Cyber Rodeo Anthology Part #3: Body and Paint [multi-part series]

Elon Musk with Black Original Roadster at Giga Texas’ Cyber Rodeo on April 7, 2022 [credit Josh West]

A few days ago Tesla released a video that featured the Giga Texas Cyber Rodeo and it included these words from Elon Musk,

“When we first started out at Tesla, I thought optimistically there was a 10% chance of succeeding, and here we are today, damn!

“We are really entering a new phase of Tesla’s future, with six giant factories around the world, and scaling to extreme size, as you can see from this building, it’s not small.

“This is the machine that builds the machine, and it’s the latest version of the machine that builds the machine. I’ve said it before, that the factory is the product. You know, prototypes require imagination, and they’re not easy, but relative to production, prototypes are easy. Production is hard.

“And this building is the most advanced car factory that earth has ever seen.

 

 

Cyber Rodeo was a wonderful Celebration!

Cyber Rodeo was a celebration of the opening of Giga Texas, the most advanced car factory in the world today. When I walked up the entrance stairs into Giga Texas on April 7, what impressed me was that Tesla made a complex manufacturing process look simple. So, I created this three part article series, in the hopes that it will help in understanding Giga Texas.

Tesla builds one car body every 45 seconds

Model Y body in white will head to the paint shop [credit: Tesla Q1 2022 Update]

At the Cyber Rodeo, Tesla explained,

Giga Texas has the highest capacity line for building the car body that Tesla has ever built.

Robots conduct highly precise and rapid movements in an extremely dense space.

Tesla can build one car body every 45 seconds.

This is twice as many vehicles per week compared to previous lines that took up much more space.

 

Giga Texas’ Paint Shop is Optimized for Speed & Scalability

Model Y Paint Shop at Giga Texas [credit: Tesla Q4 2021 Shareholder’s Deck]

At Cyber Rodeo, the paint shop was explained,

Tesla’s paint shop is at the center of a highly integrated manufacturing process.

Tesla has reduced time and space between each step

The paint shop is designed and optimized for speed and scalability

The paint shop is nearly 10% denser, requiring fewer vehicle turns than current lines

Layers of paint that are thinner than a human hair form a colorful skin to protect the Model Y

 

Walking around the Gigafactory

Tesla allowed visitors to walk along the manufacturing line at Cyber Rodeo on April 7, 2022 [credit: Gail Alfar]

Cyber Rodeo was an opportunity to explore most of the robotic assembly areas. This experience was explained by Chris Anderson of TED Talks, who also interviewed Elon Musk at the gigafactory. Chris said,

This is Elon Musk‘s famous machine that builds machine and his view, the secret to a sustainable future!

Its not just making an electric car its making a system that churns out huge numbers of electric cars with a margin so that they can fund further growth.

 

You can watch Chris’ full interview of Elon Musk at Giga Texas here [recorded on April 6, 2022].

Tesla Thanks Supporters

Since 2003, Tesla employees have defied the odds by accomplishing what others have deemed impossible. By working from first-principles and ignoring bureaucratic conventions, the Tesla team has come together in an effort to accomplish our global mission of accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. We’ve been supported by thousands of fans and customers along the way. Thank you all for believing in us.

 

My thoughts

Elon Musk was not exaggerating when he said, “And this building is the most advanced car factory that earth has ever seen.” According to my estimation after I discussed with Joe Tegtmeyer, [he has documented progress since the beginning], Cyber Rodeo likely only included 1/3 of just one of four floors of Giga Texas. I think the gigafactory will exceed production expectations because of its size and ability to adapt fast. I like that the Model Y is such a fun car, as this makes the transition to all-electric vehicles enjoyable. Thanks to Elon Musks’ vision, Tesla cars make people happy and joyous. I love this quote from Elon Musk,

What really gets me excited is when people experience delight with the product. I don’t think there are all that many things where you really experience delight and if you can make the product good enough that it far exceeds peoples expectations, I think that’s amazing.

