Why aren’t cars made from Stainless Steel?

Why aren’t cars made from Stainless Steel?


Tesla’s making their new Cybertruck out of stainless steel, another bold move from a company that likes to rip up the rulebooks. But is it actually a good idea? Why has only one other stainless steel car been mass produced, and that ended in bankruptcy? Will it be different for Tesla, or is the new Cybertruck a big white elephant?

To get early ad-free access to new videos, or your name at the end of my videos, please consider supporting me from just $1 or 80p a month at

Link to my second channel – Little Car:

Get Big Car t-shirts, mugs or a tote bag at v

100 Comments on "Why aren’t cars made from Stainless Steel?"


  1. I am somewhat upset that I had to get on the world wide web and watch a video made by a man in the UK to learn about a car museum in the city I was born, raised and live in lol.

    Reply

  2. It took me a moment to figure out what you were talking about. Brougham is pronounced "Brome" (like loan) in the US. Another of those English English pronunciations, like how we drop the 'ea' from coupe.

    Reply

  3. You forgot another problem with the cyber truck. There is no deformation of the body during a crash, no crumple zones to reduce passenger impact. It is doubtful that that will be accepted in the US, EU and other countries.

    Reply

  4. I want to know what pedestrian crash ratings it will get.

    thats the real reason why all cars look the same nowadays and are ugly. so how did musk tackle that, or did he just skip that?

    Reply

  5. The Delorean wasn't really a stainless car. It had a steel chassis, a glass fibre body with clip on thin stainless panels. The original intention was there but got watered down as the reality of production set in. The only structural stainless parts were the the doors.

    Reply

  6. With no plastic bumpers in the way to absorb those 'fender bender' accidents, the panels will have to be resistant to denting. Otherwise it's an expensive repair.

    Some of those angles look futuristic, but not very good for pedestrian safety.

    At 6:57 did you mean competitors?

    Reply

  7. I'm quite certain this yet another Tesla gimmick. As has been shown with past models, Tesla isn't good about costing out the parts to come to a profitable price. As another Ford executive once said, if the part costs less than 1/200 of a cent, we give it to the customer for free. If the Cybertruck doesn't sell in the forecast numbers, Tesla will take a financial beating with something worse than a sledgehammer. They'll take an even worse beating if it isn't costed closely enough and it turns out to be a big seller. They'd lose even more money total under that scenario. The late, lamented BMC had experience with this problem selling the Mini. Stainless steel, especially cold rolled, is a very expensive metal to produce and work with. There's a reason why major buildings, that have no five year replacement cycle, aren't generally built with stainless steel. Finally, there are still Federal safety standards to meet in terms of body integrity for impact and rollover. I've heard nothing about the Cybertruck meeting those standards.

    Reply

  8. Great vid on points with using stainless steel n history car manufacturing using stainless steel.👍 I believe Tesla won’t build because they don’t have factory that can build in big numbers but will find way putting cybertruck together if they can afford newer bigger factory.

    Reply

  9. Nothing has been said about the Cybertrucks crash rating it must be compromised by making it out of stainless? No crumble zones? And what about its pedestrian rating lots of sharp angles to maim people with

    Reply

  10. Its a joke car, one of the engineers at space-x said, i bet i can build car from these sheet metal plate we bought too much of, and there you have it.

    Reply

  11. Musk is producing this from a cave inside a dormant volcano, as any self-respecting Bond villain should…

    Reply

  12. Stainless steel panels copper-brazed with flanged stainless steel cylindrical tubes are the way to go! Checkout BROAD Group's BCore Stainless Steel Building Material, which can be used to develop cars, buildings, ships, and bridges using stainless steel material. In one of their marketing presentations, "bcore slab – Broad U.S.A. Inc.", they even depict what could be termed CYBERTRAIN.

    Reply

  13. Cars aren´t built to last because people who buy new cars usually don´t drive them untill they fall apart. They usually sell them after 2-5 years and buy a new one. Durability isn´t a criteria for them. They don´t care if the car lasts 10, 20 or 30 years. They won´t have it anymore then.

    And why did delorean end in bankruptcy? The car was expensive and it was a bit slow for a sporty car,

    Reply

  14. "Steel car bodies don't rust like they used to" Yes they do… I see alot of new cars that are suprisingly rusty after just 4-5 years.
    They had a period where manufactures where good at rustproofing and then went backwards in later time. And some manufactures have never been good at rustproofing.

    Reply

  15. The Cybertruck looks like Kryten from Red Dwarf. The actor that played Kryten is now the biggest EV evangelist on YouTube. Coincidence?

    Reply

  16. Musk said Tesla would use a score-and-fold method of construction for the Cybertruck, which largely explains the styling. Some of the panels, such as the inside of the doors for example, are clearly still stamped though. I wonder if they just plan to suck up the cost of replacing those stampers, or if they've got some other magic trick in mind? Also, who the hell calls anything 'cyber' in 2019?

