Elon Musk bets a $25,000 EV ‘revolution’ with Tesla Model 2 production
By Sourced Externally
December 12, 2023
Elon Musk offered a few intriguing details about this highly anticipated vehicle, hinting at the advanced stage of development and a production process unlike anything seen before.
While the Cybertruck may have stolen the headlines recently, Tesla’s upcoming $25,000 car, tentatively called the Model 2, is quietly shaping up to be the real game-changer. In a recent interview, Elon Musk offered a few intriguing details about this highly anticipated vehicle, hinting at the advanced stage of development and a production process unlike anything seen before.
Tesla’s Model 2, the company’s upcoming $25,000 car, is expected to be a game-changer in the electric vehicle market and showcase Tesla’s cutting-edge manufacturing technology. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, recently revealed some details about the Model 2’s production process in an interview with Sandy Munro, a veteran automotive engineer and analyst.
From Mexico to Texas
According to Musk, the Model 2 will be built in the US at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Texas, where the Cybertruck, the company’s futuristic pickup truck, is assembled. The Gigafactory Mexico, which was initially rumored to be the first production site for the Model 2, will be ready after the car’s launch, Musk said.
A production process redefined
Musk also confirmed that he is reviewing the Model 2 production plans every week, indicating that the project is in an advanced stage of development. He said that the Model 2 will be made in very high volumes and that the production line will be unlike any other in the automotive industry.
“The revolution in manufacturing that will be represented by that car will blow people’s minds,” Musk said. “It is not like any car production line like anyone’s ever seen. It is a level of production technology that is far in advance of any automotive plant on Earth.”
Model 2 may borrow Cybertruck technology
Musk did not reveal much about the specific features of the Model 2’s production line, but he hinted that it may use some of the innovations that Tesla has introduced or plans to introduce with the Cybertruck. One is the gigacasting process, which involves using giant machines to cast large parts of the car’s body in one piece, reducing the number of parts and simplifying the assembly.
The gigacasting machines, manufactured by Idra Group in Italy, are the largest high-pressure die-casting machines in production as of 2020, with a clamping force of 55,000 to 61,000 kilonewtons. Each machine weighs 410–430 tonnes and can produce a casting of 80 kilograms of molten aluminum in 80‒90 seconds.
Tesla has already used the gigacasting machines to produce the Model Y, its compact SUV, and plans to use them for the Cybertruck. Sandy Munro analyzed a Model 3 casting in 2021 and reported that the casting aluminum alloy used in the large Tesla chassis parts is primarily an aluminum 89.5%‒silicon 8.5% mix, plus several other trace elements.
Another innovation that Tesla may use for the Model 2 is the 48V low-voltage architecture, which enables a true steer-by-wire system, meaning that the steering wheel is not mechanically connected to the wheels but rather controlled by electric signals. This system, which Musk said will be implemented in the Cybertruck, could offer more flexibility and safety for the driver and reduce the car’s weight and complexity.
From niche to mass market: Democratizing electric mobility
The Model 2, expected to be released in 2025, could be Tesla’s most affordable and mass-market car yet, competing with other electric vehicles in the same price range, such as the Chevrolet Bolt, the Nissan Leaf, and the Hyundai Kona Electric. The car could also benefit from the federal EV subsidies, which could lower its price even further.
Tesla has not revealed much about the design or the specifications of the Model 2, but some rumors suggest that it could be a compact hatchback, similar to the Model 3 or compact Model Y, but smaller and lighter. It might be equipped with a 53 kWh LFP battery, which could allow it to travel more than 300 miles per charge due to its lighter weight.
The Model 2 could be a key product for Tesla’s growth and expansion, especially in emerging markets such as India and China, where the demand for affordable and sustainable mobility is high. Tesla has already started building a Gigafactory in Berlin, Germany, and a Gigafactory in Shanghai, China, where the Model 2 could also be produced.