Wealthy Benoit constructed his YouTube channel fixing salvaged Teslas. It was not troublesome to seek out inexpensive EVs that may very well be saved for affordable. Some simply had scratches of their battery packs, however insurance coverage corporations thought changing them was costlier than paying for brand new vehicles. That explains why issues emerged when Tesla determined to make the battery pack a structural a part of its automobiles. Effectively, Elon Musk addressed that on Twitter.

Though he didn’t get into particulars about how straightforward such a automobile can be to restore, he gave his followers some basic concepts about how that ought to work.

2020 Tesla Shareholder Meeting and Battery Day

If you’re not conversant in what we’re speaking about, Elon Musk stated on Tesla Battery Day that the corporate’s future automobiles would have a totally new construction. As an alternative of the common body-in-white structure we now have these days, its platform would include three components: two mega castings – one for the rear, one for the entrance – and a structural battery positioned between them.

As improbable as that will appear in dashing up manufacturing, it additionally implies {that a} crash that impacts any of those components will demand changing them. If the battery pack presents any points, how do you substitute it whether it is a part of the automobile’s construction?

Some followers requested Musk about that. Right here’s his reply to a query a few rear-end crash.


Not everybody was pleased with the answer Musk introduced.


A little bit earlier, one other follower requested him how the structural battery can be made.


Some phrases should be clarified right here. Stampings and castings are very completely different processes. Stamping transforms a plain sheet of metallic right into a physique panel by chopping and bending it below excessive stress. Casting makes a automobile part with a mould stuffed with molten alloy.

Contemplating Musk speaks about metal higher and decrease face sheets, the construction through which the battery pack will assistance will most likely be created from stamped components. He doesn’t make clear what number of will probably be essential, however there’s no method to stamp such an enormous panel in a single piece. It will not be inflexible sufficient.

When Musk stated the battery pack would offer “shear switch,” he went after building terminology. Shear partitions present lateral power and stiffness to buildings. In case you consider the structural battery pack as such, the bonded battery pack most likely works like these partitions. Test the video under to grasp that higher.

To make it even easier, shear forces come from street hundreds, corresponding to bumps, accelerating, turning, and many others. These forces are fed to the wheels, then from the wheels to the suspension, from the suspension to the chassis, and so forth. They should be unfold via the automobile effectively to provide it the texture that it’s stable.

Think about a shoebox with skinny partitions. In case you press certainly one of its sides, it’s going to simply bend there. If it had been a wooden field or another extra inflexible object, it could simply be pushed solely. That occurs as a result of the power put there was transferred equally to all its construction.

2020 Tesla Shareholders Meeting and Battery Day

Curiously, Musk’s phrases give us the concept that the battery pack and the metal face sheets are unbiased, even when linked by some means. How is it sandwiched between them to type the central construction of the automobile? If the battery pack is only a part between these metal panels, does it imply you’ll be able to substitute these sheets and maintain the battery pack?

If that’s the case, we may see fewer Tesla automobiles written off resulting from damages there. On the similar time, how would the battery pack be structural if that was the case?

2020 Tesla Shareholders Meeting and Battery Day

InsideEVs talked to engineers that want to not establish themselves, and so they stated they produce other issues. Will these batteries resist these shear forces and nonetheless be capable of work with out structural damages? How sturdy would they should be to make sure each features?

They’re additionally frightened about Musk’s restore technique. If a crash impacts the mega castings, it could be technically attainable to switch them, however will it make monetary sense? Or wouldn’t it value extra than simply paying for a brand new automobile altogether? That will make insurance coverage costs for Tesla vehicles skyrocket – and they don’t seem to be low-cost already.

However, the identical engineers suppose that, if Tesla manages to make this association work – with respect to serviceability and weight discount – it could be a really elegant answer. The German Model Y may tell us more about that.

Other than the engineering questions concerned, there’s additionally an environmental side to contemplate. If these vehicles are written off after delicate accidents, they’ll make junkyard even busier than they’re as we speak. We would wish a platoon of Wealthy Benoits fixing them to keep away from the waste and the necessity for extra pure assets to construct new ones. Sadly, even the man himself already gave up doing that.

Supply: Elon Musk by way of Teslarati