    Reply

  17. Sounds a little, like DeLOREAN went bankrupt because of the stainless steel they used, but the reasons were others, as you know! Aluminum doesnt rust, but oxidizes as well and like hell if the surface is demaged just a little. Especially at the front, after your car was hit by a micro stone you'll see how "rusty" Aluminium can be after a short while, like it happened to my CADILLACs hood lately!!! And if you own an AUDI, you hate to buy doors from time to time, after your car was hit by another car owner at the supermarket parking lot. The AUDI dealer loves you, because often just replaceing spare parts… To expensive to repair the expensive parts! D/A/G

    Reply

  18. The design of the Cybertruck saves them the massive cost of sheetmetal stamping tools. The downside is higher assembly cost, but makes sense at low volumes.

    Reply

  19. I would add another point: crash tests.

    With steel panels being used to absorb energy in crashes, I am curious about how Tesla solved this approach in the CyberTruck

    Reply

  20. You didn't mention that stainless also suffers from fatigue far more than regular steel, although this could be designed around mostly.

    Reply

  21. Interesting and well presented. I’ve been following the starship builds at both their sites, they have lots of scrap stainless steel. I also remember an episode of “Wheeler Dealer” where Edd China refurbished a deLorean, he had to bring in a specialist for the body repairs. Thanks from Orlando.

    Reply

  22. Excellent video and a good idea for a subject. Those early Fords were amazing. I take the point about dies wearing out but I would have thought there were new hard materials that would solve this. It's pretty clear that stainless steel is not a good chioce for bodywork, but galvanized steel is a different matter. I have a 23 year old Cinquecento and there is no rust anywhere.

    Reply

  23. Re the comments about Audi; technically, aluminium doesn't rust because that term applies to ferrous oxide, but it does corrode, crumbling into powder. Broadly speaking, only pure aluminium doesn't corrode because it forms an oxide layer that, ironically, prevents any more oxidisation occurring. Unfortunately, pure aluminium is way too soft to make anything structural out of so it has to be alloyed with other elements and then it needs protecting as much as the steel used for conventional vehicles.

    Reply

  24. Yes, I'm going to finally ditch my trusty Transit van, used primarily for leaving onve I've done 'business', for a Cybertruck. It will be perfect, as it will just blend into the carpark as the rozzers fly past without noticing. No more "Blimey mate, that was a bit close…" Bulletproof will be super-convenient for difficult collections too. I'll probably cut a few gun ports into it for added peace of mind. My only concerns are: will that void my warranty & how many airbags does it have?

    Reply

  25. Thank God we today have downsized engines with exhaust gas recycling so the engines die before the car can start rusting.
    Correction: Aluminium isn´t "rusting" as steel but it´s degrading as well.

    Reply

  26. You miss One big disadvantage. It's to hard so it will not stand the crash test. All energy will travel to the passengers and kill them. Thats why modern cars crumble as the do at crash-test. To absorb the crash energy. BMW had that problem at the second 3-series. It was so hard so the safety belts snapped.

    Reply

  27. Slight contradiction – car manufacturers apparently didn't want cars that didn't rust as it would affect their business model…but car manufacturers also researched and implemented ways to prevent and in Audi's case eliminate rust. This would lead me to believe that it was not really a factor in avoiding using stainless steel. In fact given the difficulty in repair there could have been a big market for replacement panels.

    Reply

  28. Cybertruck is surely a joke? The way ahead is plastic, light and strong. Stainless steel is basically the answer to a non-existent problem but comes with a host of its own problems.  The goal is to make an electric car that performs like a petrol car in every way. Silly getting side tracked with Teslas marketing stunts.

    Reply

  29. Those old stainless Fords are amazing ! This Tesla truck is ugly as sin and appears to be as aerodynamic as a garden shed !

    Reply

  30. No mention of safety in collisions. The harder car will just obliterate anything it hits instead of crumpling like all other cars. This is a mixed blessing depending on if you are in the truck or in the thing being hit

    Reply

  31. Cybertruck looked ugly at first, then refreshingly nice, then ugly, then … well still ugly or at least hard to digest. Hope I am wrong!

    Reply

  32. Granted thumb down because I am tired of hearing silly crap about "planned obsolescence" again and again.

    Reply

  33. The Cyber truck isn’t anything more than a proof of concept demonstration prop. The shatterproof/bulletproof windows, while neat, wont make it to production for side window but maybe windshields and rear windows: US DOT won’t let it happen because it restricts emergency crews during rescues. As for the stainless steel bodies…yes it’s more durable but like you said it’s also more expensive so I’m hedging my bets that it’s going to be used for the unibody and in key areas but the rest (because the final shape of the truck isn’t set yet) of the truck will still be plastic/fiberglass/steel because as you stated repairs would be very hard otherwise. Good video 👍

    Reply

  34. Highly dangerous device for pedestrians. A razor sharp edged front in high strength steel, at the height of a child’s head and the breast, heard and liver of an adult. With it’s semi bulletproof glass it’s probably going the preferred vehicle of the terrorists wannabes and other criminals. I think it should be outlawed.

