a steering wheel and room for a household, and then again, a robotaxi with out steering wheel and pedals and possibly even separate compartments for customers to not keep in touch with one another for privateness and even well being causes (no masks wanted…). I’ve puzzled if the brand new platform will probably be mounted to both a 2- or 4-seat configuration, however with the versatile physique choice described above, and the versatile seat mounts, it’d accommodate each! Assume low cost 4-door 25 cents per mile robotaxis alongside a section of luxurious 2-door 50 cents per mile robotaxis, akin to 1st and 2nd class airline decisions. Clearly, the manually pushed 2-door sizzling hatch section needs to be represented too (please make that occur, Elon!).
  • The chassis. To make the pliability described above reasonable, the standard wiring needs to be obliviated. I believe, or slightly hope, that Tesla has gone all-in this time and achieved the identical with the chassis because it did with the HVAC system within the Mannequin Y. Just like the Octovalve that’s laid out as a circuit board to remove numerous tubes and valves, the entire automobile communication needs to be a circuit-board-like construction, with any part with the ability to be connected anyplace and seamlessly talk with the remainder of the automobile (e.g., a seat could be mounted at any place on the ground and energy and controls will simply work). The identical factor goes for door controls, lights, audio system, and many others. Excessive voltage may very well be on the downfacing aspect because the battery will probably be connected right here, thus preserving issues secure. This will likely sound easy, however it’s a monumental job. The advantage of eradicating most wiring is sort of incalculable, and the manufacturing effectivity will go vertical. For this to be doable, the chassis needs to be forged in a single piece, from the mounts for the entrance wheels all the best way again to the rear wheels. This can require a really giant “gigapress,” however Tesla simply may need the prowess to tug this off at this level.
  • The battery. This platform would be the pinnacle of what 4680 cells had been meant for. Their structural properties together with a one-piece chassis will probably be a useful unit that the business has by no means seen earlier than. It’ll take full benefit of the potential weight financial savings that we had been launched at Battery Day in 2020. A number of battery measurement choices could be accommodated by putting dummy cans in the identical kind issue. I believe a light-weight and low-capacity 20–30 kWh battery will probably be appropriate for a metropolis robotaxi, and a high-capacity 50–60 kWh unit will probably be ample for the long-range, high-performance variants. Will the battery pack be simply replaceable? I suppose it depends upon how the one-piece chassis is structured, however I hope it is going to be doable to proceed the one-piece battery unit idea launched with the Mannequin Y at Giga Texas for simple service within the uncommon case of malfunction.
  • The drivetrain. The drivetrain that was developed for the Mannequin 3 has by now confirmed its value. It’s extremely dependable. I do not know if the motors on the brand new platform would be the everlasting magnet switched reluctance models which can be used within the rear of the Mannequin 3 and Y, or if the induction variety used within the entrance is healthier for this use case, however I think the previous is the most affordable to provide at very giant scale. I believe we are going to see a smaller model that will probably be ample for the smaller kind issue, and I don’t suppose Tesla will hassle with completely different sorts for entrance and rear. I believe there will probably be choices for front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive, and I believe the drivetrain models will probably be exceptionally easy to mount to the chassis. In-wheel motors have crossed my thoughts, however because the present whole-cradle kind models will probably be extraordinarily lengthy life, and straightforward to switch and repair, I don’t suppose Tesla will go together with the largely unproven in-wheel setup right now.

Primarily, we’re taking a look at an excellent easy, gentle, robust, and versatile 5-component group construction that may carry as much as 4 passengers with most consolation and security. The elements themselves ought to be tremendous dependable, but simple to restore, change, and recycle, with a purpose to reduce use of uncooked supplies. However except for all of that, right here’s actual the kicker: If this platform is so versatile it might tackle any type of physique, it may be licensed — I imply, the complete platform could be licensed. Assume: “Intel Inside,” solely this time: “Tesla Inside.” This contains the entire suite of working software program, which has all the time been a really excessive precedence at Tesla, figuring out that {hardware} is value nothing with out top-performing software program.

Sketch by Jesper Berggreen

I do know, what a loopy thought! Tesla will in fact market its personal physique designs to get the ball rolling, but when transportation as an entire is to be reworked to all-electric together with the remainder of the world’s vitality methods, others should play alongside, quick. In a phrase: Effectivity! And as a welcome aspect impact: True international affordability.

Intel has had an excellent preliminary run in enabling the fast growth of non-public computing energy, and with its new platform, Tesla could also be about to repeat this enterprise in one other business. However because of the unlucky influence the century-long fossil gasoline experiment has had on the planet to date, time is of the essence. I discover it very laborious to think about legacy automakers will attain this sort of a whole transformation in manufacturing automobiles any time quickly. So, I’m wondering, if Tesla does this, what selection will legacy automakers have? Bear in mind, all different EV producers are presenting automobiles as we speak which can be corresponding to the platform Tesla began the Mannequin 3 manufacturing with (it didn’t even have gigacasting elements in it).

We have now heard for a really very long time that the competitors is coming for Tesla, and I truly imagine that legacy automakers had the suitable intentions and themselves believed they might simply ramp up manufacturing of low cost and dependable EVs when it was time to take action. That point has come, and it appears the previous manufacturers have had an uncomfortable epiphany concerning the precise challenges this paradigm shift presents. Some are apparently nonetheless in denial, however others are very candid concerning the ugly actuality (shoutout to Jim Farley for being so sincere concerning the problem Ford faces at this level).

I don’t suppose Tesla fears any competitors aside from that of the idea of unsustainability, as a result of that one phrase signifies that all people will probably be out of enterprise ultimately. With humanity on Earth in thoughts, Elon’s Grasp Plan Half 3 is an try to make sure sustainability. I believe that’s it. Easy actually, but so laborious.

“The competitors is coming!” Photograph of my very own single-piece forged Monopoly automobiles that has spurred enjoyable instructional competitors in a board sport 🙂



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