According to reports from China, Toyota wants to use Tesla's Giga Press technology to produce their EVs

Individuals close to Toyota (7203.T) have told Reuters the Japanese automaker is considering the possibility of deploying a version of the giga-casting technology to produce EVs.

Sweden's Volvo Cars (VOLCARb.ST), meanwhile, which is majority-owned by Zeekr's parent Geely, announced a plan last year to invest in new EV manufacturing know-how, including "mega-casting" at its assembly plant in Torslanda, Sweden.

According to Zeekr's Jiang, the automaker started looking into the technology in 2020 and gets its giant presses from LK, the Chinese company that bought IDRA in 2008.

He said Zeekr's machines have a pressing power of 7,200 tons and they help pump out the 009's large underbody section, which is 1.4 m long and 1.6 m wide.

One risk in using giga-casting is the so-called repairability of vehicles. With body sections cast into single pieces, that could make them harder to repair if damaged in an accident — even a low-speed fender-bender or rear-end crash.

With most cars that might call only for the replacement of a fender or a bumper. In the case of a giga-cast vehicle it could entail a significant repair, including a possible replacement of the car's entire front or rear section.

Because of those concerns, some automakers such as GM are looking to embrace what engineers describe as smaller-scale giga-castings.

In designing the Cadillac Celestiq's underbody frame, GM is using what it describes as "mega precision sand casting" technology, which has cost and design flexibility advantages in low-volume applications, GM officials said.

The GM car's entire lower structure combines six fairly large castings including front and rear structures connected to two 8 ft long (2.5 m) castings, which are adhesively bonded and spot-welded into a single floor pan.

"While we are preparing a complete service plan for the Celestiq, at this point we plan to continue to be able to repair castings using our current proven repair procedures used on the Corvette," a GM spokesperson said, referring to another GM car that uses large castings.

Similarly, Toyota has begun looking at the possibility of turning to what some company insiders call "small portions" giga-casting technology which divides vehicle bodies into smaller castings, a Toyota source said.

The strategy is to address not only concerns about vehicle repairability but to cope with a wider range of vehicles in size and shape that Toyota sells globally, the person said.