    Reply

  35. Fascinating as ever … Zinc coating. The most hideous design ever, painful to look at but the younger generation seem to like it so what do I know.

    Reply

  36. Elon wants this particular alloy mix to go down with the price so he is trying to create a market for it?

    Reply

  37. Very informative vid again. 😎

    Regrettably…the "thing" looks so horribly ugly and…it surely have massive blindspots. Can't image what it do to pedestrians etc…sharp angles/ hard and tough materials….yeah, gonna be a real killer truck.
    Maybe Tesla have a awarding system for drivers and rate the way … pedestrians/ cyclists etc…with different points??( hmmm….there's been a rotten tomato movie with David Carradine…in the 70s, about such a behavior. Damn, think the producer must been an family member from….🤔🤔🤔)

    Reply

  38. They should at least make passenger compartments out of stainless steel, to improve crash safety.

    Reply

  39. All the 'Toughness" of the Tesla truck is stated a lot. What no one seems to be worrying about is that in the event of a Major crash. How exactly are the rescue workers supposed to get in and save you??

    Reply

  40. Manufacturers should at least use stainless steel for brake lines. This is a life-death issue. From my experience, rusted brake lines burst exactly when you need to brake. No matter that you have 37 airbags in the car, you are going to hit something or, even worse, somebody.

    Reply

  41. The cost to insure and repair this vehicle will be expensive, stainless steel is 4 X expensive.. Cybertruck will be a vehicle only for the rich

    Reply

  42. Yes, this is interesting, revealing more reasons than I knew about with stainless steel cars, and those Fords, wow! How about making a video on cars made from carbon fibre? a common material now on planes and bicycles, but what about cars? Alan, UK.

    Reply

  43. Stainless steel is actually a diverse family of alloys. There's the austenitic steels (chromium and nickel), ferritics, martensitics, dual-phase, and precipitation-hardening stainless steels. Most cars have ferritic s.s exhausts, and your quality kitchen knife is martensitic. Austenites have been used for many, many applications… but indeed, hardly for cars .

    Reply

  44. Very interesting and well-presented video as always – thank you! There was a Stainless Steel aircraft (Bristol 188) manufactured in the UK in the early 1960s to study the effects of kinetic heating that arise from flying at very high speeds for long periods. They too found that stainless steel was a very difficult material from which to fabricate the complex shape of an air frame and new construction methods were developed. For various reasons, the aircraft was not a success, and only 3 were ever built. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_188

    Reply

  45. 7:40 ish If you look closely. There’s damage on that sled hammered door skin. Upper seam has a bent where he hit.

    Reply

  46. You couldn't me more wrong about manufacturers want cars to rust. Up here in the rust belt, rusty cars cost manufacturers dearly in repeat business. Brands with reputations for rust have trouble selling cars. Currently Mazda has rust issues. About the only company that does. When I bought my Accord, I didn't even look at Mazda, even though it has a great reputation otherwise. Look at Toyota, no rust issues, cars last longer than anyone else, they sell lots of new cars.

    Reply

  47. The main problem with Tesla is their lack of rationale. Their track record clearly shows an overestimation of their own capabilities in addition to an underestimation of what it takes to get the job done as promised. The clearest example of this is the software "downdate" wherein Tesla STOLE 11% of their owners battery capacity, and then offered a clearly fabricated excuse that it was done to protect battery health and overall longevity. The truth? It was really done by Tesla, for Tesla, in order to protect Tesla from having to replace batteries that were obviously overestimated in respect to their capacity, which caused a number of fires. And the reason this is so problematic is that their batteries represent the very foundation of the entire company. This should cause most people to have legitimate trust issues in regard to doing business with them.

    Below are the source articles.

    Source: https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/consumer-products/auto-news/914158-tesla-class-action-alleges-defective-batteries/

    Source: https://ww.electrek.co/2019/08/08/tesla-owner-range-slashed-software-update-class-action-lawsuit/

    Reply

  48. Deish (or criminals) might order the Cybertruck, but I'm not so sure they'll be so keen on Tesla cars that talk to each other.