 

The Tesla Cyber Rodeo inspired me to create this series. Part #1 shows details on how Giga Texas makes front and rear castings and seats.  Part #2 explains how Tesla builds batteries into assemblies to form a structural pack to connect the front to the rear casting. Thank you for reading the final part of my series and for being an amazing supporter of Tesla and Elon Musk!

Photo of Austin, Texas by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash

Gail Alfar [edited by Sarah Alfar], Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – May 1, 2022 –  All Rights Reserved

 

Cyber Rodeo Anthology Part #2: Battery Assembly and Structural Pack [multi-part series]

Cyber Rodeo Photo Credit: Tesla

Welcome to Cyber Rodeo Anthology, Part #2. Why not slow down and fix a nice snack, sit for a while and join me to understand better what goes into making a Tesla!

Part #1 of this series showed details on how Giga Texas makes front and rear castings and seats.  Part #2 is about how Tesla builds batteries into assemblies to form a structural pack to connect the front to the rear casting. Only Tesla does this, and they only do it with the Model Y so far.

The rodeo took place on April 7, 2022, at Tesla HQ on 1 Tesla Road, Austin, Texas, and showcased almost all aspects of how Elon Musk is mass-producing electric vehicles. The rodeo was unique and used colors, light, and music. Employees were available to explain different aspects of the manufacturing process.

Tesla Builds 4680 Batteries into the Structural Pack

Tesla builds 4680 batteries [left and center], which then form part of the structural pack, right. [Photo credit @GerberKawasaki]

Batteries are first built, then they are connected together in strings, as shown above, next they move to form the inner strength of the structural pack as seen above on the right. All of this work is done by robots.

Battery and Subframe Marraige

Battery and Subframe Marriage takes one simple step at Gigafactory Texas [Photo Credit @DirtyTesla ]

Tesla uses the structural pack as shown above, as the floor. They simultaneously install the front and rear subframe assemblies with the batteries, seats, and interior trimmings. This saves time, space, and resources, making assembly processes on the rest of the line more efficient and ergonomic.

Meet the 4680 Batteries

Tesla 4680 Batteries [above] have 5x greater energy capacity than other batteries. This makes manufacturing a vehicle easier for Tesla. Tesla vehicles are always getting better, and most of those differences are subtle ones from one car generation to the next. As a Tesla owner, I won’t need to be concerned about which battery type lies underneath my drive. The vehicle’s software has the capacity to come close to matching my vehicle’s function to most newer ones.

Battery assembly explained at Gigafactory Texas [Photo Credit @DirtyTesla ].

At the rodeo, Tesla explained that Battery Assembly goes from raw to ready in this way,

Made at Gigafactory Texas, our new 4680 lowers the cost per kilowatt hour. We have everything we need under one roof to produce and assemble the first high volume structural battery pack using our fully integrated process. The structural pack greatly reduces the number of parts used in both the battery pack and the car, allowing our pack manufacturing line to be less than half the size of previous factories.

TESLA

Safety is #1 for Tesla

Seats attach directly to the structural pack [Photo credit of SEATS ON PACK Sawyer Merritt].

Many things are happening at once to create a Model Y at Giga Texas. The above picture shows the seats attached directly to the structural [battery] pack.

Giga Texas Construction [Credit Tesla]

My thoughts

The more I reflect on the Tesla Cyber Rodeo experience, the more I think of the gigafactory in terms of 3D engineering. So, while one part of the Model Y is being built in one part of the gigafactory, many other parts of the same car are being built in other parts of the enormous building. In this way, the parts converge together to create Model Y. No other manufacturing system compares to this.

Thank you for reading this article, it is the 2nd in a multi-part series I am writing titled ‘Cyber Rodeo Anthology.’ I know you are here because you believe in the mission of Tesla. Thank you for your role in helping our world be a better place!

Read the rest of this three-part series here:

If you want to know more about Tesla, check out their recent feature on Giga Texas about jobs and more here. Tesla Quarter One 2022 Shareholder’s Deck is here.

Gail Alfar [edited by Sarah Alfar], Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – April 23, 2022 –  All Rights Reserved

Get Ready, Elon Musk’s Magnum Opus is Coming!

