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

Cyber Rodeo Anthology Part #1: Casting and Seats [multi-part series]

Welcome back to my blog and to Part #1 of Cyber Rodeo Anthology.

Cyber Rodeo took place on April 7, 2022, at Tesla Gigafactory Texas. The rodeo showcased all aspects of how Tesla is mass-producing electric vehicles in order to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy. Using color, lights, music, and the help of Tesla’s expert employees, different aspects of the gigafactory were presented in a truly unique way.

Cyber Rodeo marked the opening of Giga Texas, and thus it is a very important historical event. For that reason, I am creating a multi-part series of articles and will publish them over the coming weeks.

Tesla provided this map for the event, as you can see, there are a lot of areas to be covered between Entry 1 and Entry 3. The yellow pathway that held the exhibits was probably about 1/3 a mile long.

Map of Cyber Rodeo exhibits [courtesy: Tesla]

Casting Exhibit: Manufacturing is Beautiful

The rodeo gave the gigapresses the royal treatment. They are gigantic and produce what could be Tesla’s most innovative manufacturing feat ever. They create front and rear castings simultaneously for Model Y at the rate of 0.13 seconds per casting or 130 milliseconds. In fact, they created so many castings that they were used throughout the gigafactory for other purposes, as I’ll share later.

Gigafactory Texas Casting photo by @Brandonee916, April 7, 2022

The above exhibit is an example of a Model Y rear casting. What once took over 70 parts laboriously put together, Tesla has condensed into just one part.

Gigafactory Texas Casting photo by G. Alfar, April 7, 2022

The two largest parts of an Austin-made Model Y, the front and rear casting are produced by injecting 700° C molten aluminum into a high-pressure die-cast mold that is clamped shut with 6,100 tons of force. It is filled with liquid metal in just 130 milliseconds, producing a durable shape and giving each car body its strength. This process has left Tesla with 168 fewer parts to assemble and a much more efficient casting process for the car.

During a casting, giant heat release conduits and valves are used to make sure pressure is perfect and heat is released in a precisely measured way. When inspecting the vertices that the aluminum is fed into, employees wear protective space-like suits to ensure safety from the radiant heat of the molten metal used for the castings.

Gigafactory Texas casting machine, photo by G. Alfar at Gigafactory Texas, April 7, 2022

At the rodeo, hundreds of additional castings were available to be used as decorations in the main entrance of the Gigafactory and throughout the building because of the speed and efficiency of this machine and Tesla’s overall manufacturing process. An employee explained that using front and rear castings in this way was a natural choice because there were so many extra ones, they needed a good place to put them!

Tesla Gigafactory main entrance Cyber Rodeo, credit: Elon Musk

Seats Exhibit: Fully Assembled at Gigafactory Texas

At Tesla, the first and second-row seats are fully assembled right at the gigafactory.

Model Y Seats assembly exhibit sign and photo by G. Alfar at Gigafactory Texas, April 7, 2022

The Tesla Model Y seat exhibit was presented in three parts. Part One shows the pretensioner, two side shields, seat buckle, suspension, sandwich, wire harness, happy basset, and ocs. Part Two reveals the Model Y seat back cover, trim, headrest, back frame, lumbar support, seat cushion, and seat frame. Part Three reveals the Tesla “T” in an incredible display of fully assembled seats.

Model Y Seats assembly exhibit photo by G. Alfar at Gigafactory Texas, April 7, 2022

A Symphony of Seats

Model Y Seat exhibit photo by G. Alfar at Gigafactory Texas, April 7, 2022

After Model Y seats are assembled and inspected, they come together as part of the structural battery as seen here. Future parts of Cyber Rodeo Anthology will go into more detail on this miracle of manufacturing.

This article is Part #1 of a multi-part series titled Cyber Rodeo Anthology. Part #2 can be found here.

My thoughts

I chose to start “Cyber Rodeo Anthology” because the opening of Giga Texas marks a major shift in mass vehicle production capabilities. I want to spend time with you to understand how this “Machine that Makes the machine” works, and it will take multiple articles to do so.

I decided to start with my favorite parts of Giga Texas: Seats and Casting.

I agree with Elon Musk that chairs are underappreciated. The seats in the Tesla are incredibly comfortable!

Front & rear simultaneous casting begins here in Texas with Model Y. This difficult process had to be created to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.

I know you join me in having a deep respect for Elon Musk because he is doing phenomenal work to make our world a better place. Hope you enjoyed this first part!

