With all of the new vehicles coming onto the market, both from established automakers and the wide variety of a startups, it’s easy to forget how complex the process of building cars at volume actually is.
Tesla has a new video out that provides a close-up look at what mass production of cars is like. The video gives us footage taken by a drone as it flies through Tesla’s newly minted plant located near Berlin, Germany, and includes a flightpath that takes us through some of the machines while in action, such as the stamping presses.
The German plant, known as Giga Berlin, saw the completion of the first customer cars in March. CEO Elon Musk visited the plant to mark the occasion and even performed a small dance.
2022 Tesla lineup (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)
The plant currently builds the Model Y crossover but is expected to add production of the Model 3 sedan at a later date. At full capacity, the plant will be able to build 500,000 vehicles and 50 gigawatt-hours of batteries annually.
It’s joined by Tesla’s original plant in Fremont, California, as well as a plant in Austin, Texas, and one in Shanghai, China. Tesla also has a plant in Reno, Nevada, which builds battery packs and other components. The Chinese plant is Tesla’s biggest, accounting for more than half of Tesla’s record 936,000 deliveries in 2021. Tesla is reportedly planning a second plant in China to take capacity there to more than a million vehicles per year.
Tesla’s lineup currently consists of the aging Model S sedan and Model X SUV, plus the newer Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover. Future models will include the Cybertruck pickup truck, Roadster sports car, Semi tractor truck, and Optimus, a robot with artificial intelligence that could serve as a factory worker. Of these future models, the Cybertruck is due first, with its production expected to start at the Texas plant sometime in 2023.