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Tesla Goes Large on Aluminum Castings

Tesla Goes Large on Aluminum Castings

How to simplify the vehicle assembly process? Start with fewer parts.

Tesla hopes to do exactly that by integrating dozens of aluminum underbody components into one giant casting.

Super Modular

CEO Elon Musk hinted at what he has in mind last month in a tweet that boasted about plans to “make rear body in a single piece, including crash rails.”

Musk says Tesla is reengineering its new Model Y crossover to, among other things, merge 70 aluminum chassis components into one casting. Doing so would enable Tesla to replace hundreds of assembly robots with a handful of presses, each the size of a small house, Reuters reports

Musk’s aim is to take modularization to a whole new level. Reuters says Tesla will get the equipment it needs from IDRA, the legendary Italian die ...READ MORE

Mahle, Inc.
S. Korea Ramps Up “Green” Investments

South Korea is putting more meat behind the Green New Deal initiative that President Moon Jae-in outlined in April.

As part of the United Nations’ first annual International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies virtual event on Monday, Moon said South Korea plans to invest 73 trillion won ($61.4 billion) through 2025 on various projects that are expected to create some 660,000 green jobs.

By the Numbers

The scheme calls for accelerating the country’s transition to renewable power sources and all-electric and fuel cell-powered vehicles.

 The new 2025 targets include:

  • A nearly tenfold increase in cumulative EV registrations to 1.1 million units
  • 200,000 fuel cell vehicles, up from just 8,000 units today
  • 45,000 new charging stations
  • More than tripling the number of solar ...READ MORE
A New Way to Combat Climate Change: Rocks

By 2050, Volkswagen Group aims to be a “net neutral” source of carbon dioxide. To achieve the ambitious goal, the carmaker is implementing various vehicle—hybrid and electric—and manufacturing technologies.

But this won’t be enough. At least not until the company is able to completely eliminate tailpipe emissions and those generated via the production process, including the supply chain, and end-of-life recycling.

In the meantime, VW is working on ways to offset any greenhouse gas emissions it does produce. This includes partnering with startups on emerging sequestration technologies that the carmaker can apply as environmental credits.

Air to Rocks

To this end, VW’s Audi unit is teaming up with Climeworks on what’s billed as the largest ...READ MORE

PSA, Total Unveil Venture to Make EV Batteries in Europe

PSA and French energy company Total aim to produce enough battery cells in Europe to power 1 million electric car per year.

The partners, which announced their intended venture in January, expect to begin first-phase production at two cellmaking factories—in Douvrin, France, and Kaiserslautern, Germany—by 2023.

Batteries for FCA Models Too

The new company, called Automotive Cells Co. (ACC), will supply cells used propel EVs made by PSA Group. Assuming PSA’s merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is completed (thereby forming a new company called Stellantis), the venture will do the same for electric models developed by FCA’s brands.

ACC will be headed by Yann Vincent, who formerly ran PSA’s manufacturing and supply chain. The €5 billion ($5.9 ...READ MORE

ZF Adds Second Lidar Partner

Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen, which began contract production of lidar for its Ibeo Automotive affiliate last month, also has a manufacturing partnership with Silicon Valley startup Aeva.

Aeva and ZF plan to launch production for unspecified customers by 2024. In addition to assembling the devices, ZF will be responsible for ensuring the sensors meet all automotive requirements.

Frequency Modulated

Aeva uses a frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) technology rather than more common short-wave lidar.

By measuring the change in frequency of the waveform as it reflects off of an object, FMCW can detect an object's range and instant velocity simultaneously with a high degree of accuracy at about 1,000 ft, according to the startup company.

The technology also requires ...READ MORE

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