Chinese automaker Geely is taking inspiration from Tesla’s Giga Press die casting technology to enhance its Zeekr 009 six-seater, multi-purpose van. Geely has already started using the aluminum die-casting technique for the van’s rear underbody, a process pioneered by Tesla with its massive Giga Press from IDRA.
According to Jiang Kehong, Zeekr’s manufacturing technology chief, the new technique has helped eliminate approximately 800 welding points and reduced defects in the van. It has also made the Zeekr 009 lighter, improving its structural stiffness and overall riding experience. Jiang added that the company intends to expand the use of giga-casting technology to more models in the future.
Tesla’s die-casting process has enabled the company to decrease costs and reduce underbody parts in its Model Y. Other leading automakers such as Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai, Volvo, and NIO have also followed Tesla’s example by investing in large Giga Press machines from companies like IDRA to produce big die casts.
General Motors is relying on large die casting to manufacture the Cadillac Celestiq, while Toyota is exploring the possibility of using Giga Press machines to produce electric vehicles. The Japanese automaker has set a sales target of 1.5 million units for its ten new battery electric vehicles, which it plans to launch by 2026. The use of Giga Press machines would enable Toyota to ramp up production quickly at low costs.