Welcome back to my blog, I hope you’ll enjoy this week’s post. I’m posting most of Elon Musk‘s remarks given on April 7, 2022 at Gigafactory Texas at Cyber Rodeo.  The reason I am solely focusing on this is that I believe Elon’s words hold a lot of value. We all want a better future, and I hope reading this will inspire you to look toward a positive future for our world.  So relax and enjoy it and get ready for Elon’s Magnum Opus! 

Elon Musk at Cyber Rodeo with first production Roadster [photo courtesy Vinny Lingham]

Below is a transcription of Elon Musk’s words at Cyber Rodeo:

Welcome, welcome to Cyber Rodeo. Are you guys having a good time? 
We’re going to talk about the past, present, and future. This is the first production car Tesla ever made. It’s where we started. We started off with a very simple car, the Tesla roadster. We manufactured this thing, believe it or not, in an old car dealership in Menlo Park, California. 

We made the powertrain, Lotus made the non-powertrain portion, and we did the final assembly and check out, literally in an old car dealership in Menlo Park! And here we are today, damn! 

Elon Musk at Gigfactory Texas Cyber Rodeo
When we first started out at Tesla, I thought optimistically there was a 10% chance of succeeding. When people say car companies are dumb, I’m like “I know.” But, thanks to the incredible work of the Tesla team, over many years, we got here. 

So we now have, and it shows you where we are today, we’ve got the Model S, we’ve got the Model 3, we have the Model X, we’ve got the Model Y. We’ve got the most expensive joke in the world! But we did bring sexy back! 

Elon Musk
So we’ve got cars in major vehicle segments, we’ve got residential and commercial energy products. We’ve got powerwalls, Megapacks, yes, it’s insane! Thanks to the incredible work of the Tesla team, two thirds of the electric vehicles in the United States are made by Tesla and the hard work of the Tesla team.  This is Omead (Afshar). Omead has managed the construction of the Gigafactory here, thanks Omead! 

Elon Musk anounces that Full Self Driving beta may be released to all FSD customers by end of 2022

And we have full self-driving in Beta.  Does anyone here use the full self-driving beta? Great. You can really get a feeling for how much full self-driving is going to transform society. The car will be able to take you anywhere you want. Its ultimately ten times safer than if you were driving it yourself. It’s going to completely revolutionize the world. This is one of those things that comes along very rarely. The Tesla autopilot team and AI [Artificial Intelligence] team have done an incredible job solving real-world AI. We are aiming to go to wide beta for all FSD customers in North America this year. [applause] To the moon!

Giga Texas ushers in the new phase of Tesla’s future

This is now our sixth major factory. We are now on three continents. It’s great to have two major vehicle plants in North America. So, an Austin factory, and China, and one in Europe that I was just at recently. This is going to be a huge improvement for Tesla. It’s also going to be better for your environment. You want to make the cars for where the customers are, and not put them onto ships and over the oceans. It’s going to be way better to make cars locally. We are really entering a new phase of Tesla’s future, with six giant factories around the world, and scaling to extreme size, as you can see from this building, it’s not small. And this is also Tesla’s global headquarters. 

Why Austin? Actually, I asked the Tesla team. California’s great, we’re continuing to expand in California, but we ran out of room and so we need a place where we can be really big.

And there’s no place like Texas! 

Elon Musk
Gigafactory Texas Render [credit Tesla on youtube]

Elon Musk thanks Austin, Travis County, and all the builders

Here we are, we are 10 minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from downtown, a central logistics hub, and we’ve got access to awesome talent. Thank you Austin, thank you Travis County! 

It wasn’t easy building this humongous building and getting all of this equipment here. I just cannot express enough appreciation and gratitude for the Tesla team that built Giga Texas. let’s give them a hand! We went through the deep freeze, rain, quicksand, and incredibly fast build, it was very difficult, but it’s done.

I just cannot express enough appreciation and gratitude for the Tesla team that built Giga Texas. let’s give them a hand!

