As Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas manufacturing plant is getting closer to its grand opening— expected to take place before the end of this quarter—a 360-degree drone flight of the site serves as a reminder of how massive the electric vehicle plant is.
Shot by Joe Tegtmeyer, a drone operator who has been following the progress on Giga Texas since the beginning of construction work, this flyover video helps viewers appreciate the true scale of the factory.
You realize this is a giant building when the cars and even the semi trailers around it look like ants in comparison; or when you learn that circling the building once took 50% of the drone’s battery charge, as Joe later acknowledged on Twitter.
What’s also impressive is the number of cars parked outside, suggesting there’s some intense activity happening inside the plant.
Unlike the Fremont site, which was built originally to produce internal combustion engine vehicles, Giga Texas is fully optimized for producing EVs and will likely snatch Fremont’s title of North America’s most productive car plant once production ramps up.
With an average production of 8,550 cars a week last year, Fremont overtook Toyota’s facility in Georgetown, Kentucky (8,427 cars a week), BMW’s Spartanburg plant in South Carolina (8,343) or Ford’s truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan (5,564).
As with the Giga Berlin plant, the Austin, Texas facility will produce Model Y electric crossovers at first. However, whereas the Made-in-Germany Model Y will feature 2170 cells, the Texas-made version will pack the new 4680-type cylindrical battery cells, as confirmed by Tesla executives during the Q4 2021 financial report.
As a result, the Tesla Model Y will be company’s first vehicle with a structural battery pack design.
Further down the line, Giga Texas will build the Cybertruck electric pickup and Semi electric truck, although there are no firm production start dates for any of these vehicles. During the latest earnings call, Elon Musk said there will be no new vehicle introductions in 2022, adding that they “hopefully” will happen in 2023.
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