Read the rest of this three-part series here:

Photo of Ladybird Lake in Austin by Trac Vu on Unsplash

Gail Alfar [edited by Sarah Alfar], Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – April 16, 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

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

Texas and Many People Will Benefit by Allowing Tesla Direct Delivery

Opinion Article by Guest Contributor Jim Ringold

Image Credit Tesla

Texas car dealers have always made a point of being well represented in Austin in the legislature at the State Capitol. Good for them. They are furthering their cause in a Democratic way.  But car sales methods are evolving in Texas. There is a huge new vehicle factory in Austin

“It’s going to be the biggest boomtown that America has seen in 50 years,”

Elon Musk talking about Austin on Joe Rogan Podcast

Getting a price you are willing to pay has always been a one-against-one loses battle in this free enterprise country.  But on one side is you, an individual, against the other one a car dealership.  The dealership is loaded with years of experience in getting the most profit from car buyers.  It is far from a balanced and fair negotiation. 

Years ago, I learned that the way to negotiate with a car dealer was with absentee negotiating.  Choose a dealer salesman and negotiate the price by phone calls, or by email. There are just two rules for you to follow; know what price you will accept, and always be willing to walk away. There are lots of dealers, salesmen, and vehicles out there. (OK not so much right now. This is why dealers are making record profits on lower supply and, therefore, high demand.)  In normal times this will get you a deal you find acceptable.  Oh, and tell the salesman that the price you settled on is final. What if there are add-ons at closing, you will immediately walk.  Drive away slowly, they will likely chase you down. 

Then along came Tesla, without all the sales offices, that would sell you a car online at a fixed published price, no lower, but no higher.  When we settled on our first Tesla, I felt an obligation to the nice guy that had taken us on a demonstration ride, something car salesmen hate because it takes them out of the office and a chance at the next “walk-in” customer.  So I wanted him to enter the order so as to get the sales credit. He explained he did not receive a commission on the sale but would be glad to guide me through the purchase in the Mall Tesla store computer if I couldn’t use or have a computer.  Now a smartphone will also accomplish the task.  What a revelation!  Select your configuration, inside and out colors, and make a $100 deposit online so you have a place in line for a Tesla with a locked-in price.  As the instigator of this new model, Mr. Elon Musk said, “You get the same price my mother paid!”  One of the biggest dreads of buying a car is magically gone. 

So back to Texas and a few other states like Michigan where the biggest problem is taking delivery.  The Texas dealers can’t prevent you from buying a car online from California.  But they can, by Texas law, prevent you from taking delivery in Texas.  And then there is California deterring you from taking delivery in the state without paying the full California state sales tax there.  AND you still have to pay the sales tax again in the state where you license your Tesla. Presto, no Fremont car deliveries except if you are licensing in California unless you are willing to pay dearly for the joyful experience of factory delivery.   

It should be noted that the German car companies have made this factory delivery process into a science.  Tour the factory, take delivery at a fancy delivery center, drive around Europe and drop off your new German car at a designated drop-off point when you are through touring.  Then about a month later, pick up your car at your local dealer back home for the second delivery. You even get a European license plate as a souvenir. 

So when thinking about how Tesla could legally allow me to take delivery at Giga Texas in Austin, I came up with some schemes. Since I am very far from being a lawyer, I am not certain any of these will work but I am throwing them out there for consideration:

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR DRIVERANOTHER STATE DESTINATION TRIP

With this idea, the customer picking up the Y or Cybertruck in Austin would sign a contract as an “independent contractor driver” to drive the vehicle to its final purchase destination. Maybe a token of $1 would have to be paid. A dealer tag would have to be provided and that could be a problem. The money for the normal “destination” fee would cover the insurance on the vehicle during this delivery trip.  With the payment for the Tesla completed by the time of the pickup, the final State Title, Tax, and Tag paperwork would be completed in the destination State at a Tesla Service Center.  At that point, the independent hauler contract would be completed. 

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR DRIVER – TEXAS BORDER ROUNDTRIP

In this case, the customer picking up the Model Y or Cybertruck in Austin is a resident of Texas. Texas is a big state but it is not too far to the state border from around the state. So the contract driver/future owner would drive to the closest Supercharger outside of the State of Texas. Tesla Navigation will show you which, and you Supercharge, perhaps at no cost, to get you there at no cost.  This Supercharging transaction shows you are outside of Texas. The tax, tag, and title paperwork would be automatically activated for delivery outside of the State of Texas.  Maybe even a Lunch/Hotel Voucher option could be offered.  Perhaps a trip to the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino, near Eagle Pass, could also qualify with the addition of a Supercharger at the Casino. 

