Tesla Cybertruck Body-in-White Spotted at Giga Texas Shows Off Massive Rear Megacasting

Tesla Cybertruck body-in-white spotted at Giga Texas 7 photos
Photo: @Pmgraham86 via Twitter | Edited
Tesla Cybertruck body-in-white spotted at Giga TexasTesla Cybertruck body-in-white spotted at Giga TexasTesla Cybertruck body-in-white spotted at Giga TexasTesla Cybertruck pilot production line images show it will not have an exoskeleton, among several other promisesTesla Cybertruck pilot production line images show it will not have an exoskeleton, among several other promisesTesla Cybertruck pilot production line
A picture showing two Tesla Cybertruck body-in-white structures reveals the massive rear megacasting in production guise for the first time. This differs significantly from the rear structure revealed in previous leaks.
When we first saw a Cybertruck skeleton last December, we knew that would not be the final structure that would enter production. At the time, Teardown veteran Sandy Munro explained that the structure in the leaked pictures featured several (at least five) cast pieces welded (or bonded) together. Tesla had to do it that way for the first prototypes because there was no Giga Press to make them in one step.

The rear Cybertruck structure was probably built from components cast using a prototyping technique called "Lost Foam." This means the components are replicated from Styrofoam and then covered in sand to form a makeshift mold. When molten aluminum is poured, the foam vaporizes and leaves the aluminum component with the desired shape. Still, once development advances past the prototyping phase, Tesla aims to produce the entire rear structure in one step, using the 9,000-ton IDRA Giga Presses.

In early June, a flyover video from Giga Texas showed megacastings that appeared to be the lower part of the Cybertruck's rear structure. At least 45 megacastings were sitting on the ground at the factory, indicating that the Giga Presses at Giga Texas were working full steam. A new image leaked on Tuesday reveals that Tesla progressed with the rear structure, paving the way toward a single-piece megacasting. Considering the sheer size, we can safely call it a gigacasting.

The picture shows two Cybertruck body-in-white structures stacked inside the new General Assembly area, which is now under construction. We know that because the grid coordinate also appears in the picture, and it's M60. This is the first time the rear structure appears in production form. However, whether this is a single-piece megacasting or several components are used to create the rear structure is unclear.

The picture reveals that the Cybertruck will feature stamped and welded side structures, which don't differ much from unibody vehicles. They have the front and rear castings attached, and there's also empty real estate for the structural battery pack. Oversimplifying things a little, this is just a bigger Tesla Model Y structure prepared to carry a bed. I'm no structural engineer, but looking at the picture, I find it harder to believe the exoskeleton claims.

The structural battery pack has already been confirmed. The last time was after one of the Cybertruck prototypes arrived in New Zealand for testing. It was missing the battery pack and the attached parts, including the seats. Either way, the image allegedly leaked by a worker at Giga Texas shows that Cybertruck production preparations are advancing rapidly toward the end of summer deadline when the Cybertruck should start series production.

Based on the information I have now, I presume the first examples of the electric pickup truck will be assembled manually, similar to how the Tesla Semi is produced. This is what the first customers should get during the delivery event this fall. As the production pace picks up next year, the production line in Texas will switch to higher automation.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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