Tesla Model 3 Highland skips gigacasting as facelift adds ​

Tesla Model 3 Highland skips gigacasting as facelift adds ​

The Tesla Model 3 Highland now comes with rear door release handles for those emergency situations when there is no electricity to open the doors. The opening wire is tucked in the storage pockets and hidden with plastic covers.

Tesla may be yet to use some of its chief cost saving methods in the production of the new Model 3 Highland facelift. While the teaser image of the Model 3 Highland framing does differ from the one of the Model 3 before the facelift, there seem to be no “gigacast” halves, front or rear, like the ones of the Model Y, or the Cybertruck. There seems to be no structural battery pack, either, to accommodate CATL’s new M3P manganese phosphate cells that cumulatively offer higher 66 kWh capacity.

So far, Tesla only installs the structural battery pack architecture which uses the cells as support structures for the frame with the 4680 battery in the Model Y. It remains to be seen if the huge gigacasting presses will be employed in the Fremont factory for the Model 3 Highland production when it is released in the US some time in early 2024. This could help lower the production cost and have the American-made Model 3 Highland flaunt a wider price gap with its predecessor than it now commands in China or Europe.

Tesla did introduce a number of exterior and interior design changes on the Model 3 Highland, though. One of the more obscure new features has now been spotted in the Highland’s user manual, namely latches for opening the rear doors in emergency. Still tucked in the storage pockets like the manual front door release handles, the rear door latches are now covered by a plastic tab.

You can open a rear door manually in the unlikely situation in which Model 3 has no power,” tips Tesla, by prying off “the cover from the bottom of the rear door pocket” and then pulling “the mechanical release cable forward.”

The plastic cover now has to be removed before the rear Model 3 Highland door release is pulled to escape when there is no electricity to open them, perhaps as an extra child safety precaution. Just recently, a mother and her daughter got stuck in a rental Tesla in precisely such a situation, spending hours inside because they didn’t know how to open the Tesla doors manually, for instance.

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