Tesla Even Gives Up On Next-Gen Gigacasting: Report

By automotive-mag.com 4 Min Read

Amid wider fears that Tesla is pivoting away from actually making cars to focus on artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, a new report indicates it may also be dropping a groundbreaking manufacturing technique that was once meant to create its next-generation electric vehicles. 

According to a report from Reuters today, Tesla has canceled plans to use a new generation of “gigacasting” in its future products. The company was reportedly working on a plan to cast the entire underbody of its next-generation car out of a single piece.

That would be a heavy evolution of Tesla’s current gigacasting strategy, which is used in the Model Y and Cybertruck to assemble the entire underbody of the product out of three large casted pieces. Tesla’s current approach is already vastly simpler than traditional automotive manufacturing, which usually requires dozens of casted parts. Simplifying it further will have to wait, according to two sources familiar with the matter cited by Reuters.  

InsideEVs has not independently verified these claims, though Reuters has an extremely good track record for reliability.

Moreover, Tesla’s earlier commitments to improving gigacasting had the entire auto industry racing to catch up. Last year, Toyota showed off its first attempt at the technique, all of which is designed to help achieve EV manufacturing cost parity with Tesla—as well as the new crop of Chinese automakers, all of whom are turning out EVs at a breakneck pace. 

Tesla’s reported retreat from its ambitious gigacasting plans comes amid what’s seen as a large-scale strategy shift for the company. It slashed 10 percent of its workforce a month ago, and then axed its entire Supercharging team on Tuesday. CEO Elon Musk seems bored of the car industry and laser-focused on A.I. and robotics. 

Investors have so far shown astounding confidence in the pivot. But as Musk executes the turn, he is forcing Tesla to abandon or scale back work on the core products. The Supercharger network no longer has enough employees to maintain and expand it, the existing automotive products are either getting old or, in the case of the Cybertruck, too expensive to be relevant at a large scale. The Model 2 appears to be dead. And now even the next-gen manufacturing process that Musk has promised seems to be in question.

CEO Elon Musk appears to be betting everything on solving autonomy with a vision-only system, and monetizing that into something beyond what existing robotaxi businesses have been able to manage. Who knows, that could pay off. If it doesn’t, though, Musk will have gutted the thriving, industry-leading parts of his business in favor of an A.I. dream he can’t achieve anytime soon.

Do you think Tesla is heading in the right direction? Let us know in the comments below. 

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