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February 9, 2022

Volvo To Employ Tesla Production Trick For Upcoming All-Electric SUV

Volvo Cars will invest SEK 10 billion (USD 1.1 billion) to prepare its oldest car plant for the electric car era, and part of that transformation will be to use one manufacturing trick used by EV rival, Tesla.

The Swedish carmaker plans to use megacasting for large aluminum body parts. Compared to the current process which require both stamping and welding, megacasting will allow Volvo to die cast large aluminum parts.

Casting major parts, Volvo says, will not only reduce vehicle weight, but will also reduce the complexity in the manufacturing process. It also cuts down on the overall environmental footprint across the manufacturing and supply chain networks.

Volvo plans to have its Torslanda plant ready for megacasting by 2025, which coincides with the production start for the first full-electric car at the plant, where Volvo currently makes the Volvo XC90 and XC60 SUVs and V90 station wagon.

Tesla is already using a megacasting in its production. The EV carmaker’s die casting machines can produce two aluminum panels that replace 40 stamped and welded parts. All in all, it reduces by 40 percent the number parts that go into a body in white—and also reduces the number of costly welding robots as well as the floor space needed for them.

The Torslanda factory, near Gothenburg, which opened in April 1964, will undergo other changes that include adding a battery assembly plant to integrate battery cells and modules in the floor structure of future EVs.

Volvo wants half of its global sales—an estimated 600,000 units—to be battery powered by 2025 and to be an electric-only brand by 2030.

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