Photo: Edra Group
Tesla has set trends not only with its pure electric cars with comprehensive digital functions that many other manufacturers today emulate, but also with its production technology. Tesla was perhaps the first in the world to use advanced casting machines that turned out ever larger items in a single piece. After Chinese competitors initially followed suit, the technology is now also finding its way to Western manufacturers.
Giga pistons for European electric cars
Tesla already uses Idra’s so-called Giga presses in its factories in China, the United States and Germany. There they save many production steps and thus other machines by producing large elements of the supporting frame in one go. Tesla may take its aluminum die-casting process even further in its next electric car: according to a mid-September report, its entire frame could come from stronger giga pistons.
Model Y machines have a clamping force of 6,000 tons, but Idra and other manufacturers now offer stronger machines. According to CEO Elon Musk, a 9,000-ton one (see photo above) went to Texas for Tesla’s Cybertruck, and Chinese electric vehicle brand Aito reported casting the same power for a new SUV in April this year. As Edra has now announced at a conference in his native Italy, a distinguished European manufacturer is about to purchase two 9,000-ton giga printing presses.
The Italian company did not mention the name of this new customer, Reuters reported at the event I reported this week. It is said to be the first European one. In fact, only Mercedes is a suitable option for this, because the Volkswagen Group has reportedly decided not to press the Giga for the time being and BMW has never shown interest in it, as was said last February. The star brand announced a particularly efficient electric car from 2025 at this year’s IAA. Giga casting like Tesla would fit the bill.
Tesla supplier Idra with new customers
Alternatively, Volkswagen or BMW could have made a new decision. Edra himself assumes that Giga pistons will be used in the vast majority of new electric cars by 2035, so it will only be a matter of time. According to information from the conference, the American company Ford had already ordered – there was a 6000 series giga press with its logo on site. According to Reuters, Idra also did not want to mention the name of another customer who ordered a machine with a clamping force of 9,000 tons, but it is said to be Hyundai.
Idra has repeatedly declared that Tesla is an important customer, but apparently is not allowed to say this officially due to confidentiality agreements – as is the case now with two new customers. According to Reuters, it was heard at the conference that Tesla has so far received 14 giga presses from the Italian manufacturer, including two with a capacity of 9,000 tons for the Cybertruck. Idra estimated the total number of orders for these machines at 25, of which 21 have already been delivered.
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