Have questions about Buying a Tesla? From fires to how to drive one, here are the answers

Texas made Model Y at the Tesla 2021 Shareholder’s meeting. credit: the author

When it comes to asking questions about buying a Tesla, word-of-mouth is the best!  Here are the most common questions I get asked, from fires to how to drive a Tesla:

  • I heard they catch on fire, tell me about that. 
  • How do you charge a Tesla, do you plug it into a regular outlet?
  • How long does it take to charge?
  • How far does it go on a single charge? 
  • How much does a Tesla raise your electric bill?
  • Can you still own a Tesla if you live in an apartment?
  • I heard they are too expensive, aren’t they? 
  • How do you drive one?

I heard they catch on fire, tell me about that

The media used to exaggerate any report of a Tesla on fire in order to generate more revenue (clicks). It was never about Teslas being more fire-prone than combustion engine cars. The number of fires in a gasoline car is vastly higher.

“Now that the big automotive advertisers are making EVs, you will see far fewer articles about EVs catching on fire.

It is not surprising that internal combustion engine cars have a tendency to combust externally too.” Elon Musk

Credit Tesla 2021 Impact Report, p. 90

Tesla 2021 Impact Report states how low the risk is for a fire to occur in a Tesla,

Fire incidents are ~11x lower for Tesla vehicles than the average vehicle in the U.S.

From 2012 – 2021, there has been approximately 5 Tesla vehicle fires for every billion miles traveled.

By comparison, data from the National Fire Protection Association and U.S. Department of Transportation show that in the U.S. there are 53 vehicle fires for every billion miles travelled.

How do you charge a Tesla, can you plug into a regular outlet? 

Tesla Home Charging. credit, Tesla

This is a great question and I love it when people ask me this.  My answer is that you’ll likely want to plug your Tesla into an outlet that’s the same as your dryer outlet, and a regular wall outlet (110V) can work, especially if your daily commute is not very long.  Many owners install a Tesla Wall Connector in their garage.  Tesla recommends the Wall Connector on their website,

“Tesla Wall Connector is an efficient and convenient home charging solution that lets you plug your vehicle in overnight and start your day charged.” 

How long does it take to charge a Tesla?

I plug the Tesla in at home at night so that its all charged up by morning. If you go to a Supercharger it will only take 15 minutes to recharge up to 200 miles.

How far does it go on a single charge? 

The most popular Tesla,  Model Y,  has a range of 330 miles. Almost everyone asks me about traveling, so I wrote about that in my article “Tesla Summer Travel Trip.” Tesla provides an automatic navigation route that works very well. Tesla Superchargers are plentiful, and you can travel anywhere in the USA. There are over 35,000 Tesla Superchargers in the world today and more are being built every day.

How much does a Tesla raise your electric bill?

The quick answer is that our bill raised from anywhere to $30 – $50 a month.  Of course, this will vary due to daily miles driven.  Tesla has a Charging Calculator and in the above example, a Model 3 driving 49 miles a day would cost $1.69 a day to charge on a wall connector.

Tesla’s Online Charging Calculator

Tesla says,

“The most convenient place to charge your Tesla is at home, overnight. Plug in when you get home and let your car charge while you sleep. You no longer need to take trips to the pump with a gas-powered vehicle, and you can utilize low overnight utility pricing during off-peak hours, saving both time and money.” Tesla

Can you still own a Tesla if you live in an apartment?

Tesla Destination Charging, Apartments & Condos may install these. credit, Tesla

Yes. Many apartment complexes, workplaces and even schools have or are planning to install chargers.

Tesla’s website is encouraging,

“Increasingly, condos and apartment buildings are required by law to allow EV charging. Installing charging makes business sense, and the case will only get stronger as more people buy electric vehicles. 

Additionally, incentives may be available to you or your building property manager to alleviate cost, at the federal, state, county, municipal and utility levels.”

Tesla’s website is helpful, saying,

We offer the following templates to help get these conversations started with your building manager or HOA:

I heard they are very expensive, aren’t they? 