Elon Musk

Giga Texas is the machine that builds the machine

I want to give you a sense of the size of this thing. It’s not small. What we have here is, if you put the building on its side, it’s taller than the Burj Khalifa, that’s to scale. It’s equivalent to three pentagons. When a building is measured in units of pentagon, you know it’s quite large! This is the largest factory building in the world by volume. How many hamsters fit in it? [yells someone in the audience] I’m glad you asked that, according to our calculations, 194 billion hamsters could fit in this building!  

This is the machine that builds the machine, and it’s the latest version of the machine that builds the machine. I’ve said it before, that the factory is the product. You know, prototypes require imagination, and they’re not easy, but relative to production, prototypes are easy. Production is hard. And this building is the most advanced car factory that earth has ever seen. Alien Technology. You know a factory is advanced if it feels like an alien dreadnought landed!  

The team is doing great work in Fremont, California, but we took a lot of lessons and learned from that. The buildings were all separate, there was a lot of movement between the buildings, Think of us like a chip, an integrated circuit. You combine everything in one package, and now this is what you get. 

This is a case of raw materials coming in one side, they get formed into a cell, they get formed into a pack, then we cast the front and rear body.  The pack itself is structural, and the outcome is a finished product. So it’s raw materials in one side, and cars out the other side.
We’re building our own battery cells, we think the most advanced cell in the world, here at Giga Texas. All the footage you see here is from this factory and we think, over time, this will be the biggest cell factory in the world. 

Revolutionary manufacturing: Making a car out of three major parts

Largest casting machine ever made [photo by Gail Alfar at Gigafactory Texas]
Another major innovation is the structural pack. So we are basically bringing into fruition the things that we said we would do. We said we would basically make the car out of three major pieces. A real body casting and a structural pack with the cells themselves carrying the load. 

Just like in airplanes where the wing is a fuel tank in wing shape, with the new Model Y architecture, the cells themselves carry the load. And that results in a car that is lighter, has a smaller number of parts, costs less, and improves the crash performance. 

Its a safety advantage too. As I was saying, its revolutionary for car manufacturing to basically make your car out of three major parts. A cast rear, a structural pack, and a cast front. 

What you are looking at is the biggest casting machine ever made [see above photo]. And it’s kind of a crazy thing to make a car this way, it’s never been done before. When we were trying to figure this out, there were six major casting manufacturers in the world. When we called all six, five said no, and one said maybe. I was like, that sounds like a “yes!”  It was a lot of effort and great ideas from the team. We’ve made the world‘s biggest casting machine work very efficiently to create and radically simplify the creation of the car.  Raw materials in, a bunch of stuff happens, and then car out. [audience screams, 'if you don’t make stuff there is no stuff']  Yes exactly, if you don’t make stuff there isn’t any stuff.
We are aiming, just with the Model Y program alone, to get to ½ million units a year and then we’re going to start manufacturing Cybertruck here next year. The Model Y line will be the highest capacity line, I think, of any line in the world. In fact, I’m confident it will be. Half a million units per year in a single factory of one product is the biggest thing in the world. Definitely, this will be the highest volume car factory in America.  

Cybertruck always looks like CGI in real life, but that is not CGI, that is an actual Cybertruck driving around. I can’t wait to have this baby in production, it’s going to be epic!  

Tesla has a long road ahead

Elon Musk explaining bar chart showing Tesla has 1% of total vehicle output in the world [cr: Tesla]
Tesla is growing at the fastest pace of any large manufacturing object in history. In twelve months, we’ve delivered over a million cars worldwide. 

Now that said, there’s still a long way to go because that red bar chart is Tesla and then the blue is global vehicles. So you can see, even though we did one million cars in the last twelve months, we’re still maybe, a little over 1% of total vehicle output in the world. We want to try to get to, I don’t know, about  20% or as much as we can, to move the needle. 

This is why scale matters. In order to make a really big difference to sustainability, we have to make a lot of cars, we have to make a lot of stationery packs, to transition the world to sustainable technology as quickly as possible. 

What’s next? Futuristic Robotaxis and an Age of Abundance

Sunset Optimus by Ryan on Twitter
What’s next?  I’m not going to spill all the beans right now. What I can say, is we’re going to move to just a truly massive scale. Scale that no company has ever achieved in the history of humanity. 

That has to happen, in order to transition the world to sustainable energy. Massive scale, full self-driving, there’s going to be a designated Robotaxi that’s going to look quite futuristic. 

And, of course, we’ve got the Tesla robot, Optimus and this is, I think, Optimus will obviate what an economy really means. Basically, anything that humans don’t want to do, Optimus will do it.

It’s going to be an age of abundance. It may be hard to imagine it, but as you see Optimus develop, and everyone will make sure it’s safe, no terminator stuff or that kind of thing, but it’s really going to transform the world, I think to a degree even greater than the cars. And, I think we have a shot at being in production, for version one of the Optimus, hopefully, next year.  And then Cybertruck is coming next year.  We will be in production of Cybertruck next year. We will be in production with the Roaster and with Semi. So, that’s all coming. So this year is all about scaling up, and then next year there’s going to be a massive wave of new products. 
And now, let us deliver our first Tesla cars made in Texas! [numerous Model Y drive onto the stage]

Elon Musk Calls Cybertruck his and Franz’s Magnum Opus – A Masterpiece, the greatest work of a person’s career

Cybertruck drives onstage, “What have we here, Franz, is there anything you want to say about the Cybertruck?” says Elon.

“Cybertruck is going to be awesome, I mean you see it here, you’ve seen it before, you’ve seen it over there [points] it’s worth the wait, believe me. There is no other truck, everything else pales in comparison. This is the only one you need!”  says Franz

“I think this will be our magnum opus, you can see some of the changes we made already, there are no handles. Who needs handles? The car can tell that you’re there, and it just knows that it needs to open. I think we’re going to have an incredible Cybertruck product for you next year. it’s going to blow your mind. 

“I can’t wait to build this here and deliver them to you, sorry for the delay. It’s been an intense couple of years but we’re gonna have this for you next year, and it’s going to be great. Its, going to be one kick-ass product after another. Starting next year, and then, some cool stuff that we haven’t even talked about, so let’s see, thanks again for coming. 

“I hope you’re having a great time. Here at Tesla, we believe in throwing great parties. So, let’s get this party started! Have a fantastic time tonight, I love you guys! 

Royal display of Fireworks by Tesla to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and No. 9, Allegro Con Brio and Ode to Joy [photo by Gail Alfar at Gigafactory Texas]

Cybertruck drives off stage with Elon Musk and Franz von Holzhausen. This is accompanied by a royal display of impressive fireworks. The music choice is loud and important-sounding: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 Allegro Con Brio followed by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Ode to Joy.

My thoughts

Elon Musk’s celebration was larger than life for a good reason. The impact on our world by Giga Texas and its processes will be epic. The road ahead is very long and difficult. The beautiful inspiration of Cyber Rodeo will remain in our hearts for many years to come! I am thankful I could attend the event in person. It will take weeks to process the deep resonance of the event. That will come with time. I look forward to sharing more soon. Meanwhile, enjoy your beautiful life!

Want to read more excellent articles? I suggest…

Gail Alfar, Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – April 10, 2022 –  All Rights Reserved

Tesla in Europe is a Gemstone

Welcome back to my blog. This past week, Tesla started delivering the first Model Ys following the opening of Giga Berlin-Brandenburg.  

The new German-made Model Y has been handed over to customers in Germany as well as in Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, and Italy.  Soon customers all over Europe will celebrate receiving their Model Ys.

Tesla Model Y delivery in Denmark [credit Lars Strandrider]

Elon Musk compares Giga Berlin to a gemstone for Germany, Europe and the world

These were Elon Musk’s first words when he addressed guests at the Delivery Day event on March 22, 2022.

“And to the community, Tesla will make sure that this is a gem — a gemstone for the area, for Germany, for Europe, and for the world. Every vehicle that we make will be another step in the direction of a sustainable energy future. We will also make battery storage. So this is going to be very important for storing renewable energy — so, for solar and wind. Because it’s intermittent, it needs to be stored, but we’re extremely confident that the world will transition to a sustainable energy future with the combination of solar, plus battery storage, and electric vehicles.”

Elon Musk

German Model Y is High Quality

Alex Voigt, a Munich-based blogger, engineer, and BEV Enthusiast was invited by Tesla to attend Giga Berlin Delivery Day. Alex has spent significant time examining vehicle build quality from Teslas built in California, Shanghai, and now, Berlin. Alex says,

    “What I can say is the cars from Giga Berlin have the best quality, obviously they’ve been selecting them carefully so there is no doubt about it, not every car made it, but if you look at the panel gaps and the paint and all the details, it’s by a large margin the best quality I’ve seen so far from Tesla.

    I know the critical areas for instance at the charging port but also other places where usually you have fit and finish problems, regardless if you go inside or outside I definitely couldn’t find any flaws.”  

Alex and other people I spoke with observed that it appears Tesla has chosen black paint, the most difficult color to paint a car because if you are excellent at painting black, you can be good at about any color.  I asked my friend Johnna Crider, writer for Clean Technica, for her opinion on the video that Alex created. She compared the Model Y in the sunlight to the gemstone black obsidian. Johnna custom wraps gemstones. Getting Stoned is her online store. Here is the video she watched, see what you think,

Link to video on twitter by Alex Voigt

Elon Musk makes it clear that he considers Giga Berlin to be a gemstone for the world.  The analogy is significant.  Gemstones are something that is both sought after and protected by humans.  Here’s what Johnna Crider had to say about this in her article for Clean Technica,

    When we think of something precious, we often compare that thought to rare gems, minerals, or something of high value.

    And what is more valuable than a fully sustainable future, a goal that Tesla and its employees globally, including Elon Musk, seem to be passionately working toward?

    This is worth more than any beryl, corundum, carbon (diamond or rare shungite), or natural Moissoanite from a meteorite. We can’t enjoy these gems or life if we are not here — or if we don’t have a planet with the capabilities of supporting human life. Right now we have a planet, but our dependence on fossil fuels is wreaking havoc on our environment.

    And I’m not naive to think that mining the actual gems and minerals doesn’t have an effect. In the end, people with good hearts and who passionately care about our world do what we can to help as well as what we can to offset our own negative impacts. 
Giga Berlin Model Y manufacturing [credit: Tesla]

My feeling is that our world needs Tesla in order to make the transition to sustainable energy as fast as possible. Tesla makes cars that are better than all other cars, regardless if they are electric or not.

Other vehicle manufacturers are acutely aware they will need to mass-produce cars as good as Tesla in order to survive.

The transition to all-electric vehicles is imminent, and that’s worth celebrating.

Gail Alfar, [edited by Sarah Alfar], Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – All Rights Reserved. April 2, 2022

Model Y Emerges from Giga Texas Today

Austin Model Y Production (credit Jeff Roberts, February 17, 2022)

(Austin, Texas) 17 Feb 2022. Today was a very exciting day, as it marks the day when numerous made in Austin Model Y emerged directly from Giga Texas. Tesla employees parked rows of Model Y in a large parking area just south of Giga Texas, possibly because they have now run out of room to store them inside the gigafactory.

All of the Model Y were covered, for reasons unknown. This could possibly just be to protect them from weather exposure, or possibly because Tesla has not yet certified their vehicles for delivery to customers yet. Vehicles spotted today were of colors Solid Black and Deep Blue Metallic.

It is thought that Giga Texas has produced Model Y in all of their offered colors, as a car carrier truck was spotted recently loaded with all variants.

Jeff Roberts contacted me today after he photographed these beautiful vehicles. I asked him how he felt seeing these emerge straight out of Giga Texas for the first time. “I had seen new Model Y in the Westside parking lot, and that was cool, and I had seen a full load of Ys on a car carrier with Texas plates, but until you see them driving out of the factory, you always wonder in the back of your mind – are these production vehicles that were made at Giga Texas? – but now we know 100% and that felt so exhilarating! I’m on cloud nine!” stated Joe.

