Tesla has been spotted stacking an impressive number of structural battery packs in inventory at Gigafactory Texas. We look into what could be happening.
When Tesla started production of Model Y at Gigafactory Texas earlier this year, it launched a new architecture for the electric SUV based on Tesla’s new structural battery pack design.
The design is enabled by Tesla’s new 4680 battery cell that can become a structural part of the battery pack, which in turn becomes part of the chassis of the vehicle.
CEO Elon Musk compared the design to planes using wings as fuel tanks.
The structural battery pack architecture is expected to bring efficiency and performance improvements to the Model Y.
However, Tesla has had difficulties ramping up the product at Gigafactory Texas.
In June, we reported that Tesla significantly managed to ramp up production at the factory, but it also coincided with the automaker starting to produce Model Y vehicles with the old battery architecture using 2170 cells.
This led many to believe that 4680 cells were a bottleneck for Tesla to ramp up production at Gigafactory Texas, which the automaker all but confirmed.
Now a new drone flyover of Gigafactory Texas by Joe Tegtmeyer showed that Tesla has been building up an inventory of structural battery packs:
Here are some images of what appear to be a few hundred structural battery packs being stacked up at the factory:
We can clearly see that they are structural packs because they used the same design that incorporates the seat base directly on the packs.
Now the question is why is Tesla accumulating structural battery packs?
The video also shows that there’s still a steady stream of Model Y vehicles coming out of the factory, but as previously mentioned, those might be equipped with 2270 cells.
Tesla is believed to still be getting a limited supply of 4680 battery cells from its pilot plant in Fremont as it is establishing production of the new cell at Gigafactory Texas.
The automaker could have received a shipment from Fremont, and it is waiting to shift back to vehicle production with the structural battery packs in Texas.
Tesla could also have found a problem with those packs, and it needs to be fixed before they can make their way into vehicle production.
Either way, at least it shows that Tesla is still working on ramping up structural pack production, which is believed to be needed to ramp Gigafactory Texas to full production as the Model Y with 2170 cells is just a temporary solution.
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