As of today, the Model Y costs $58,190 (including potential incentives and gas savings of $7,800).

I wrote about the vast savings in buying a Tesla in my article, Is a Tesla Worth it? Does Tesla Insurance and Maintenance Cost Less?

Model Y pricing from August 27, 2022

How do you drive one?

Model Y at Tesla Gigafactory Texas, Austin on 8/24/22 credit, Joe Tegtmeyer

This is a great question!  I have driven so many cars both stick shift and automatic, there is no easier car to simply drive than a Tesla.  You will enjoy that the car is always on.  You get in, there’s nothing to start, the car is silently on and ready to go.  It has the basic brake pedal and accelerator pedal, which I still call the gas pedal by mistake. 

Two things make the Tesla feel very roadworthy, that’s the fact it has a low center of gravity as the heavy battery power pack forms the base of the car.  And the other is the fact the drive train is all electric and there’s no transmission.  This leads to better safety and also a heightened experience when driving.  The car is a total pleasure to drive, it’s like happiness on wheels. 

You can schedule a test drive at a service center or rent a Tesla.  Hertz rents out Teslas and they have a good webpage “What’s it like to drive a Tesla?” They say,

“Driving a Tesla is an exhilarating experience. While the basic driving principles remain the same as in a gas-powered car, the available torque, technology and braking methods are driving features which distinguish Tesla and other EVs. Learn more about how to operate your Tesla before you get behind the wheel of this sleek vehicle.”

Hertz has a dedicated EV Customer Support Team that is there to answer any questions. The best experience is to test drive one after watching the videos on how to drive one.

CONCLUSION

  • Fire incidents are ~11x lower for Tesla vehicles than the average vehicle in the U.S.
  • Tesla Wall Connector installed at your house is the easiest way to charge every night
  • If you go to a Supercharger it will only take 15 minutes to recharge up to 200 miles
  • Model Y,  has a range of 330 miles. With over 35,000 Superchargers in the world, you can travel anywhere
  • Expect your electric bill to go up anywhere from $30 – $50 a month. Tesla’s Charging Calculator will customize this figure to your needs 
  • Apartment Living: Many condos and apartments have EV charging or are planning installation
  • As of today, Model Y costs $58,190 (including potential incentives and gas savings of $7,800) Model 3 is the best purchase I have ever made in my life, worth every penny   
  • There is no easier car to drive than a Tesla. Many cities have Tesla stores where you can test drive one https://www.tesla.com/drive

My Model 3 is the best purchase I have ever made in my life, it’s pure happiness to drive it, and it just gets better with the over-the-air software updates.

Tesla Gigafactory Texas, Austin on 8/24/22 credit, Joe Tegtmeyer

Like this article? You can read more like this

Is a Tesla Worth it? Does Tesla Insurance and Maintenance Cost Less? If you absolutely have to own a vehicle, then there is no better choice right now than a Tesla. I base this statement on the low cost of Tesla insurance, the ease of charging the battery, and zero maintenance.

American Innovation: Tesla owners share their favorite features I share the enthusiasm of Tesla owners by telling their unique stories, as well as putting a spotlight on some of their favorite features in their Tesla! Hope you’ll relax and enjoy these positive vibes!

Article by Gail Alfar. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – All Rights Reserved. August 28, 2022.

Tesla Battery Life

Welcome back to my blog, I truly hope your summer is great.  If you like learning about Tesla, you’ll love reading about how much care Tesla puts into making sure you feel confident that your vehicle’s battery will serve your needs. Find a cool spot and cold drink and enjoy! I’m sipping some cold Boba milk tea with pearls as I write this.  If you have never tried Boba tea, it’s great!

Tesla Model Y (photo credit to 吃不胖的胖小雷 and Tesla China)

Your Tesla Battery is Guaranteed

Your Tesla battery comes with a warranty.  Here are the details, taken today from the Tesla website,

Credit above:  Tesla new vehicle limited warranty page.