    Reply

  49. Note, because these trucks wont be the weekest participant in a collision they will rarely if ever be effected by low soeed collisions, the weekest link breaks first. What may become an issue is high speed collisions, no one is talking about crash crumple zones yet…

    Reply

  50. I think the buying cycle/planned obsolescence thing is much less of an issue to sales than you would think. There are a section of society who buy a new car, keep it as long as its reasonably reliable without major repairs (say 7-10 years) and then replace. However most people either buy new cars, or they buy used cars, and often people will buy at a similar age (of car) each time. New sales are primarily driven by finance deals, PCP is designed to trap people into replacing a car every 3 years, because after the 3 years is up they would need to pay out about half the cars value to keep it, whereas by just continuing to pay the low monthly rate (and a deposit which will be much smaller than the payment owed on the old car) they can get something new – which is flashier etc. This means that very few people who actually buy a new car are worried about how long it lasts – they only own it whilst its warrantied and pre-MOT. Theres a couple of other things to note, body work condition is hardly ever the cause for scrapping a car, theres usually far more rust under the car than on the body unless it suffered some damage which wasnt repaired. So unless they start making subframes out of stainless steel, the cars life expectancy will be the same. As an additional factor for Tesla, its got a battery, which will likely last around 10 years, which any decent well maintained car should last anyway. So, cars are more likely to be scrapped due to poor battery range than body corrosion.
    Really, replacing a car you bought new because it fell to bits after 5 years hasn't been the case for over 20 years, and longer for many manufacturers – which is of course why they invented the finance deals to boost sales.
    I think the other factors, about the technical difficulties and the lack of colour wer very interesting, but at the end of the day, unless you make the whole thing out of a rust proof material, its still gonna die. I have an Avantime, plastic body is obviously mint 17 years on, glavanised chassis also looking pretty good, but everything attached to the chassis (subframe, suspension, various brackets and supports), all rusting away far too fast. I will have to strip it down and galvanize everything at some point so it lasts.

    Reply

  51. more I see this truck the less I hate it … I just don't live in a 1980's version of 2040 Tokyo, though I think it would be rad

    Reply

  52. I’m no Tesla fan boy but this video was pure anti-Tesla propaganda. In your next video please indicate which car company or stock market brokerage firm or which oil company funds your videos. After bad mouthing Tesla throughout the video you actually stooped so low and attempt to associate the vehicle with organized crime. How feeble and pathetic was that, it must mean Tesla is doing something right.

    Reply

  53. indeed its been commented elsewhere that the cybertruck is made from a single piece of cold rolled stainless steel. its either cut or scored by laser and then folded to the desired shape. this is why it looks so boxy on the outside. tesla have spent a while going back to the drawing board minimising the costs associated with car production. stamping dyes and production lines are costly and inflexible!

    Reply

  54. The Audi thing is a myth and misunderstanding. Audi started making cars that were fully galvanized after welding, by bathing the entire car in the galvanizing bath after it's been welded. Other car manufacturers just take galvanized sheet metal and weld that, which is why they start to rot at the seams. To some, this impossibly rust-resistant treatment apparently meant it must be aluminium. Anyhow, Audi did make the front body panels of the second generation Audi TT in 2007 out of aluminium, but that was long after the aluminium myth had been established. Generally the "Audis are aluminium" is a false, however.

    Reply

  55. We are told that cars today are made of galvanised steel, is the plating poor? por is it in areas where salt is used on the roads, fortunately down under, we never need salt on our roads.

    Reply

  56. Its a bit obvious why cars ain't made out of stainless steel or rust free its because the car would last more or less for ever and you wouldn't have to get a new car hence means spending money = manufacturer's losing out they make them to become rust buckets and problem prone on purpose so you have to buy a new car=companys taking hard earned money off the poor person thats why dim wits

    Reply

  57. Porsche made one, maybe as many as three 911s in stainless steel in 1967, as a prototypes and did over 60,000 miles in one. Car Magazine drove one in the 70s. One currently resides in the Deutsches Museum's massive car collection. It is not known who actually made the bodyshell.

    Reply

  58. Aluminium rusts very hard as I can tell you as a former airplane mechanic.
    Only pure aluminium doesn't rust when it gets its metaloxide patina but it's not suited for construction purposes so alloys are used which aren't very rustproof.
    The reason Audi uses aluminium(alloys) is probably the same why it is used in airplanes, because it's light and strong.
    But it needs a lot of protection from the elements.

    Reply

  59. Please stop saying transparent aluminium. That means Everyone
    There is no such thing. Marketing BS. It's ceramic – with alumnium element bond in it.
    Using this term is daft as saying table salt is a transparent metal – because it has sodium in it or maybe crystallised chrlorine gas. It makes no sense.
    If you persist with transparent aluminium I'll have to start forcing you to refer to water as liquified oxygen. STOP IT. PLEASE

    Reply

  60. U missed the point safety, u talk about cost but nothing about safety since this is a unibody and no platform (Chassis) ,how we it absorb the crash ?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *