The fact Tesla is making some progress at Giga Berlin is a good thing. They couldn’t afford to wait around much longer if they want a shot at meeting their expected time frame for when cars such as the Model Y will be out.
This is just a test
The start of testing is definitely something to feel good about, but it is by no means an indicator that Tesla is that close to starting production. It's unclear how far away Tesla is from starting production. One reason why Tesla isn’t producing anything now is because the car parts used during the trial runs aren’t able to be used in the future.
The Model Y body is being used
The body of the Model Y is being put through Tesla’s production line to see how the different machinery performs. The problems will then be worked out before production starts. Tesla can start mass producing immediately after receiving their final environmental permit. A series of robots are involved in this production process and the Giga press is also being tested.
Tesla still needs approval to start production
Elon Musk has expressed his frustration with the German bureaucracy. Musk wants to get going on production, and he believes the regulators are making him jump through unnecessary hoops. It is unclear when Tesla will get the final nod to start production, but since Tesla is able to test out their equipment now, this means they can maybe start rolling cars off the assembly line sooner rather than later.
Estimating when Tesla can start production
It is anyone’s guess as to when production can finally start. If things keep moving steadily along, then Tesla could maybe even start production in September of 2021. A scenario showing the other extreme is that Tesla runs into a bunch of roadblocks, and production gets pushed back to the second quarter of 2022. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect production to start in November or December of 2021.
Daniel Cappo reports Tesla developments at Torque News. He has had a passion for cars ever since age five when his grandparents let him drive their old golf cart around their property in Upstate NY. He has attended numerous auto shows, and even got the chance to drive a Ferrari California on the track. Ever since Tesla opened up a dealership at his local mall, he's been an avid follower of their cars and technology. Dan has a B.S. in Public Communication from U Vermont. Follow Daniel on Twitter and LinkedIn for daily Tesla News.