“It is not a question of “if” but “when” Texas will allow Tesla to sell direct in Texas”

Perhaps Full Self Driving (FSD)  could be turned on as an incentive demo for this registration trip. Or FSD could serve as the Contract Driver.  Not likely for now, a step too far.  But decidedly this is the future unless the folks in the Texas Legislature make a change that allows Teslas to be delivered in Texas.  Not a question of if, in my opinion, but simply when.  The voice of Tesla buyers in the Legislator will get louder as more and more Teslas hit the roads and byways of Texas. 

Here’s to dreaming of a lap around the “Ring Road” of the Giga Texas near Austin, in my Cybertruck!

Texas State Capitol by Dale Honeycutt on Unsplash

Jim Ringold, Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – January 18, 2022 –  All Rights Reserved

Sent to Gail Alfar – January 18, 2022

TESLA: MADE IN TEXAS

Giga Texas is built with an iconic Cybertruck look and is at once powerfully productive. Giga Texas’ attention to detail is evident the minute you see it for the first time. I see Tesla as wanting to celebrate engineering production at scale, not just churn out cars from a boring cement box. No one EXPECTS a vehicle factory to be aesthetically pleasing. Then again, when people ride in a Tesla it is also an unexpectedly pleasurable experience.

Cruising past Giga Texas at night you see suspended Model Y soaring high amongst perfectly aligned and symmetrical steel beams, lighting, and conduits.

Austin Model Y Suspended in Giga Texas, credit, the author

The flying Austin Model Y is delightful and evokes Elon Musk’s sense of irony

Consider that Giga Texas is perfectly aligned true North, a mile long, and blends in with the Texas landscape. The lines of the Gigafactory also resemble the lines of the Cybertruck.  The front of the factory incorporates an abstract T for Tesla.  The solar panels on the roof will spell out TESLA for the enjoyment of all who fly over Austin.

It is a celebration to drive past the Gigafactory as an observer.  People smile when they see this large structure with angular glass. Giga Texas is designed so that you are invited to look inside, especially at night. I take you there in the video below.

This connection is taken so seriously that Elon Musk insisted Giga Texas will one day be open to the public, not closed and only for Tesla.

“It’s right on the Colorado River, so there’s actually going to be a boardwalk where there’ll be a hiking and biking trail.

It’s going to basically be an ecological paradise, birds in the trees, butterflies, fish in the stream, and they will be open to the public as well.

So not closed and only Tesla.”

Elon Musk, Q2 2020 Earnings Call

Giga Berlin Celebrates German Precision and Local Art

It is notable that Giga Texas and Giga Berlin have both been designed to showcase incredible beauty on the outside while being a manufacturing powerhouse on the inside.

German Model Y is highly acclaimed for its luxury excellence. The factory also features local graffiti art, as seen below. This imaginative approach is appreciated because it creates an important connection with local talent.

GigaFactory Berlin Graffiti (Source: Tesla Q4 and FY2021 Update)
Gigafactory Berlin Graffiti (source @GF4Tesla/Twitter)
Giga Texas Model Y Flying High at Night. credit, the author
Note: Giga Texas and Giga Berlin are both currently under construction, hopefully, they will be open to the public when construction is completed.

CONCLUSION

  • Giga Texas is an artistic landmark that celebrates engineering production at scale
  • The factory is perfectly aligned true North, a mile long, and blends in with the Texas landscape
  • One day, the factory grounds will be open to the public, Elon Musk said it will be an “ecological paradise, birds in the trees, butterflies, fish in the stream.”
  • Giga Berlin is known for its manufacturing excellence and precision as well as being a showcase for local artistic talent.
Tesla Giga Texas. credit Joe Tegtmeyer. August 30, 2022

Here’s why I created this blog. In January 2022, I was frustrated over spending valuable energy on trivial matters. My friend Johnna Crider, suggested to start painting or start a blog. I did both (you can see my Giga Texas painting here). We tossed around different names. Johnna came up with “What’s Up Tesla.” I rented shared office space in order to work uninterrupted. I am thoroughly enjoying expressing creative energy in support of Tesla and Elon Musk in this way.

