The idea to use primarily aluminum for Model S and Model X was a decision aimed at saving some weight for those rather large vehicles. Tesla’s ~1,000 lbs battery pack gives a boost to their vehicle’s weights and the automaker aimed to compensate with a lighter chassis.
At first glance, it’s a no-brainer since aluminum is also stronger per pound, but it is also more expensive to build and repair. Aluminum can be more difficult to manipulate and can require expensive specialty equipment. This was reflected in body work costs for Model S and Model X.
While it can be a pain for some owners, it hasn’t become a major issue since Model S and Model X are already high-end expensive luxury vehicles with expected high repair costs.
With a $35,000 base price, the Model 3 is another matter. It pushed Tesla to use an higher mix of steel in the body….