The construction of Giga Berlin is significantly different from other Tesla factories that were built before. The Gigafactory is the largest and most complex product of the company. Giga Berlin will have many unique approaches to producing the world's most advanced vehicles.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is actively developing solutions for industrial automation. He acknowledges that intelligent automation—to reduce costs and increase efficiency—requires new approaches and a constantly revised, forward-looking vision for an automated future. This is why Tesla's factories are so different from factories of other automakers.
Model Y made at Giga Berlin, for instance, will be an absolutely unique product for the company. Musk today confirmed via Twitter that the German Gigafactory will build cars using the new technologies unveiled at Battery Day.
"Berlin will use 4680 cell with structural battery pack & front & rear single piece castings. Also, a new paint system."
Until now, it remained a mystery which battery elements will be used for the production of Model Y in Germany. The use of the new battery technology is great news. While it is currently unknown where exactly the battery cells for the German-made Model Y will be produced, we can make the bold assumption that it will happen at Giga Berlin. There is a possibility that the battery cells will initially be manufactured in the USA, but then later, production transitioned to Germany.
The new 4680 lithium-ion cells will have five times more energy, 16% more range, and six times more power. In addition, the cells will be packaged in a new way within the car. Tesla will use its structural approach to integrate cells into the vehicle's structure.
With the new form factor, Tesla is able to minimize negative mass, thus increasing the density of the battery pack. The battery is then able to be positioned more efficiently, further reducing redundant structures within the packaging itself.
The car's chassis, with two one-piece molded parts for the front and rear, allows the battery to be placed in the middle. As a result, production is greatly simplified. Also, because the battery can be located in the center of the car, safety is further enhanced. Now Tesla's cars can be even more protected from side impact.
In addition, a centrally located battery enhances driving performance, namely agility. These improvements also result in a 10% weight reduction, a 14% increase in range, a significant reduction in the number of parts, and the overall increased structural integrity of the vehicle.
Each Tesla factory is modeled on the previous one, but the differences in equipment are impressive. Giga Berlin will have an advanced paint shop, which will be able to apply paint in three layers. Several layers of paint give the color a realistic depth, which makes the colors brighter than possible with traditional paint systems.
“If you get dimension, there’s something called flop, where you see the change in color with curvature,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “If you can do something like lay down a gloss layer, then lay down a layer with color tint, then lay down another gloss layer, you can get kind of a 3D feeling to the paint. It just pops. It's so much better than anything else. We’re going to do this in Berlin for the first time.”
Tesla's existing factories in China and the US will also start using new technologies. The transition to them, will likely be carried out in about two years, after the new technologies are proven.
Berlin will use 4680 cell with structural battery pack & front & rear single piece castings. Also, a new paint system.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 7, 2020
Lot of new technology will happen in Berlin, which means significant production risk. Fremont & Shanghai will transition in ~2 years when new tech is proven.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.