Want to read more excellent articles? I suggest…

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

Tesla Q4 2021 Earnings Call and the Long Road Ahead

Hello, I’m Gail Alfar, a Tesla owner in Austin, Texas. I love to share good vibes about Tesla, Giga Texas, Tesla China & Tesla Solar. I really do believe our future is bright! I recently rented a shared office space to start “What’s Up Tesla,” and a funny thing happened to me. Have you ever been locked out? I went into a secret room that was filled with beautiful art. The door locked behind me and I was forced to exit the area. Outside, the hallway was empty, except for a Pepsi someone had left sitting on the floor. Eventually a stranger came along and unlocked the door. “You need to get back in, there’s lots of work to do.” His words reminded me of why I am writing this blog. I have to do more to support the mission of Tesla and Elon Musk, as there is still a very long road ahead.

“While 2021 was a defining year for our company, we believe we are just at the very early stages of our journey. Thank you for being part of it.”  Tesla
Tesla Giga Texas (Source: Tesla Q4 and FY2021 Update)

October 7, 2021: Tesla Headquarters is officially Austin, Texas. Elon Musk announced this historic move at the Tesla 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

January 26, 2022: Tesla Q4 and Full Year 2021 Financial Results are a game-changer, revealing that making electric cars is actually more profitable than making combustion engine cars!

“2021 was a breakthrough year for Tesla. There should no longer be doubt about the viability and profitability of electric vehicles. With our deliveries up 87% in 2021, we achieved the highest quarterly operating margin among all volume OEMs, based on the latest available data, demonstrating that EVs can be more profitable than combustion engine vehicles.”  Tesla

My view is that 2021 was the year for Giga Shanghai and the Fremont Factory to shine! The two factories had a combined record number of vehicle deliveries of 0.94 million in 2021. For comparison, these same two factories produced and delivered 0.5 million vehicles in 2020. 

Elon Musk acknowledged Tesla will build more Gigafactories in addition to Giga Texas and Giga Berlin-Brandenburg [locations may be announced by the end of the year]. On the one hand factories should ideally be close to customers. On the other hand, it is so critical to build gigafactories, that I argue there should be a second ultra fast and efficient gigafactory in China.

Tesla allowed us a view into the assembly line in Giga Texas. We see Austin Model Y seats being mounted on a structural battery pack. This shift in manufacturing means all Tesla Gigafactories can produce vehicles even faster [and more profitable] with less parts. This is part of Tesla’s winning plan to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Make no mistake though, this was and still is a painfully difficult journey for Tesla!

“Prototypes are easy, production is hard.” 
Elon Musk
Gigafactory Texas- Attaching Seats to a Structural Battery Pack (Source: Tesla Q4 and FY2021 Update)

I used to think that a “Financial Result” meeting should only be about Tesla’s hardcore production and profitability. Now I wholeheartedly endorse allowing Elon Musk to speak in order to draw listeners into imagining a wonderful world of the future. 

Allow me to share a futuristic scenario I envisioned after listening to Elon Musk speak at the “Full Year 2021 Financial Results” meeting:

Here, all vehicles are fully autonomous, so imagine for a moment a world filled with  Cybertrucks, Model Y and many other EVs in their most durable forms, all capable of driving almost 24/7. The cost to get from one place to another is low, and people prefer to use entertaining Robotaxis. Its rare to see anyone owning a personal vehicle. 

In crowded places, there are tunnels beckoning people underground, and away from the traffic up above. Many tunnel entrances are repurposed parking lots or garages. People wonder why there were so many of these strange things built. 

Everywhere, we see friendly Optimus humanoid robots. Optimus are doing almost any kind of menial task, or any task that takes place in uncomfortable situations or temperatures. 

As news headlines proclaim a human labor shortage, Tesla Gigafactories roll out large numbers of Optimus. These kind, sentient humanoid robots help to ease the labor shortage, and propel the economy into a stable place. Optimus helps build Tesla HVAC and hot water systems. They even help install systems in homes. 

"I've designed your home now for maximum efficiency and comfort, test it out and let me know what you think, see you tomorrow as I must go get recharged at the local solar-port Megapack," declares Optimus while climbing into a Robotaxi that has gently pulled up playing Sandstorm on the boombox.

Thanks for reading my first blog post. I’m looking forward to creating interesting takes on Tesla to share with YOU most Saturdays! Listen to the entire Tesla Q4 and Full Year 2021 Financial Results here. 

By the way, I drank that Pepsi and I still have the bottle, just to remind myself not to get locked out again.

Photo by Tomek Baginski on Unsplash

Want to read more excellent articles? I suggest…

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