During the fourth quarter and full year 2021 earnings call, Elon Musk mentioned that Tesla would begin shipping Model Ys with structural batteries as soon as final certification of the vehicle is complete. Recent flybys of Giga Texas suggest that work is underway to build production Model Ys equipped with 4680 battery cells, and new batches of the vehicle have been manufactured.
Earlier this month, trucks loaded with fully built Model Ys were spotted leaving Giga Texas, and more recently, dozens and dozens of all-electric crossovers were spotted apparently being prepped for deliveries. Jeff Robert, a drone operator who has tracked the progress of Gigafactory Texas since its inception, spotted another group of what appear to be production Model Ys charging their batteries during a flyby this Sunday. The vehicles, just like in recent sightings, look very polished and ready for customer deliveries.
To say there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the Made-in-Texas Model Y would be an understatement. While the vehicle would be essentially the same car as the Model Y produced at Tesla’s Fremont plant in California, Giga Texas’ all-electric crossovers will feature the company’s custom-designed and manufactured 4680 cells. The Texas-made Ys model will also feature a structural battery, which the company is touting as its next big manufacturing innovation.
It should be noted that Giga Texas is a gigantic site, and even a slow production ramp of the Made-in-Texas Model Y would require a large number of 4680 batteries from the company’s pilot line in Fremont, California. Fortunately, Tesla’s 4680 battery cell production efforts seem to be improving, as evidenced by the company recently announcing that it has produces its 1 millionth 4680 battery cell last month. Reported leaks also suggest that production of the 4680 pilot line at Tesla’s Kato Road facility is steadily improving.
With 4680 cells and structural batteries, the Texas-built Model Y could very well be the first of the next generation of Tesla vehicles. With such innovations in place, Tesla should be able to produce the all-electric crossover more cost-effectively, while making the vehicle better and safer overall. Testing of Texas’ 4680 Model Ys appears to be going well, at least considering comments from vice president of powertrain and energy engineering Andrew Baglino during the latest earnings call.
“We are making significant progress in the curve of the ramp at Kato. We build 4680 structural packs every day, which are assembled into vehicles in Texas. I drove one yesterday and the day before. And we expect our first 4,680 vehicles to be delivered this quarter. Our focus on airframe, pack and vehicles here is driving performance quality and cost to ensure we are ready for larger volumes this year as we move forward and into next year,” Baglino said.
Watch a recent overview of the Giga Texas site in the video below.
Feel free to contact us with new tips. Just send a message to [email protected] to give us a heads up.