Currently, the paint colors that Tesla offers at no extra cost are Midnight Silver Metallic and Pearl White Multi-Coat. Tesla also provides the 21’’ Überturbine Wheels for no extra charge with the performance version. Model Y has two independent motors that digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels. The Performance Version of the Y goes from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Tesla’s website states: “Model Y is fully electric, so you never need to visit a gas station again. If you charge overnight at home, you can wake up to a full battery every morning. And when you’re on the road, it’s easy to plug in along the way—at any public station or with the Tesla charging network. We currently have over 30,000 Superchargers worldwide, with six new locations opening every week.”

Tesla Model Y Supercharging (Credit: Tesla)

Why I created this blog

I love to share good vibes about Tesla, Giga Texas, Tesla China & Tesla Solar. I really do believe our future is bright! “What’s Up Tesla” is one way that I support the mission of Tesla and Elon Musk. It is also my way of preserving what I consider major milestones for Giga Texas. There is truly a long road ahead for Tesla!

Having fun painting the Flying Model Y

Gail Alfar, Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – February 17, 2022 –  All Rights Reserved

Header Image Red Model Y Supercharging Credit: Tesla

Something Palpable Has Changed at Giga Texas

(Austin, Texas) by guest contributor Joe Tegtmeyer

Jow Tegtmeyer is a dedicated Tesla enthusiast and highly skilled drone operator. Today he shared observations of Tesla Giga Texas with me that I would like to pass along to anyone interested. Thankfully, Joe gave me his permission to do this.

Giga Texas South End

The morning started out with strong winds, low clouds but warm temperatures. Immediately noticeable when I arrived at Tesla Road is that something palpable has changed on the site.

Tesla Giga Texas North End

Most, if not all of the equipment, cranes, materials, and trash containers have been removed from the north and northeast sides of the casting, paint, and battery cell structure, and the stamping test part containers and other materials have been removed from the southeast corner of the stamping machine area. Other areas around the main factory building similarly look much cleaned up. Only one small crane was lifting drywall up onto the loading platforms which themselves look much more “clean” with all of the plastic and extraneous structures now removed.

As I said, it is immediately noticeable today!

Tesla Giga Texas 4680 battery production area

 We also get a good look into the 4680 battery production area on the 3rd floor of the battery cell structure this morning. We see quite a bit more has been installed and most appear operating. There was also activity of workers in this area tending to the machines, possibly doing tests or calibrations. It appears more “completed” for lack of a better word and more of the equipment appears to be operating. All great signs!

Here are some other highlights from around the site this windy morning:

Tesla Giga Texas South End

– On the south end, we see quite a bit of concrete has been poured and is well on it’s way to curing, while some of the remaining phase 2 area forms and rebar are in preparation to complete this area. The stormwater pipe install in this area also is nearing completion.

– The south end of the General assembly structure also is much cleaner with most equipment and materials relocated to the east side staging areas. We look briefly into the two large openings on this end (ground level) and see more materials moved inside here as well. Overall, the south end looks much “cleaner” and organized this morning.

– On the east side of the stamping area, most of the AIDA stamping press crates and parts are now gone, with just a few remaining near the disassembled gantry crane. The bins that were used for test parts in this area are also noticeably absent, which may mean they have moved to a different phase of operations.

– On the roof of the General Assembly structure, we see solar panel installation continuing, but also nearby, we see crews working on the HVAC large ducting over the body-white structure. The vents themselves were emitting quite a lot of vapor, but it was quickly blown away due to the strong winds.

– On the north end of the battery cell, we also see more wall panels have been added, almost finishing off this area (except where the temporary loading platforms are). Only three much smaller loading docks are now visible on the ground level.

– The electrical conduit installation on the northeast of the casting structure is now surrounded by concrete barriers and overall this area also presents a much cleaner appearance.

– On the east parking lot area, we see the earthwork nearest to the powerlines has moved farther north and now reaches the new Tesla Road. The parking lot also had a lot of cars parked on the eastern half, indicating lots of activity.

– The trailer area just south of the electrical sub-station also has much of the equipment and other vehicles formerly located on the north end of the main building, possibly indicating a shift in where this equipment will now be stored.

– The far northeast clearing area is buzzing with activity this early morning with many earthmovers and excavators at work removing hills, ponds and getting ready to improve the overall grade of the land area.

