At the Gigafactory Texas, nine new Tesla Model Y vehicles were spotted earlier this week. The drone photo, taken by Jeff Roberts, seemingly indicates that production has indeed started at the new Tesla plant.
The new Tesla Model Y vehicles are expected to feature the new structural battery pack with 4680 cells.
Back in 2020, Elon Musk called the structural battery pack a ‘major breakthrough’.
“Battery pack will be a bonded structure with cells providing shear transfer between steel upper & lower face sheets, eliminating most of the center body parts while providing better torsional rigidity & improved polar moment or inertia. This is a major breakthrough,” Musk tweeted.
At the time, Musk explained to Teslarati the importance of the structural battery pack.
“It’s not like existing cars stop having value. It’s just that if you have a structural pack, where the pack is contributing structural value to the car because of like the — sort of like the composite honeycomb effect of share transfer between upper and lower plate, then anything that doesn’t do that is going to have to have duplicate hardware.”
“It’s going to weigh more. It’s going to cost more. And then the same goes for the front and rear castings. To be frank, we’re trying to make the car like you’d make a toy. If you had a toy model car, how would — and then it’s got to be real cheap and look great, how would you make that? You’ll cast it.”
Tesla Model Y production scheduled to start in 2021
Production of the Tesla Model Y vehicles was planned to start at the end of 2021.
Short of direct confirmation from Tesla, the drone photo showing these nine new Model Ys is the clearest sign to date that production might indeed have started.
Here are a number of screenshots from the aerial video taken by Jeff Roberts earlier this week.
As you can see in the screenshots, these Tesla Model Ys show no signs of dust or dirt, no license plate, no registration stickers, indicating that they very well might be brand new from the Gigafactory Texas.
Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that these Tesla Model Ys seem to be the dual motor, Long Range versions with the 19″ Gemini wheels.
The aerial photo taken by Jeff Roberts shows the nine new Tesla’s charging at the Tesla Gigafactory Texas.
A more recent, photo showing increased activity at the Tesla plant might be another clue that production has started.
Let us know what you think in the comments below. Is this photo indeed an indication of the start of production?
Update: new aerial video indicates that the videos were taken with a number of drones, including the Autel EVO II 8K, and various DJI drones, such as the DJI Mavic Air 2, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, and the DJI Mavic Mini 2.