Ford has tapped Italian company IDRA to advance its electric vehicle manufacturing efforts through a massive casting machine known as the Gigapress.
The Gigapress may sound familiar to those who follow Tesla, as the EV leader has used IDRA’s massive machinery to make large vehicle castings that have advanced manufacturing techniques and improved production by making it more efficient through fewer parts.
Ford is adopting the technique, at least for Research and Development purposes, for now. At an industry event on Tuesday and Wednesday, IDRA displayed a gigantic Gigapress 6,100 with Ford’s logo on it.
According to a report from Reuters, Ford is not using the Gigapress for production units quite yet. Instead, it wants to get a feel for the machine and determine whether it will be suitable for current projects, and it is only used for R&D purposes.
Additionally, Hyundai is also considering a gigapress from IDRA, but there has been no confirmation on whether the company is totally committed to the idea. Those close to the event said Hyundai would accept a gigapress from IDRA as it would be shipped to the company, but there was no concrete proof of this, as there was with the Ford unit.
Tesla, on the other hand, has been using the gigapress for several years and has 14 in its possession, including two 9,000-ton units that are likely going to be used for the Cybertruck.
Ford has ramped up its efforts to become a force in the EV sector over the past several years and has already invested billions of dollars into its Model e division, which handles all of its electric vehicle projects.
Ford was the first major automaker to sign on with Tesla to adopt its North American Charging Standard (NACS), and CEO Jim Farley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have respect for one another. It seems Ford is taking a piece out of the Tesla manufacturing playbook, hoping to advance its EV efforts further.
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