Overall, there is definitely something that has changed in the construction of Giga Texas, and it seems we may be moving into a new phase of operations, possibly related to Model Y production-ready to pick up soon.

Distinct Tesla T at the entrance to Giga Texas

Gail’s Thoughts on today:

Tesla Model Y production in Texas is going to move Tesla into a new and brighter phase that will put this factory on the global stage. Giga Texas will take center stage as it ramps up production. Currently, Giga Shanghai leads in production, and my take is that operations in Austin likely benefitted from talent from both Tesla China and talent from Giga Berlin Tesla team (as well as Tesla Fremont of course). This places Giga Texas in a position to serve as a flagship model for future operations.

Gail Alfar, Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – February 16, 2022 –  All Rights Reserved

Tesla Word-of-Mouth, No Advertising

Tesla Model Y. credit, the author

Word-of-Mouth is the best Advertising

Some weeks ago I went to a drive-in movie. The Twilight Drive-In sits atop a building in downtown Austin. It has a great view of the city. It was a cold evening, and I put the Tesla in CAMP mode and enjoyed a Pepsi and some Popcorn. It was the perfect setting for a fast-moving action movie.

It was word-of-mouth that led me to go see True Romance. Word-of-mouth is also how people first hear about Tesla. It is the best form of advertising!

“Tesla does not advertise or pay for endorsements. Instead, we use that money to make the product great.” Elon Musk

Money Spent Making a Better Product

Elon Musk knew from the beginning that money is better spent on making a better vehicle than on advertising. There are so many wonderful qualities about Model Y, it is such a beautiful vehicle.

Tesla’s approach is to spend effort on making a product that generates word-of-mouth. In dollar amounts, they spend $0 on advertising. Instead, their relentless dedication to creating the best product possible is worth pure gold in the form of word-of-mouth. When I was in film school at CSULB, one of my professors explained that nothing creates a box office hit more than a great film that makes you talk about it after you watch it. No amount of advertising compares to word-of-mouth.

Other vehicle manufacturers spend money to attempt to convince us their product is worth our money. Subaru of America is a great case study in this. Subaru spent over $100 million on advertising in digital, print, and national TV in the last year. They created a campaign to evoke feelings of warmth and benevolence and use the word ‘love’ often. Tesla takes a better approach,

Yeah, what we’re seeing is that word-of-mouth is more than enough to drive our demand in excess of production.

We have no plans to advertise at this time.

At some point in the future, we may do advertising not in the traditional sense but more to just inform people and make sure they are aware of the product, but not engage in the typical trickery that is commonplace in advertising.

Elon Musk Q3 Earnings Call in 2019

Tesla vehicles are wonderful for travel, something many people also share by word-of-mouth and on social media. Tesla obviously won’t advertise it, but the Model Y would make an incredible “Adventure Vehicle.” A good friend and I came up with this idea,

Model Y Adventure option”:

  • Forest Green Paint
  • Roof and Bike Racks
  • All-Terrain Tires, Mudflaps
  • “Off-Road” assist with 7″ Ground Clearance (comes standard already)

Model Y can sleep two people and a dog in comfort. Model Y is perfect for driving on dirt, sand, gravel, and snow. It has superb traction control, especially on ice.

Tesla Model Y on the Spiral Jetty in Utah

Marjorie Allen recently put her Model Y to the test in Utah, in a quest to see Smithson’s notable earthen sculpture that spirals into the Great Salt Lake. “The spiral jetty was further off-road than I was expecting and the Y handled it like a champ!”

Marjorie Allen’s Tesla Model Y at Spiral Jetty

CONCLUSION

As a consumer, it’s great to know Tesla places so much value on creating a better product instead of conjuring up ways to make us think they have a better product.

When is the last time you saw a really great movie? I think “True Romance” is one of the best movies from the 1990s. You may want to check it out. I hope you will join me here every Saturday for a fresh and positive view of Tesla. Thanks for reading!

Made-in-Texas Model Y. credit Joe Tegtmeyer from August 30, 2022

Want to read more excellent articles? I suggest…

Gail Alfar, Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – All Rights Reserved.