Toyota Calls Tesla Model Y "A Work of Art"
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Toyota Calls Tesla Model Y “A Work of Art”

Toyota looks at Tesla's Model Y

Much fuss has been made over Tesla build quality over the years, but a teardown of their latest Model Y really impressed Toyota!

Toyota may be a big car brand, but it’s fallen behind other carmakers when it comes to the EV race. In 2022, the brand sold only 24,466 battery-electric vehicles, compared to the 2.6 million hybrids it sold in the same year. Meanwhile, Tesla had managed to sell a full 1.3 million that same year.

So yeah, maybe Toyota is feeling like they have something to learn from the upstart American carmaker!

To understand what Tesla is doing right, Toyota engineers recently conducted a teardown study of the Tesla Model Y, which is the best-selling EV model globally. They were stunned by the car’s simultaneously simple and efficient structure. Toyota executives described it as “a work of art” and identified manufacturing breakthroughs such as “Giga Casting,” where the carmaker produces car bodies with just a few massive casted parts to cut down on brackets and other smaller parts. Toyota executives also admired the structural battery pack that acts as the car’s floor.

According to Toyota’s estimates, this approach eliminated hundreds of parts and up to 220 lbs (100 kg), increased battery range, and slashed overall costs

The engineers identified four main areas where Tesla has a big advantage over Toyota: a dedicated platform, an advanced battery, a designated EV production site, and software-defined architecture. Toyota lacks all of these features, currently.

The teardown revealed how far behind some of the long-established automakers like Toyota are when it comes to EVs. Toyota executives admitted they need a new platform designed as a blank-sheet EV, and that the company needs to rethink how it will approach its own EV strategy.

Although Toyota has a long way to go to catch up with Tesla in the EV market, its recent commitment to revamp its EV strategy and launch a dedicated BEV architecture by 2026 can help the brand find its own way down that path. The teardown study of the Model Y shows Toyota is taking the competition seriously and is committed to improving its EV manufacturing technology.


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