Tesla is planning to build a new team that will help explore the use of new materials that can be used in the company’s products, according to one of the automaker’s lead engineers. One great example of this is the Tesla Cybertruck that will utilize a stainless steel alloy for its exoskeleton.
Tesla has long worked to experiment with new materials for its vehicles, refining the processes it uses to create highly effective and safe cars for consumers to drive. The biggest and most obvious example of this was with the Tesla Cybertruck. When Tesla unveiled the all-electric pickup in November 2019, the company revealed that the exoskeleton of the vehicle would be made of an extremely strong and robust stainless steel alloy. The same goes for SpaceX’s Starship. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Teslarati in mid-2020 that it would be utilizing “rapidly changing alloy constituents & forming methods, so traditional names like 304L will become more of an approximation.” He confirmed that the materials used with the Cybertruck wouldn’t remain stagnant either, and when stronger materials or forming methods were found, Tesla would use them.
Now, Tesla is committing an entire team of engineers to the development of new, stronger materials, according to David Nelson, who said he is moving to a new role on the Materials Engineering team at Tesla.
Nelson said via his LinkedIn:
“I have moved on from leading the design of motors and gearboxes to a new role on the Materials Engineering team at Tesla. The idea is to accelerate the adoption of new materials and processes – helping to bridge the gap between materials science and part design. This is a new team that I get to build from scratch! It’s a chance to do advanced development with world-class materials scientists and product design teams. If you are a broadly-talented design engineer please take a look at this job posting and apply.”
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Electrek originally found the posting.
As Nelson mentioned, the team is brand new, and Tesla recently erected the team to expand its efforts to discover new materials. In fact, the company recently added a new job to its Careers page that applies to the positions Nelson mentioned. The company writes:
“The purpose of the Materials Applications Team is to accelerate the adoption of new materials and processes at Tesla. Our goal is to work on problems that make step changes in the optimal design space. As a Design Engineer on the team, you will bridge the gap between materials science and part design. That can mean many different things depending on the material or process. On any given day you might design prototype tooling to make trial parts, work with vendors to perfect a process, perform large design space studies to see how a new material impacts mass and cost, or work in the lab to characterize a part or system.”
Tesla’s focus on experimenting with new materials has taken a new bit of momentum with the new team and job posting. It will be interesting to see how this affects the development of the Cybertruck because the production of the pickup is expected to begin later this year.