Tesla only began the rollout of its long-anticipated Cybertruck on Dec. 1, but that hasn’t stopped the electric vehicle brand from thinking about the next model to hit production lines.
In the company’s 2023 fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Elon Musk shared details about a forthcoming affordable model that will utilize Tesla’s supposedly efficient “unboxed process.”
However, despite a process that is expected to produce vehicles in high volumes, this automotive manufacturing system has yet to be tested at such a scale.
Therefore, Musk is expecting teething problems, so much so that he is starting production at Tesla’s Texas gigafactory first before beginning the process in other locations — including a new factory set to be built in Mexico — as he believes he and his engineers will be working nonstop.
“The reason I want to put this new, revolutionary manufacturing line at Giga Texas was because we really need the engineers to be living on the line,” Musk said, as Teslarati shared.
“But we are currently expecting to start production [in the] second half [of] next year. That will be a challenging production ramp. Like, I will be sleeping on the line practically. In fact, not practically — we will be. But I am confident that once it is going, it will be head and shoulders above any other manufacturing technology that exists anywhere in the world. It’s next level.”
The “unboxed process” takes advantage of “gigacasting,” which, according to Reuters, involves using huge presses to mold component vehicle parts. This allows for faster and cheaper production, and Tesla hopes to pass those savings on to customers.
Bringing an affordable EV to the market could truly cement Tesla as the world’s biggest car brand — and make a huge environmental difference by taking more dirty-fuel-powered vehicles off the world’s roads.
But Tesla is already trending in that direction, with the Model Y said to be the highest-selling vehicle worldwide in 2023, according to JATO Dynamics.
While the brand remains behind Toyota as the best-selling brand of all vehicle types, the success of the Model Y, thanks in part to aggressive price cuts and EV-buying incentives in the United States, shows there is a healthy appetite for cars that produce zero tailpipe pollution.
With a report published in Science Direct — using a survey from the University of Texas at Arlington — suggesting that the high purchase price of EVs is the biggest inhibitor for U.S. motorists looking to buy, an affordable model could fly off forecourts quickly.
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