Model 3 body: all aluminum?

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garsh

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#1
I know that various Tesla employees have been quoted as saying that the Model 3 will have more steel than aluminum. But it looks like the body may still be all aluminum.
http://www.caranddriver.com/tesla/model-3
"during our brief test ride, we quietly touched a small magnet to various outer panels, the inner doors, and the structural pillar between the doors and got not a single quiver of attraction."
 

MelindaV

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#2
Could it also be that the prototypes were made with materials and tools they already have established from the S/X? I don't know how different the process is for steel vs alumn, but could see waiting until they have the concept solidified before investing in additional setup
Although while I at first I like the idea of alumn, and was a little disappointed when I heard it would primarily steel, after reading some of the fender bender stories on Model S and the difficulties in finding a shop to work with aluminum, AND then one that can do it well, maybe steel is ok for now ;)
 

garsh

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#3
It could also mean that frame will be primarily steel, while the body will be primarily aluminum. But you're correct, we simply won't know until production time.

I'm not really worried about finding body shops that can work with aluminum. The best-selling vehicle in the states - the Ford F-150 - has an aluminum body. So body shops that can work with them should be sprouting up all over.
 

teslaliving

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#4
It could also mean that frame will be primarily steel, while the body will be primarily aluminum. But you're correct, we simply won't know until production time.

I'm not really worried about finding body shops that can work with aluminum. The best-selling vehicle in the states - the Ford F-150 - has an aluminum body. So body shops that can work with them should be sprouting up all over.
Right now getting a body shop for the S/X and getting work done in a reasonable time is a real problem.
 

TrevP

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#5
I predicted some time ago that Tesla would use their buying power with aluminum to keep the body mostly AI and use more steel than a Model S for certain structural parts.

I just ran across this story from the reveal event where a reporter cleverly brought a small magnet to the event to quietly test body parts and came to the same conclusion.

http://www.caranddriver.com/tesla/model-3

The Model S and Model X are primarily aluminum, but that’s an expensive material and, at the Model 3’s price, a tough cost challenge. Even so, during our brief test ride, we quietly touched a small magnet to various outer panels, the inner doors, and the structural pillar between the doors and got not a single quiver of attraction. A Tesla engineer told us the car is a mix of steel and aluminum but refused to elaborate. Unless the prototypes we sat in were made from nonproduction materials, there’s not much steel in that body.
 

teslaliving

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#6
Good one. My bet too is they're still use a lot of aluminum. Getting dents/dings repaired on the Model S is a horror story from everything I've read so I was actually hoping for more steel.
 

Skione65

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#7
Motor Trend article says they brought a magnet to the GigaFactory photo/ drive op and determined that the frame is steel and the panels aluminum. What the 'final' production run reveals remains to be seen. But it appears mostly aluminum, body wise.

Ski
 

Badback

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#8
I'm hoping that if there is a lot of steel in the body that it is not exposed to corrosion. I want this car to last a long time.

We are in the rust belt and that term is not used lightly. A sand salt mix on the roads in winter is the worst mix of a corrosive agent and an abrasive agent.