Tesla plans to start building batteries for the next Cybertruck on a new cell manufacturing line at the Fremont plant, people familiar with the project have said. Teslarati.
In August, we reported that Tesla had filed an application to build a new line of battery manufacturing equipment on the second floor of the Fremont factory. The filing, which was submitted to the city of Fremont on Aug. 30, relates to the module portion of the line, Tesla said.
Tesla described the project as “CTA Battery B-Build,” the filing said.
Tesla eventually plans to build the Cybertruck in Austin at Gigafactory Texas. However, manufacturing of battery cells and cell packs is not yet ready to take off at Tesla’s new factory, located just outside Austin. Tesla asked for the construction of a battery and cathode manufacturing building at Gigafactory Texas earlier this year, and although the project has been launched, it will probably not be ready for the Cybertruck launch scheduled for mid-2023.
With a full order book that includes more than one million total reservations, Tesla is preparing for Cybertruck manufacturing by building the batteries in an already operational factory. The Fremont factory, Tesla’s only factory manufacturing the four vehicles that the company buildswas finally chosen to launch the manufacture of the Cybertruck packs, Teslarati confirmed by sources familiar with the matter.
Cybertruck battery manufacturing to begin in Fremont
Sources familiar with the matter said Teslarati the second-floor manufacturing line that Tesla filed to build in August will manufacture the Cybertruck packs. Tesla will take the 4680 battery cells produced at Kato Road plant or another previously used cell design manufactured at Gigafactory Nevada and put them into modules and packs which are manufactured on the new Fremont battery line.
Currently, the line is completed with on-site construction crews, which are progressing daily. Additionally, Tesla engineers are installing automation equipment to produce the Cybertruck batteries.
Tesla did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
Launch of production of Cybertruck modules in “Plaid mode”
Tesla is also working hard to start production of the Cybertruck package as time is extremely limited. Tesla has a series of vehicles, called “transporters,” that transport the batteries throughout the factory. The company recently ordered about 300 new carriers for the factory as cell and battery manufacturing is expected to increase significantly.
The sources also said the Cybertruck battery line is currently being tested with Tesla’s automation equipment. Tesla is working to ramp up production of the line as manufacturing of Cybertruck vehicles is slated for next year at Gigafactory Texas.
2023: the year of the Tesla Cybertruck?
Tesla is about to build the Cybertruck at Gigafactory Texas. After unveiling the all-electric pickup in 2019, Tesla repeatedly delayed initial production due to supply chain issues and other challenges.
“In 2022, the supply chain will continue to be the fundamental production limiter at all factories,” Musk said during Tesla’s fourth quarter and full year 2021 earnings call in January. So the chip shortage, although better than last year, remains a problem. And, yes, so it is – there are several supply chain challenges.
Musk went on to say that the challenges would be delay the launch of any new product in 2022. “We’re going to do a lot of engineering and tooling though, what not to create these vehicles: Cybertruck, Semi, Roadster, Optimus, and be ready to put them into production hopefully next year. That’s very probable.
Although Tesla plans to begin deliveries of the Semi on December 1all the other projects have effectively been postponed until next year, but the preparation for the launch of these projects is obviously a priority within the factories.
4680 cells are not constrained but do they fit in the Cybertruck?
Tesla vice president of powertrain Drew Baglino clarified earlier this year that the company is not limited in terms of the availability of 4680 battery cells.
“So throughout 2021 we have been focused on increasing cell supply alongside our internal 4680 efforts to provide us with flexibility and assurance as we try to grow as quickly as possible,” said Baglino during the fourth quarter and full year 2021 earnings call in January. “4680 cells are not a constraint for our 2022 volume plans based on the information we have.”
What Baglino said next on the call probably indicates what Tesla was preparing the Cybertruck for: making packs in Fremont, ship packs to texasthen installing them in vehicles:
“But we are making significant progress in the ramp curve 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.
So far, the Kato Road facility has met Tesla’s 4680 cell needs. 4680 packs were installed on some Model Ys built by Gigafactory Texas, and were reviewed by Munro Live earlier this year. Fremont will likely support the manufacture of Cybertruck packs for some time, using cells from Kato Road and suppliers like Panasonic when they eventually manufacture the battery for Tesla.
As Cybertruck manufacturing ramps up through late 2023, 2024 and beyond, the packs will then be in Fremont and Gigafactory Texas, which would likely fully support Cybertruck production.
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