Fundamentally, Tesla will look to minimise the amount of work needed at each stage of the process. For example, the seats will be mounted directly to the underfloor battery pack, with the entire unit then raised up into a bodyshell that has been painted in sections to avoid the need for door removal and reinstallation.
The new process is essentially centred on “only doing things that are necessary”, which is to say avoiding any unnecessary movement or disassembly of the car or its components during its journey down the production line.
All in, Tesla estimates that its new platform will reduce construction cost per vehicle by around $1000 (£830).
Moravy explained that today’s established mass-production processes are based on those pioneered by Henry Ford. “It’s hard to change the car production process after 100 years,” he explained.
Tesla’s new platform for cheaper EVs
Details of the next Tesla car have been kept largely under wraps, with engineering boss Lars Moravy going so far only as to confirm that “it would not be a Model Y” that benefits from the outlined production advances, as was depicted in an illustration that showed the innovations.
Tesla design boss Franz von Holzhausen said details of the firm’s next car would come “at a later date”. It’s likely to be the first Tesla produced at a new factory in Monterrey, Mexico.
Tesla estimated that its new platform will reduce construction cost per vehicle by around $1000 (£830), which should translate into a tangibly lower price point for the consumer.
Notably, Tesla will face fierce global competition from the likes of Volkswagen, Renault, MG and various other Chinese manufacturers that have confirmed plans to launch EVs priced more in line with today’s more affordable ICE cars.
At a vehicle level, upgrades to battery and motor technology have resulted in a 75% reduction in silicon carbide, and mean the firm’s next platform will be able to accept batteries of any chemistry. Powertrain boss Colin Campbell added that the next-generation Tesla EV motor will not use any rare earth metals in its construction.