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2022 Model Y 4680 Structural Pack is "Amazing", Says Munro & Associates

Munro & Associates has just released an analysis of the structural pack for Tesla's 4680 battery cells, having just received a 2022 Model Y SR from Giga Texas.

In their analysis, Cory Steuben (President of Munro & Associates) and Julian Aytes (lead engineer) found that the car's front seats are directly mounted onto the structural pack itself, making the structural pack essentially the vehicle's floor itself.

"It's absolutely mind-blowing to be standing under a vehicle on a hoist and have absolutely nothing for the floor structure. To truly understand how amazing it is to see a vehicle with no floor and the seats mounted to the top of the structure on the pack, you have to go back more than years, but decades."

Screen Shot 2022-07-05 at 8.44.44 PM.png

(Source: Munro & Associates)

The structural pack, including the seats and other components mounted to it, weighs 1,198 pounds, which is "incredible because in a couple of the other EVs we have, the batteries will weigh twice that. Just the batteries. No seat, no carpet, no trim."

According to Elon Musk, the structural pack is "the right overall architecture from a physics standpoint, but still far from optimized," which seems to be a modest take on the speed of Tesla's design improvements.


Despite minor manufacturing issues found by the team, the Giga Press casting machines, noted as the world's largest high-pressure die casting machines, have done an amazing job at astronomically decreasing both parts and complexity for the structure of the chassis itself.

"At Munro & Associates, we've seen the development of the automotive industry for the past 30 to 40 years. I've come from a background of benchmarking vehicles where you'd have hundreds of stamped parts where this front giga casting is, and hundreds of parts in the back. The level of refinement and integration is incredible. Tesla is not waiting to integrate the casting for multiple mounting features."

Overall, these improvements have come from decades of constant work and continuous improvement on Tesla's end, and it is clear to see why Tesla is so ahead of many other manufacturers in terms of vehicle and battery structure.

Steuben mentions that the next goal for their analysis is to remove the battery cover and be able to know how Tesla is securing the 4680 cells themselves and take a look inside the battery pack itself.

The full breakdown and analysis is linked below.

 
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See EV1 profile pic.

I can tell you with absolute authority that the EV1 made significant strides in mass reduction, aero, power electronics, new manufacturing techniques, etc over the state of the art. However, the battery technology did not exist at the time for significant range. The original EV1s had Pb acid packs and the gen 2 were NiMH. Without batteries, there was only so much that could be done to stretch range.

I started at GM as an engineer right when EV1 was phasing out and worked with many of the engineers who designed it. In the late 90's and early 00's there was no mass public desire for EVs. The EVs and hybrids at that time were made to satisfy Clinton-era CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) increases. Car companies exist to make money to pay wages and satisfy investors. In the early 2000's there was no business case to make EVs at scale. EVs and hybrids were marketed for economy (e.g. not sexy). The fact that the EV1 was made at all and leased to real customers was astonishing at the time. In 1998, EV1 was a spaceship from the future. I have driven 1000s of miles in EV1, and at the time, very few cars on the road turned heads like EV1.

The EV1 documentary definitely shaped the present day narrative of the EV1 from being revolutionary to being malicious corporate mismanagement. At the time, it was hard enough to make the case for hybrid vehicles (which is what I designed). Gas in the late 90s was $1/gal. GM and likely every other OEM has continued research and development of all these technologies but did make anything at scale because of business cases. The comment above is revisionist and out of touch with what was technically possible at the time 30 years ago and what the public would support (buy). We are just now seeing what it takes for an OEM to scale up EVs in terms of resources and investment.

This is how Tesla redefined the industry. Tesla also had the benefit of being treated as tech company in the 2010's and not a car company. It was (is?) totally fine for a tech company to run negative margins for years. Not so for an OEM. Also remember that the late 90s is when the tech bubble burst and public investors and VC money was drying up for new tech startups. I don't think Tesla would have survived at the time EV1 was developed and killed off.

