With Tesla expanding its vehicle production capabilities through the deployment of facilities such as Gigafactory Berlin and Giga Texas, the company’s lead in the electric vehicle space has never been more evident. It’s no surprise, then, that some of Tesla’s competitors in the automotive segment are emulating some of the EV maker’s innovations to help them catch up in the electric car market.
Last month, Volvo revealed that it would also be using Tesla-style megacasts for its next-generation electric vehicles. Mikael Close, Volvo Solution Architect Vehicle Platform, noted that the use of megacasts, which drastically reduce the number of components in a vehicle, would be “the biggest change in technology since we went from wood to steel for bodywork. “.
And now Volkswagen also seems to be looking into using megacasts for its next-generation electric cars. VW is already a fairly successful electric vehicle maker among its traditional auto counterparts, but the company still isn’t as innovative as younger companies like Tesla. Tesla, for example, is already able to produce a Model Y in ten hours at Giga Berlin, but Volkswagen still takes about three times as long to build the ID.3, a smaller electric car.
Volkswagen aims to improve its electric vehicle production process with its Trinity EV factory, a facility that is expected to be operational in 2026. The Trinity factory is expected to improve EV production times for Volkswagen, which should be possible through the use innovations such as large die castings and more automation. In a statement to ReutersVolkswagen brand production chief Christian Vollmer noted that the company would achieve something big if it could produce electric cars in just ten hours.
“Our goal is clear: we want to set the standard with our production. If we can get to ten o’clock, we’ve achieved something big,” Vollmer said, adding that Volkswagen is already improving productivity at a rate of around 5% per year.
Volkswagen is one of the most experienced automakers in the world, but it’s quickly learning that building electric vehicles is a whole different ball game. The company can already build cars like the Tiguan and Polo in 18 and 14 hours at its German and Spanish factories, but its all-electric ID.3 still takes around 30 hours to build. Vollmer noted that improvements should be possible in the Trinity factory since the installation would allow the company to condense its activities.
However, it should be noted that Volkswagen does not plan to have Giga presses at its new factory in Wolfsburg. Instead, the company plans to install the house-sized machines in a factory in Kassel, about 100 miles away, and simply transport the large die-cast components by train.
Tesla, for its part, noted that its efficiency in Gigafactory Berlin is largely due to its two Giga presses, which apply 6,000 tons of pressure to manufacture the rear underbody of the Model Y. Giga Berlin’s press shop can produce 17 components. in less than six minutes so far, but with six more Giga presses expected to roll out in the near future, the EV maker would be able to produce its best-selling all-electric crossover even faster.
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