Toyota recently tore down the Tesla Model Y to learn how to build its own electric car that would be competitive. One of the leaders of the company said that under the skin, Model Y is a real work of art.
Toyota is seriously looking into Tesla as it plans to push the next-generation EV platform. The company's engineers recently tore down the Tesla Model Y, not only uncovering key technological secrets of the popular American-made all-electric crossover, but also finding plenty to admire, according to Automotive News.
Under the body of the compact SUV, Toyota found an artfully simplified vehicle design built with cutting-edge manufacturing prowess that would be the envy of any legacy automaker.
“Taking the skin off the Model Y, it was truly a true work of art,” said one Toyota executive who scrutinized the Tesla part by part. “It's unbelievable.”
The Tesla teardown showed Toyota that its own advances in manufacturing technology were surpassed in many ways. Although the latest versions of Model Y look the same on the outside, they have been completely redesigned on the inside. Tesla innovates in their vehicles as soon as they achieve certain improvements, so they are improving non-stop.
Tesla's use of giant casting eliminated a huge amount of parts and brackets. Now the company casts the front and rear ends of the car and inserts a structural battery pack between them, which has a huge number of advantages. Tesla's approach has eliminated hundreds of parts and reduced weight by 220 pounds, while increasing the car's battery range and reducing its overall manufacturing costs, according to Toyota's estimate provided to Automotive News.
“It's a whole different manufacturing philosophy,” one executive said.
“We need a new platform designed as a blank-sheet EV,” said another.
California illustrates the challenge facing Toyota. The automaker has long dominated the state's green car market. For years, its Camry sedan was the state's best-selling passenger car. But last year, Tesla Model 3 took the sales crown. Tesla Model Y has also supplanted Toyota RAV4 as the state's best-selling crossover. Tesla is on track to oust Toyota as the top-selling brand in the state in just one to two years, analysts say.
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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.