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    Hundreds of battery packs at Tesla in Texas: 4680 productions in new Gigafactory started now?

    Aug 31,2022 | Chloe Lacour

    The local observer Joe Tegtmeyer has been flying his drone around the new Tesla factory in the US state of Texas for more than two years and reports about it, but he cannot know everything either. On Monday, he reported on Twitter that he had seen "2170 packages" on the third floor of the huge building, i.e. batteries that were probably prepared for the Model Y produced there. In fact, hundreds of open boxes can be seen in his YouTube video, their Contents and labeling look like batteries, but more like the structural package of Tesla's own 4680 batteries. This error by Tegtmeyer was quickly clarified - and his observation could mean that their production started in Texas.

    Tesla in Texas back to 4680 batteries?

    After the official opening of the latest Tesla Gigafactory this April, some Model Ys were delivered in the new design that was actually intended in Germany from the start: with large castings from Giga presses as the rear and front parts of the supporting frame and in between a pack of 4680 format batteries. Probably because there are not enough of them yet, the German Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin instead started with 2170 batteries and only rear casting for the Model Y as in Fremont and China.

    Tesla soon switched to 2170 batteries in Texas as well, and Tegtmeyer registered increasing Model Y production there. According to CEO Elon Musk, the temporary change would have happened even earlier if there hadn't been tools in the corona lockdown in China. Now, however, Tesla may be returning to what he calls revolutionary construction and has begun planned 4680 productions at the Texas factory.

    It should actually have reached 10-gigawatt hours a year in a pilot plant near the main plant in Fremont at the end of last year, but Tesla was unable to keep to this ambitious announcement from Battery Day in September 2020. By the end of 2022 it should be 100-gigawatt hours. CEO Musk did not explicitly repeat this goal at the Annual General Meeting in early August, but only spoke of a desired high volume. However, the Tesla boss also said that production of the 4680 batteries in Texas should start this quarter.

    Hundreds of boxes of batteries in the Gigafactory

    Tegtmeyer could not observe this directly, but at least signs of it. As it flew along the west side of the Texas factory early Monday, lighting conditions allowed glimpses of the interior through the third-level windows. And there appear to be rows and rows of structural packs of 4680 batteries for the Model Y, as the drone aviator explains in his video description. Over a good part of the long side of the building and sometimes in several rows, three wooden frames stacked on top of each other can be seen along the windows, each of which could actually contain a 4680 battery. This is supported by the seat carriers mounted on it, as in a video by Tesla dismantler Sandy Munro and the imprint YSB on the boxes (see photo above), which Tegtmeyer understood to be short for "Model Y Structural Battery".

    Both are plausible, but this leaves the question open as to whether the batteries in them were produced in California or in Texas. At least the modules may have been created on-site, it was speculated in the YouTube comments. Because if the 4680 packages came entirely from another location, Tesla would not be allowed to have them lifted to the third floor to later bring them down for installation in Model Y. And whether Texas actually produced its own batteries in the third quarter, as last planned, will be revealed by CEO Musk at the latest in the next telephone conference for analysts towards the end of October.

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