Tesla officially opened the company’s newest vehicle production facility in Austin, Texas this April. The new factory called Giga Texas, initially started production with the refreshed Model Y with the 4680 cells and a structural battery pack.
Currently, Tesla has been selling this new version of the Model Y for a little more than two months. And to the disappointment of a lot of people, the refreshed Model Y did not live up to the hype of the 4680 cells and the structural pack architecture.
According to Tesla’s Battery Day presentation, the new cells together with a structural battery pack were expected to increase vehicle range by as much as 54% and improve performance by decreasing the weight of the vehicle.
However, from early owners of the refreshed Model Y, we know the vehicle has a 279-mile EPA range, 5 seconds 0 to 60 time, and a starting price of $59,990.
In comparison, the Model Y Long Range, which is a version of the all-electric crossover produced at Tesla’s Fremont California plant, and that ships with the EV maker’s last generation 2170 cells, has a 330-mile EPA range, 4.8 seconds 0 to 60 time, and after a series of price increases has a starting price of $68,000.
This, at least on paper, has made the Model Y Long Range a more compelling vehicle to get over the refreshed Model Y with the 4680 cells.
And lucky for those interested in the Model Y Long Range, yesterday we reported Tesla has made its first delivery of a Model Y Long Range produced at Giga Texas.
The new vehicle produced at Tesla’s Austin facility is practically identical to the Model Y Long Range produced at the Fremont plant. The new Giga Texas Model Y uses the same 2170 cells, has similar specs and the only differences are in small interior features.
The reason Tesla is operating two Model Y production lines, with fundamentally different architecture is that the EV maker has had difficulties ramping up 4680 cell production. As a result, until Tesla figures out high volume production of the 4680 cells, the EV maker has to produce vehicles with the last generation 2170 cells as a stop gap.
For this reason, Tesla’s decision to build the 2170 Model Y at Giga Texas makes a lot of sense. However, what has been incredible is new reports we got today suggesting Tesla has ramped Model Y Long Range production to thousands of vehicles a week only a day after making the first delivery.
The information comes via Electrek which claims to have acquired the information from sources familiar with the matter that say that “Tesla has managed to ramp up production since adding a new version of the Model Y, Model Y Long Range, and it now produces several thousand vehicles per week.”
Electrek continues to say “one source said that Tesla is making as many as 5,000 vehicles available to deliver per week from Gigafactory Texas, but it’s not clear if that’s a sustainable rate. Another source said that Tesla is capable of producing at least 2,000 Model Ys per week at the plant since adding the Model Y Long Range to the mix.”
Given all of us are rooting for electric vehicle adoption, we will obviously be ecstatic if this information is indeed accurate. However, there are a few things to consider which make the leaks challenging to believe.
First, Tesla only started delivering the Giga Texas built Model Y only a day prior. Yes, there is some delay between the start of production and the first deliveries. Still, If we say the delay is a couple of weeks, then to go from the first vehicle to producing thousands of vehicles a week in such a short time seems impossible.
Second, we can also refer to Tesla’s Model Y production ramp in other factories. For instance, Tesla’s Germany plant, which began operation 15 days prior to Giga Texas, reached 1000 vehicles a week only within the past few days.
And Giga Berlin is producing the same Model Y variant with the 2170 cells. So it wouldn’t make sense how there could be a huge disparity between the two plants given they are operated by the same company.
Having said that, one possible scenario where the Giga Texas production numbers quoted above can be true is if Tesla has achieved a breakthrough in the 4680 cell production ramp.
Given the refreshed Model Y line has been operating for a couple of months now, it could be assumed most of the bugs have been sorted out and a sudden surge in battery supply might allow Tesla to increase production by an incredible rate in a short timeframe.
As of now, this is all speculation however, we will likely not have to wait long before we learn Giga Texas’s true production capacity as Tesla is poised to report quarterly delivery numbers this Saturday.
We will be sure to keep you posted as we get a clearer understanding of the matter at hand. However, until then, make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Do you believe Tesla was able to ramp Model Y production at Giga Texas to thousands of vehicles a week in such a short time? Also, what is your outlook for Tesla vehicle production growth for the rest of the year? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
For more information check out: Elon Musk Says Design Of Tesla Cybertruck Is “Locked” & Pushes Production To “Middle Of 2023”
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.