How Tesla Motors Builds One of the World’s Safest Cars [Video] …

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Tesla Motors Electric Cars

How Tesla Motors Builds One of the Safest Cars [Video]

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FREMONT, Motors builds one of the world s cars out of cheap, lightweight in a factory it practically stole General Motors and Toyota. s one of the most important ways the car company reduced the price of an vehicle (EV) from a Roadster above $100,000 to a aluminum Model S at around (Those prices exclude any or tax incentives.) Yet, at the same the Model S achieved the highest safety rating ever the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA).

So how has the electric reduced costs and improved

The Model S has become the Palo Camry, in the words of Tesla manager and longtime auto Ted Merendinoand any driver in California’s Bay would be forced to agree. Parknative Merendino, who has an outsized for cars, owns a Roadster not he works at Tesla, he says, but it s an amazing street-legal race car for who has always loved cars. he adds as joke: I make financial decisions.

Unlike Palo Alto, only a handful of Teslas dot the of worker vehicles parked the Fremont factory on a bright, hot day.

A peek under the reveals nothing about a S because it only reveals a (more on that later), so how Tesla constructed such a automobile requires a visit to the where it is made. That s Tesla customers can do as wellstep two in evangelization after that trip to the showroomto pick up new custom-built cars and tour the facility. Merendino took me the sprawling factory, more half of which is unlit and used as a repository for materials or empty.

But the rest of the space s lacquered floors resound activity, whether large, robots welding cars in a precise ballet or the clatter of in the open employee bull where CEO Elon Musk court at a simple desk from the production line Tuesday and Wednesday. A mountain leans against his workstation to the EV entrepreneur to quickly access any of the sprawling factory. Scooters are a sight at the plant as well, drivers taking pains to clear of the minibuses carrying on tours.

As Merendino explains, construction of the car in North America starts metal, in the case of the Model S aluminum from Alcoa for the and body panels. The lightweight requires precise stamping, means the Tesla factory the largest hydraulic press in Americasome seven stories with three of those extending underground. In fact, a of five hydraulic presses in a row complex shapes such as the or sides of the cars. It s a slow so as to keep heat and warping to a

A laser cutter is used for precise work.

The finished head out to the factory floor car bodies on smart carts are along magnetic strips. the two daily shifts, 36 robots by bot manufacturer KUKA capable of tools on their extremitiesspin in while delicately positioning such as a roof, with as if the machine had fingers rather giant clamps. They to be retrained once in awhile, says, noting that the also has some 3,000 employees.

The company currently makes of its own components, due to a lack of qualified We actually build the Model S scratch, Musk explained at an to launch the car in New York City in 2012.

The weakness of the aluminum with the steel used in cars is made up for with some might call early versions of the Model S had inserts in the side panels with aerospace-grade bolts. have now been replaced yet more aluminum reinforcements, those used in the Apollo lander, still secured by the type of bolts. These reinforcements absorb impacts, as a pole rammed into the at high velocity by NHTSA As a result, the pole breaks or the car before it has a chance to ram an occupant.

Tesla Motors Electric Cars

And a bumper in back protects any riding in the third row seating in the essentially child-size rear-facing seats.

Part of the Tesla Model S s is inherent to all electric cars. The of the internal combustion engine means each car can boast a zone at least two times than any gasoline equivalent in the or front trunk. And the brakes are the size in both front and unlike the case for conventional allowing for more stopping (as well as battery regeneration).

The aluminum body allows the battery pack of 85 kilowatt-hours to the car for nearly 500 kilometers, rather the 120 or so offered by most pure The battery pack itselfits and mechanics are a trade secretlashes at least 7,000 conventional ion cells from Panasonic, with its own buffer space to a fire from the volatile from spreading as well as cooling to whisk away more heat than air cooling. Although Tesla s ion battery packs have yet to fire, even in a crash, the technology will no doubt into flame in a high-speed at some point.

That said, a lithium ion remains less volatile a gasoline tank.

Meanwhile, the than 500-kilogram battery under the floor puts the car s of gravity a mere 44.5 off the ground, giving the car unprecedented The Model S is nearly impossible to according to the NHTSA. And then s the fact that the Model S an independent roof crush in the NHTSA s test rather caving in, thanks to reinforcements attached with the kind of usually reserved for the aerospace


At the end of the assembly line, which can out 500 cars a day, a new Model S out onto a bamboo floor (a set by CEO Musk) for a quality check. it s off to testing, including an indoor and the water box, which is a souped-up car wash to challenge the s integrity. It s Hurricane Sandy in Merendino says. (The storm helped wipe out s EV peer Fisker, when damaged the company s fleet of models at a pier lot in New Jersey.) As the Motor Trend Car of the Year award that sits on the sideboard of Musk s desk Tesla has so far escaped any such and hopes to sell more 20,000 Model S EVs this

Aluminum may be a little harder to with, in Merendino s words, but it s helped Tesla reduce and improve safety. In fact, the safe thing about the car may be how it is to drive.

Tesla Motors Electric Cars
Tesla Motors Electric Cars
Tesla Motors Electric Cars
Tesla Motors Electric Cars
Tesla Motors Electric Cars
Tesla Motors Electric Cars
Tesla Motors Electric Cars
Tesla Motors Electric Cars

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