Tesla Model Y Is “Über Strong”

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Auto expert Sandy Munro has published another daily video about the Tesla Model Y teardown he and his crew are doing. According to Munro, the Model Y’s front impact structure “is very different than what we saw on the Model 3. The Model 3 didn’t have anything quite the same as that.”

The next thing we see under the wheel well is “3 mm of iron that have thickened up this area quite a bit.” The video contains the three annotations that highlight the Model Y’s improved design compared to the Model 3:

“Increase in thickness of the sheet metal at front of rail compared to the Model 3.”

“Cast aluminum SORB tusk sleeved into extruded aluminum bumper beam.”

“Forward cradle mounting points extend outboard of rail, well into 25% SORB zone.”

Behind the bumper is a part that Munro labels as the “tusk.” To emphasize its über strength, Munro stated, “We are looking at that like an elephant tusk. The tusk will fold in and it’s going to smash into the longitudinals” and other components of the front impact structure. The design will effectively disperse the energy from an accident, thus protecting the passengers. The Model 3 is arguably the safest car ever designed, so to hear about additional improvements in the Model Y is quite impressive. Tesla has not rested on its laurels — instead, it made the Model Y even safer.

The next item Munro pointed out was an impressive capped connector that leads a speaker mounted in the front air deflector. The quality connector is another example of not cutting costs and preferring durability instead. The speaker is a mandatory European rule for making pedestrian noise since EVs make so little noise at low speeds.

The video shows a great interior view of one of the many cameras. Its wires are protected by a heavy-duty corrugated wrap that protects against shorts. In a previous video we just covered, Munro was mesmerized by corrugated wrap, stating, “this might not look like much to the average person, but this is never done (by other automakers). … Tesla has gone overboard, because we have never seen anyone do this, ever.” This type of low-voltage wire is always left bare in other non-Tesla automobiles.

Munro also liked how the camera was snapped in, which should make for excellent durability, simple assembly, and maintenance. Tesla is going above and beyond compared to other automakers. Moreover, Tesla is clearly doing the opposite of planned obsolescence. Tesla is designing vehicles the way they should be. Vehicles should be designed for maximum durability and safety as opposed to cutting corners to save a few bucks. Tesla competitors design their cars to fail much earlier than necessary, thus ensuring massive profits from maintenance and repair. Tesla has a different business model, as its eyes are on the long term.

The long term is a fleet of robotaxis that each drive hundreds of miles a day. It is no secret that the Model Y was designed to last 1,000,000 miles and have a very low maintenance cost. However, this video provides strong evidence to the veracity of that claim. Hardly any car owner would ever drive a car 1,000,000 miles. It’s easy to imagine Tesla will be glad to buy back used Teslas to put into its robotaxi fleet and is thus investing in each car it makes. This investment does not show up in Tesla’s financial statements, but it’s there in every single vehicle Tesla makes. Moreover, from a sustainability standpoint, this is how the vast majority of durable goods should be manufactured.

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Kurt Lowder

I am a jock turned wannabe geek. I fell in love with science later in life thanks to the History Channel show the “Universe.” Having taught middle school science, I strongly feel Astronomy should be taught every year because nothing excites students more than learning about the cosmos. I became an avid cleantech fan because it gives me hope about the future. My wife, my dogs, and I live simply because we love to travel the world backpacker style.

Kurt Lowder has 58 posts and counting. See all posts by Kurt Lowder