If you believe everything you read on the internet, then Tesla is nearing mass production of its angular monstrosity, also known as the Cybertruck. But away from the excited announcement, issues with building the massive truck are still plain to see.
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Earlier this week, after getting behind the wheel of an apparent “production candidate” in Texas, Tesla boss Elon Musk outlined some of the challenges with building the ridiculous vehicle.
Electrek reports that Musk sent an email out to Tesla employees outlining some of his thoughts on the truck’s build quality, explaining that because the design calls for massive sheets of angular steel, the company will have no room for some of the quality control issues that plagued its past models. According to Electrek, Musk said:
“Due to the nature of Cybertruck, which is made of bright metal with mostly straight edges, any dimensional variation shows up like a sore thumb.
“All parts for this vehicle, whether internal or from suppliers, need to be designed and built to sub 10 micron accuracy.”
But what does “sub 10 micron accuracy” actually mean to you and me? Well, it’s all about the tolerances that are acceptable in a build and, according to Musk, this level is in line with one of the most complex products out there: Lego.
In the email, Musk says that Tesla needs to up its practices and begin listing dimensions “to the third decimal place in millimeters.” He adds that tolerances “need be specified in single digit microns,” before decreeing “If LEGO and soda cans, which are very low cost, can do this, so can we.”
Now, I’m not one to tell someone how to build cars, but surely if Musk wanted to be so pernickety about this he should have alerted engineers and workers at the plant a while ago? Tesla says mass production of the Cybertruck is on the horizon, so either engineers have already been doing their job and making these minute measurements for years, in which case this whole note is a waste of everyone’s time, or they’re about to uncover a whole heap of parts that don’t fit very well.
What’s more, I can’t help but think that Lego is an odd company for Tesla to compare its production with. On the whole, most products Lego builds are identical injection molded chunks of plastic, and not complicated cars filled with exotic materials like glass, steel and cobalt.