FACT: The existing warranty on any Tesla is transferred to the new owner if you purchase the vehicle from Tesla.

Tesla says in the 2021 Impact Report,

“Our batteries are designed to function for the entire life of the vehicle.  Tesla’s battery packs are designed to outlast the vehicle. We estimate that a vehicle gets scrapped after approximately 200,000 miles of usage in the U.S. and roughly 150,000 miles in Europe.  Creating a battery that could last for 1,000,000 miles (4,000 charging cycles) would dramatically reduce the emissions per mile driven for high-mileage vehicles such as taxis, delivery vans, or trucks.”

If you own a Model Y that was bought with a range of ~318 miles on the battery.  You should expect your Model Y will retain a range of over 222 miles by the time you reach 120,000 miles.  In the rare case that your Y does not then know that Tesla will replace the battery for free.  Tesla may also decide to replace your battery if it has a defect or problem like the inability to charge. 

The Average EV will never need a battery replacement

It is a myth to assume that the average EV needs a battery replacement at some point in its life, according to Tesla

“Extending the life of a battery pack is a superior option to recycling for both environmental and business reasons. For those reasons, before decommissioning a consumer battery pack and sending it for recycling, Tesla does everything it can to extend the useful life of each battery pack. 
Any battery that is no longer meeting a customer’s needs can be serviced by Tesla at one of our service centers around the world. None of our scrapped lithium-ion batteries go to landfill, and 100% are recycled.”

Tesla Batteries are Recycled

Tesla says in their 2021 Impact Report,

“Every battery used in R&D or returned from the field that cannot be remanufactured is recycled.  Tesla batteries, including the battery packs in our vehicles and our energy storage products, are made to last many years, and therefore, we have received a limited number of them back from the field. Most batteries that Tesla recycles today are pre-consumer, coming to us through R&D and quality control. None of our scrapped lithium-ion batteries go to landfills and 100% are recycled. Furthermore, Tesla has an established internal ecosystem to re-manufacture batteries coming from the field to our Service Centers. We actively implement circular economy principles and consider all other options before opting for battery recycling." 
Battery materials are refined at Tesla and put into a cell and will remain in the cell at the end of their life when they can be recycled to recover valuable materials for reuse, repeatedly, pg 95-96 Tesla Impact Report 2021 

My Thoughts, Enjoy your Tesla, Do Not Worry 

I am very happy with my Tesla, a 2020 Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive that was bought with a range of 250 miles on the battery.  I just hit 69,420 miles. My battery currently retains 86% of its original range of 216 miles. I expect my Model 3 will retain a range of over 175 miles by the time I reach 100,000 miles.   

The timeless design of Tesla vehicles continues to amaze me.  A 2018 Model 3 is just as beautiful as a new 2022 one.  The body design is so classically elegant that it needs no changes from year to year. 

For this reason, I expect most Tesla owners will feel zero need to update their vehicle from year to year as was common with the old combustion cars. Therefore, I think many people will reach 120,000 miles and beyond in their Tesla.  Tesla estimates that most cars will be scrapped after reaching 200,000 miles. I think we will see many Teslas make it to 250,000 miles before they are scrapped.

I was inspired to write this article by Sofiaan Fraval who recently had his Model 3’s battery replaced under Tesla’s warranty, “Although it’s not new info, it’s often forgotten about or overlooked over time. I just got a pack replacement for my 3 under warranty and cost me $0. It actually bumped my range up by 11 miles and the car charges quicker. Super happy about it.” Sofiaan advises, “Tesla owners needn’t worry about battery packs, and should fully enjoy their Teslas!”

Photo of Austin, Texas by Jeremy Banks on Unsplash

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Gail Alfar, with special thanks to Sofiaan Fraval for his valuable insight.  [Edited by Sarah Alfar] Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – This blogpost was created utilizing STARLINK satellite services. All Rights Reserved. June 18, 2022

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