We know that Munro was a strict critic of Model 3, so he was really impressed by the company's progress in development, which he saw during the teardown of Model Y.
This part of the car is unique. Mega Casting represents a significant jump in innovation when it comes to body structure, says Munro. He notes that other OEMs use smaller cast notes throughout a vehicle, specifically in the rear quarter and front shock towers but nothing at this scale.
“Tesla’s talked about combining the two existing castings into one and potential even incorporating more more than one into the forward body and that single casting will definitely be a game-changer," said Munro.
The host believes that Tesla will be successful because “they are creating their own aluminum - they’re creating new material, science that no one else has in so that’s consequently why they can make these things happen."
Welding deserve special attention. In this, Munro sees a significant improvement in quality. “We’re seeing lessons learned on the Model Y, put into practice with notable improvements in weld consistency and spacing and we love seeing the switch to the composite tub in lieu of the hundred-plus pieces of stamped assembly," he said.
Munro is impressed with the weld technique. Welds have a great distance and perfect edges. Any company, domestic or foreign, will be happy to have such perfect welds in their cars. It also shows how far Tesla has gone in improving its product compared to Model 3, which Munro took apart in 2018.
"We did find some splash welds on the side of the body as well as a few questionable welds on the shotgun and the shock towers but it was a substantial improvement over the Model 3," continued Munro.
“This is an area that I was really really excited about,” says Munro.
His team hoped to see the wiring, which, in their opinion, should have been revolutionary, but this did not happen, which slightly upset them. Nevertheless, Tesla achieved very great success in this area, more than halving the length of the entire wiring. Model 3 has 1.5 kilometers of wires, while Model Y is just 700 meters.
The Model Y’s heat pump is 300% more efficient than Tesla’s resistive heating system. The slight upgrade Tesla has introduced to its SUV crossover has many advantages, including the fact that a heat pump may increase the range of the Model Y in cold weather.
“The addition of the heat pump to me was a very efficient use of power, [a major] consideration when you’re in the world of EVs," says Munro.
“The less power you use for accessories means more range ... although many might not realise it, the HVAC system draws a significant amount of power and in pursuing a heat pump system, Tesla sought to eliminate high voltage movement," he says.
Munro says the latest iteration in the Model Y with the octovalve in a heat pump definitely represents a step forward in terms of innovation and integration.
The Munro team examined this element a little deeper and came to the conclusion that the chemistry of the battery is slightly different, which makes the cell a little cheaper, but this will be the information that we will learn about later.
Tesla has made a number of improvements to its battery packs: from eliminating fasteners to simplifying covers, to eliminating more than half of the temperature sensors. These changes may not seem serious to the casual observer, but they show a mentality and engineering culture that are serious about cutting costs wherever possible. However, they retained all the functionality.
The Model Y headliner is a molded material that is stuck to the inside of the car's roof. This is an improvement that Model Y highlights.
“One of the most striking features of the Model Y is its panoramic glass roof with no body-cross members,” says Munro. This feature was also unique. Tesla decided opted to utilize injection-molded plastic construction rather than conventional thermoset cardboard or fiber construction like it was on the 3.
“They realises some major benefits in terms of improved manufacturability .... they made the assembly that’s going to be much easier for the technicians to install without having to worry about creasing or folding the substrate."
Tesla also made the entire assembly a two-piece component which will involve some massive and expensive molding tools but which is probably justified considering it affects 100% of their volume and offers the afore-mentioned savings and time and assembly.
Model Y shares approximately 75% of the details with Model 3. This allows Tesla to reduce the cost of retrofitting and capitalize on production experience from Model 3. Munro says Tesla remains committed to its plan.
“Volkswagen has long been the front runner in terms of commitment to savings through commonisation .... Kia, Hyundai and Toyota also share that same mindset but even for them something 75% to be an incredible to share between a sedan or SUV, ”he says.
"At the end of the day what we did see a lot of common components - we're not sure whether it's actually hit 75% in terms of literal parts, but maybe we believe that it might have been achieved with respect to the cost of their components. ”
According to Munro, Tesla has cleverly changed out the interior components of the Model Y motor - in particular the expensive copper rotor - and kept certain external features to ensure no need to change other related assembly parts.
The major takeway
What is so important, but currently not available for any comments, is the computer board for Model Y. Munro engineers are still trying to figure out how to make it out. Once they have achieved this, the Munro will show us.
“We’re going to probably have to wait for a while before my guys can get that done. But this is my major take away - everything electronic for Tesla is absolutely stunning.”
“This is what I would classify as my major takeaway,” he said.
“If you think this is densely populated .... remember that Tesla has decided to invent their own chip, and that is giving our guys fits trying to figure out how this thing works, and how they going to take it apart, and how we decap, and how we x-ray and on and on and on."
Photos source: Munro Live
Featured image: EdmundsFollow @EvaFoxU
About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.