Tesla is adding another tent to its Fremont Factory property, but it will not directly be used for production. Along with the new tent, Tesla has filed for several other things at Fremont, including Model S and Model X manufacturing line upgrades, and an update to the battery equipment production line project that Teslarati revealed in late August.
A new tent at Fremont, but not for production
Tesla has long utilized a heavy-duty tent known as a Sprung Structure for the production of the Model 3 and Model Y. Tesla has two of these “tents” on the Fremont property that it uses for automotive production, which are commonly referred to as General Assembly 4 and General Assembly 4.5.
The tents were initially thought to be a temporary place for production, but Tesla has since kept the structures built. In February 2021, Teslarati showed that Tesla filed with the City of Fremont to make the GA 4.5 tent permanent. The automaker applied for foundation implementations and permits to install below-ground utilities under the structure. It was part of a 64,000-square foot expansion of GA 4.5, as the Model Y had become Tesla’s most popular vehicle. It was also the only factory building the Model Y at the time.
Tesla has now filed to build yet another “temporary exterior tent,” according to filings seen by Teslarati. The company does not plan to utilize it for automotive production, at least not directly. Instead, the tent will provide coverage for tools, likely so they can be moved outside the production space but still be nearby and protected. The project’s cost is listed as $140,000.
Space and storage have been an issue for Tesla at the Fremont factory. A Morgan Stanley note from earlier this year indicated that Tesla was extremely confined in the factory, and expansion seemed like the only obvious option.
Of course, Tesla is expanding with other factories, but Fremont is its longest-standing automotive manufacturing property. It is the only factory Tesla has producing all four vehicles, and the company has discussed expanding the property considerably. Elon Musk said earlier this year that Tesla was considering making the factory larger to accommodate more production. Teslarati reported on filings and drone footage that revealed Tesla may be taking early steps to make Fremont considerably larger so it can build more vehicles.
Battery Manufacturing Equipment Line Update
In late August, we reported that Tesla had filed to build a battery manufacturing equipment line on the second floor of the Fremont Factory. The project was valued at $1.5 million.
Tesla said in the filing:
“NEW BATTERY MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT LINE ON 2ND FLOOR OF MAIN ASSEMBLY BUILDING. THIS PERMIT APPLICATION RELATES TO THE MODULE PORTION OF THE LINE.”
Another filing with the City of Fremont reveals Tesla is making progress on the project. It is now moving forward with the site plan, including the equipment layout, exhaust, power for the equipment, and a process piping plan. Tesla reiterated this project is taking place on the second floor:
“This project is located on the second floor of assembly building. Package will include equipment layout, tool anchorage plan, exhaust, power for equipment, and process piping plan.”
This filing is separate from the previous one and also has a cost of $1.5 million.
Model S and Model X manufacturing equipment upgrades
Tesla has also made numerous upgrades on the Model S and Model X production lines. On August 23, Tesla installed new rocker cell tools, and associated utilities which are automated arms used in production.
On September 20, Tesla also filed to install a new SubFrame Lift Assist, which “will help improve production associates’ ergonomic safety,” the automaker said in the filing.
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