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Aluminum Panels?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by electracity, Jul 31, 2017.

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  1. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    On delivery day one blogger claimed the door panels were aluminum based on a magnet test. This surprised me, and seemed to be pretty big news. But I've seen no discussion on this topic. Is he wrong about aluminum, or is it not important to most people?

    The weight of the car is fantastic. But I'm a bit disappointed about potential aluminum repair.
     
  2. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    Tesla's info says that the car is aluminum + steel. Which in standard Tesla style probably means a high strength microalloyed steel frame with aluminum body panels.
     
  3. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

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    If I had to guess I'd say steel frame with aluminium panels.
    Tesla already has the presses for rolled aluminium, plus steel is easier for the frames.
     
  4. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    They would not be using any of their existing presses for the model 3. But they would have expertise with aluminum

    I see aluminum F150 owners also complaining about the cost of body repairs. I suppose this cost will come down in time.

    The base M3 at 3500 lbs explains why BMW appears to be moving away from carbon fiber for high volume production. Aluminum plus the new high strength light weight steel will cost less at volume. I'll bet that the model S could be redesigned now to cut hundreds off its weight. The model 3 should feel lively when cornering, unlike the model S.
     
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  5. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    I'm not following you here. What do you mean?
     
  6. Chargedmr2

    Chargedmr2 Member

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    It's been reported by a guest of the delivery event that the panels are aluminum, verified by a magnet.
     
  7. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    Carbon fiber doesn't scale like metal. In metal pressing the high cost is up front. Every piece of steel or aluminum that is the pressed reduces the cost.

    Carbon fiber may be cheaper making hundreds or thousands of cars per month due to lower fixed costs. Metal pressing traditionally has been much less expensive once volume reaches high thousands per month.

    The M3 at 3500lbs is "crossing the rubicon". It means a battery car can be built at about the same weight as a similar ICE cars. BEVs can now weigh the same, and sometime after 2020 they will cost the same.


     
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  8. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    Okay, there's nothing that I disagree with you there. I thought you were trying to claim that CF and aluminum yield the same weight vehicle ;)

    Composites' biggest challenge has always been mass production. Stamping metal is cheap per unit production, once you've invested in the tooling.
     
  9. zenmaster

    zenmaster Member

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    Even the 2 series is 3500 lbs. But actually, they are introducing more carbon fiber with an expected 50-100kg drop for new model next year.
     

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