One major upside of EVs that doesn’t get enough mainstream attention is their cheaper assembly costs. With an exponentially fewer moving parts, assembly can take far fewer hours, and the Model Y is continuing that trend in a big way.
This revolutionary manufacturing technique will utilize the largest casting machinery of its kind. As can be seen in documents released by Tesla, the current assembly process includes 70 pieces of metal, while this new one will use two, and then eventually just one.
In fact, there isn’t even anything that is on par with the two-piece casting for the Model Y. So, we’re really pushing the envelope on vehicle structural, engineering, and manufacturing. I’m very excited about this approach as it allows us to reduce the weight of the cars and improve NVH. It’s better in every way essentially. -Elon Musk
As this drives the cost of manufacture down, and thereby the profitability up, it wouldn’t be surprising if more manufacturers try to replicate these methods. Already, auto-workers unions have been striking due to the expected reduction in jobs that EVs will usher in. In recent years, this has lead German unions to negotiate down to a trial 28-hour work week.
On the other hand, price parity with ICE vehicles relies on both advancements in assembly as well as the cost of battery cells dropping below $100/ kWh. With the announcement of the latter expected for Tesla’s upcoming Battery Investors Day, and the former clearly happening at present, it won’t be long before EVs have dirt-cheap upfront costs.