Anyway, sorry for the EV1 tangent. Back to 4680 discussion.
No, all good. I totally respect the additional context. I do think the EV1 was revolutionary for the time. I have three quibbles I have with your comment is (1) that in the early 2000's there was no business case for EVs, (2) what was "technically possible at the time", and (3) the timing of the tech bubble bursting. For the first, that's not the case, or Tesla wouldn't have been able to start at exactly that point (2003). Though I agree with you that Tesla being a "tech" company gave them some ways to market themselves that aren't available to legacy companies. Granted, legacy manufacturers have additional complexity in dealing with quarterly earnings and perhaps that's one of the most significant flaws with capitalism -- it doesn't have a long enough time horizon. As for the second, you're also confusing the idea that the tech wasn't there yet with the idea I'm trying to get across: if GM had made significant investment in battery research, they could have potentially moved the needle by, what, 10 years? Maybe they couldn't because of market forces, but I think the tech would have improved faster with more investment. And a more minor point: the tech bubble didn't burst until 2000, not in the late 90s.
 
if GM had made significant investment in battery research, they could have potentially moved the needle by, what, 10 years? Maybe they couldn't because of market forces, but I think the tech would have improved faster with more investment.
That's just it, though. There were no market forces for battery research at the time; the biggest push for Li ion batteries was for lighter power tools and portable electronics and those weren't widely available until around 2000. How much has Tesla invested in battery research? It would have been very difficult for GM to make a business case to investors to dump that much money into battery research in the 90's. Most investors can't see past the next quarter much less 5-10 years down the road.
 
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Twiglett

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Oct 3, 2014
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I can't decide if Munro answered the dummy cell question or not. Is it really a 82k pack not a 70k pack?
It would be really interesting if Tesla really did software limit the pack and that all those Y-AWD are potentially Y-LR.
As they can't make Y-AWDs at anything like the speed they are starting to churn out 2170 LRs from Austin, I'm guessing we won't find out until much later on :D
 
Just chiming in to say that several of us who ordered 4680 Ys out if inventory over the weekend and were assigned VIN #s immediately had those orders cancelled without explanation. Any speculation on plans for the 4680 packs?

Things on the MYAWD front have gotten so quiet I'm wondering if Tesla basically has the test-fleet they needed to hep sort out 4680 teething issues and they're now honestly focused on the CyberTruck and Semi uses for the 4680 while being content (for now) with MYLR's rolling out of Austin with 2170's.
 
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I don't think he definitively answered the question. But since they're pulling out all of the 4680 cells individually, they should be able to weigh each one and verify if they are identical or not.
On Munro's latest video they have 3 of the 4 bandoliers removed and haven't mentioned anything which makes me think they are all full/real cells. I'm not sure what the equation for and against putting dummy cells in is. Depending on the cost of the individual cells they may be putting extra full cells in as insurance against premature cell death, unexpected degradation or other such problems, they may be planning on offering a 'range boost' at some time in the future once all the cars have switched over, or the cost savings of dummy cells may not have been worth it.

We're still waiting on an full electrical analysis of the 4680 cells so we don't know their actual performance characteristics yet, either.
 
I hope it turns out to be all real cells, as it would imply there is a bit of weight reduction with the new pack and castings.

The MYAWD is almost exactly the same weight as the MYLR... The concern should be that if the 4680 pack is fully populated, it means those 4680 cells are significantly below their target KWh capacity which will mean no weight reduction from the most important dimension until cell-energy-density is addressed.
 
The MYAWD is almost exactly the same weight as the MYLR... The concern should be that if the 4680 pack is fully populated, it means those 4680 cells are significantly below their target KWh capacity which will mean no weight reduction from the most important dimension until cell-energy-density is addressed.
It could also mean they're not using the entire capacity.

I've read that other makes use this strategy to optimize charge times - '100%' is actually 80-90% of full charge so they can fast charge all the way to to the displayed 100% It also gives some headroom to allow for regenerative braking despite a nominally full charge.
 
It could also mean they're not using the entire capacity.

I've read that other makes use this strategy to optimize charge times - '100%' is actually 80-90% of full charge so they can fast charge all the way to to the displayed 100% It also gives some headroom to allow for regenerative braking despite a nominally full charge.
But the charging times are slower.

Not saying that it's impossible, because it all could be for their testing purposes, which appears to be at least partially true. Something to consider, though.
 

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