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Tesla Giga Texas Grand Opening: New Model and Cybertruck, Roadster, Semi Production Update

Last Thursday was the official inauguration of the new Tesla Giga-factory in Texas; a huge event with the usual paraphernalia, social media frenzy and fireworks included, which also brought a number of interesting news.


In addition to the official kick-off itself, Elon Musk indicated that Tesla is preparing a new model; a proposal that will not be the expected Model 2, but something different. Apparently, the Model 3 will continue to be the most accessible option in the gamut, so this new proposal will be placed at its height in terms of size and price. The news is that this new model will for the “Robotaxis” program, or autonomous taxis; a move that Musk highly hopes will become another big hit in terms of revenue for the company.

At the moment no specific data has been given about it, apart from a preliminary announcement to be taken into account. According to Musk himself, "it will be quite futuristic"; something that reminds us of the description of the Cybertruck at the time of its first announcement, and we have already seen the amazing outcome.

Tesla Cybertruck, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Elon Musk also had time for current Tesla clients, to whom he sent a message that - as with all Musk's predictions regarding timing - must be taken with caution due to the issue of deadlines. According to him, at the end of 2022 all those who have acquired the Full Autonomous Driving (FSD) system will receive the green light for its full activation.
But the official starting of the Texas factory was the big news of the day on April 7th. A huge plant that, as Elon Musk pointed out, is the fruit of Tesla's experience in starting up new facilities all through the last 10 years, which allows them to have a much more efficient design that reduces the internal, in-house movement of parts - and materials between different sections of the building - to a minimum.

This will translate into increased production capacity at a plant that Musk called "the most advanced car factory the earth has ever seen". The initial objective is to produce 500,000 Model Y units per year; an SUV that will have the new production system called "megacasting", which basically involves replacing multiple parts of the vehicle with parts printed in casting, and that join the front to the rear of the vehicle with a structural battery that - according to Tesla - will be a more efficient and secure format.

Cyber Rodeo, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

In addition, Giga Texas will also have production lines for the Cybertruck, which Musk indicated will arrive in 2023 (as he had mentioned before this event); a date that was also announced for the long awaited Semi truck, and the new version of the Roadster "super car". Two projects that in fact highly depend on the availability of components for their production (hopefully, there will be no supply chain issues...), as Musk correctly pointed out.

Among the materials that will finally determine the "rhythm", or production pace of the plant, are no doubt the batteries. For their production Tesla has also bet heavily on Giga Texas, which has already started production of 4680 cells; according to Musk, the Austin plant will become the largest battery factory in the world. Unfortunately, no figures or dates were given as to when it will achieve this milestone, which will mean exceeding 100 GWh/year.

Cyber Rodeo, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Last but not least, Tesla also had time to confirm the start of production of its "Optimus" robot by 2023; timing that, I must say, already represents a delay with respect to the original presentation, where it was indicated it would be ready by 2022. This is a project that seeks to develop an AI-humanoid robot designed to perform repetitive and boring tasks.

Tesla Robot, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

This robot has a height of 5,7 feet and its approximate total weight is 125 lbs. With these dimensions, it will be able to walk at a speed of about 5 miles/h and carry 44 lbs objects; and the maximum weight capacity that the Tesla Bot will be able to lift in its first versions will be approximately 150 lbs.

You can watch a very good summary of the event on this link.

All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.