During the fourth quarter and full-year 2021 earnings call, Elon Musk mentioned that Tesla would start delivering Model Ys equipped with structural battery packs as soon as the vehicle’s final certification is complete. Recent flyovers of Giga Texas suggest that work is now 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 upon dozens of the all-electric crossover were sighted seemingly being prepared for deliveries. Jeff Roberts, a drone operator who has followed the progress of Gigafactory Texas since its earliest days, spotted another group of what appear to be production Model Ys charging their batteries during a flyover this Sunday. The vehicles, just like in recent sightings, look very refined and ready for customer deliveries.
To state that there is a lot of excitement for the Made-in-Texas Model Y would be an understatement. While the vehicle would essentially be the same car as the Model Y produced in Tesla’s Fremont Factory in California, the all-electric crossovers from Giga Texas will be equipped with the company’s custom-designed and home-built 4680 cells. The Texas-made Model Ys will also be fitted with a structural battery pack, which is heralded by the company as its next big manufacturing innovation.
It should be noted that Giga Texas is a massive site, and even a slow production ramp of the Made-in-Texas Model Y would require a lot 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 had produced its 1 millionth 4680 battery cell last month. Reported leaks also suggest that the 4680 pilot line’s output in Tesla’s Kato Road facility is steadily improving.
With 4680 cells and structural battery packs, the Made-in-Texas Model Y could very well be the first of Tesla’s next generation of vehicles. With such innovations in place, Tesla should be able to produce the all-electric crossover in a more cost-effective manner, all while making the vehicle better and safer overall. Tests on the 4680 Model Ys from Texas seem to be doing well, at least if one were to consider SVP Powertrain and Energy Engineering Andrew Baglino’s comments during the past earnings call.
“We are making meaningful progress of the ramp curve in Kato. We’re building 4680 structural packs every day, which are being assembled into vehicles in Texas. I was driving one yesterday and the day before. And we believe our first 4680 vehicles will be delivered this quarter. Our focus on the cell, the pack, and the vehicles here is driving yield quality and cost to ensure we’re ready for larger volumes this year as we ramp and next year,” Baglino said.
Watch a recent flyover of the Giga Texas site in the video below.
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