The Tesla Cybertruck's low tooling costs will save the EV automaker millions when the vehicle enters production, says automotive veteran and Autoline host John McElroy. Recently, McElroy broke down each part of the CYBRTRK that will save Tesla millions.
In his WardsAuto article, McElroy admitted that he was skeptical of Elon Musk’s futuristic Cybertruck at first. However, once he concentrated on how each part of the CYBRTRK was made, McElroy slowly had a change of heart.
The Autoline host believes that the Elon Musk’s true genius was revealed when the Cybertruck’s simplistic, origami-like design was examined closer. Ironically, its the CYBRTK’s unconventional exoskeleton, shape, and appearance that has people doubting Musk’s design for Tesla’s all-electric pickup truck.
However—like most things in life—one must look past the surface to discover the Cybertruck’s real value, which McElroy strongly believes is its elimination in tooling costs for Tesla.
According to Sandy Munro from Munro & Associates, Tesla could save up to $60 million because of the Cybertruck’s unique exoskeleton, which eliminates the need for blanking and stamping dies. Munro’s calculation was based on Tesla making only 50,000 units of the CYBRTRK in a year. Tesla could easily make more than 50,000 units of the Cybertruck is the vehicle becomes a success, and this would only result in continued savings for the electric car maker.
McElroy explained that the electric truck’s exoskeleton would not need stamping dies with its flat panels and straight lines. Tesla won’t need to form steel blanks either, which makes blanking dies unnecessary. The EV tech company could use a water jet or laser to cut the Cybertruck’s flat panels and window.
The Cybertruck’s flat glass will reduce production costs because Tesla won’t need to use sophisticated optic controls as other automakers do for the windshields of their vehicles. McElroy also believes that the next-gen automaker will trim costs by using SpaceX's Starship stainless steel.
Besides tooling costs, McElroy also suggested that Tesla could save at least half a billion dollars on the Cybertruck’s brushed stainless steel finish because there would be no need for a paint shop. The veteran notes that even a low-volume paint shop costs about $150 million. Plus, Tesla will need to get a number of environmental permits to build a paint shop. Even after one is built, Tesla will incur more costs, including buying expensive pollution control equipment for the facility. All of these costs are absent on the Cybertruck.
Tesla could save more with the assembly of each Cybertruck as well, McElroy noted. “While Tesla has not disclosed its production targets for the Cybertruck, it’s likely it will start out in low volume. This eliminates the need for an automated body shop. Munro says Tesla could use manual-load, auto-clamp fixtures to hold the panels, manually tack them together, then TIG weld the structure,” he wrote in his article.
McElroy concludes that the Cybertruck’s relatively inexpensive tooling costs ultimately eliminates the advantages traditional pickup truck manufacturers have over Tesla, which is manufacturing scales. He calculated that Tesla would only spend $120 on each Cybertruck’s tooling costs if it were to produce the e-truck over a period of five years. In comparison, a high-volume pickup truck’s tooling cost would be $205 per vehicle for pickups like the F-150 for the same period.
With such advantages, Tesla can push itself further with its Cybertruck ramp. These savings will come in handy for the company, especially since the all-electric truck is extremely competitive in price, starting at less than $40,000 for the base variant. If McElroy's estimates are correct, Tesla's aggressive design, price, and specs for the vehicle may have been calculated after all.
Featured Image Credit: Adam Savage's Tested/YouTube
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