Tesla Model Y battery housing compared to Model 3 by Sandy Munro

Tesla's tweaks save money in ways customers don't notice

Ever since Tesla released the Model Y, fans have compared every available spec to the Model 3 sedan the crossover is based on. Tesla Raj has dissected every feature change from tow hook to coat hooks, OCDetailing compared usability and paint finishes, and Tesla software investigator Greentheonly discovered the Model Y uses different computer chips with faster Ethernet than those found in the Model 3. Enter manufacturing consultant Sandy Munro, who already declared the Model Y "a far cry from everything we saw on the Model 3."

Munro's undertaken a complete teardown of a Model Y that's up to 26 YouTube episodes so far. In episode 24, Munro compared the crossover's battery to the battery from his teardown of a Model 3, noting several differences in the detailing. It should be made clear up front that the Model 3 is from 2018, and not having disassembled a newer model, Munro admits he doesn't know what changes the ever-tinkering Tesla might have made in the sedan's unit to match the Model Y. 

The changes begin on top of the battery pack housing. The bulb seal around the Model 3 pack is gone, with a smaller foam pack in its place where the battery meets the underside of the chassis casting. Across the surface of the housing, the Model 3 has three large pieces of die-cut fiber padding that sit inside three depressions in the stamping. The padding's disappeared on the Model Y, replaced by four strips of foam isolators, a much less expensive option. At the front of the pack among the electronics, Tesla engineers eliminated the AC filter wire harness trough, terminal caps on the high-voltage safety switches, and a protective cover for a trio of fuses. As with the move to foam isolators, those revisions seem to be examples of cutting costs in ways that won't affect the customer experience. There's one example of a change that adds expense, that being the high-voltage port now fashioned from aluminum instead of plastic. Munro has nothing bad to say about any of the new aspects of the Model Y housing and electronics. 

The entire series is interesting, another highlight being episode 16 comparing Model 3 and Model Y motors, because Munro looks at motors from the Nissan Leaf, Audi E-Tron, Jaguar I-Pace, Chevy Volt and Bolt, BMW i3, and Toyota Prius before diving into the Teslas.  

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